Tuesday 28 January 2020

Interactive Techniques - Icebreakers

Icebreakers

140. Introduce Your Partner’s Non-Obvious Trait – Students partner up and are tasked with learning one thing about the other person that is not obvious by looking at them. Then, they introduce their partner to the larger class. Instructors can use this time to record a crude seating chart of the students and begin to learn their names. 

141. Scrapbook Selection – Put students in groups and give each group a big pile of printed photos (best if laminated – maybe different shapes/sizes?) Ask them to choose one as a group that epitomizes their reaction/definition of the topic being discussed, and explain why.

142. Brush with Fame – Students relate their closest encounter with someone famous, even if it has to be a story about something that happened to a friend or relative.

143. Name Game – Students form circles in groups of 8-10 and one at a time state their name with an alliterative action: “I’m Jumping James!” Optimally, they should perform the action as well. They proceed around the circle, stating names and performing the actions, adding names one at a time, until the last person in the circle will have to say everyone’s name and perform all the actions.

144. Human Bingo – Students become acquainted at the start of a semester by performing a scavenger hunt you design as a handout: “find someone who dislikes carrots, someone who owns a German car, someone who has read a book about submarines, etc.”

145. Line Dance – Students line up according to their level of agreement on a controversial subject: strong agreement on one side, strong disagreement on the other.

146. Two Truths and a Lie – Go around the room and ask each student to relate two true statements and one falsehood about themselves, without giving away which is false. Games (Useful for Review) 

147. Crossword Puzzle – Create a crossword puzzle as a handout for students to review terms, definitions, or concepts before a test. Some online websites will automate the puzzle creation.

148. Jeopardy – Play jeopardy like the TV show with your students. Requires a fair amount of preparation.

149. Pictionary – For important concepts and especially terms, have students play pictionary: one draws images only, the rest must guess the term.

150. Super-Password – Also for concepts and terms; one student tries to get his partner to say the key term by circumlocution, and cannot say any of the “forbidden words” on a card prepared ahead of time.

151. Guess the Password – The instructor reveals a list of words (esp. nouns) one at a time and at each point, ask students to guess what key term they are related to. The hints become increasingly specific to make the answer more clear.

152. Twenty Questions – Assign a person, theory, concept, event, etc to individual students and have the partner ask yes/no questions to guess what the concept is. Also works on a plenary level, with one student fielding the questions from the whole class.

153. Hollywood Squares – Choose students to sit as “celebrities” at the front of the class. Variation: allow the celebrities to use books and notes in deciding how to help the contestants.

154. Scrabble – Use the chapter (or course) title as the pool of letters from which to make words (e.g., mitochondrialdna) and allow teams to brainstorm as many words as possible from that list, but all words must be relevant to this test. Variation: actually play scrabble on boards afterward.

155. Who am I? - Tape a term or name on the back of each student, out of view. Each student then wanders about the room, posing yes/no questions to the other students in an effort to guess the term on his own back.