THAT ARE JUST PLAIN FUN
The following activities can be used in a variety of ways. They can be used for beginning
of the year activities, energizers for breaks during standardized
tests, team building activities, etc. They work for almost any
age group--try some at the next faculty meeting. Some of them
will guarantee a good laugh!
Icebreakers and Energizers
|Make a 5 x 5 grid, like a bingo
grid. Write "FREE" in the center space. In all
the other spaces, write things such as "Born in
another state," "Is the youngest child in
family," or "Elvis fan." Fill in all the
grids with items of interest to the students, which
probably leaves Elvis out. If you do this with adults,
you can use the Elvis idea. (Sorry, can you tell I'm a
fan?) Run a copy for each person.|
The students are to get the
signature of a person who meets the criteria for each
section. You might want to implement a rule that a person
can only sign another person's paper in two spots. The
first person with a completed card wins.
Don't forget to include the teacher. Put in something to
which only YOU can answer yes. For example, for mine I put
"married to a detective." My teammate put "adopted two
children from Kazikstan" for hers.
|Divide students into groups of
three or four. Give each group a large sheet of butcher
paper and a different color marker for each person. Have
them draw a Venn diagram with an oval for each student.
The students in each group are to discuss what their
similarities and differences are. After the discussion,
they are to fill in the diagram showing their
similarities and differences.|
If a group has a hard time getting
started, give them some guidance by asking questions such
as, "What is your favorite music?", "When
is your birthday?", "What sports do you like?,
or "Where were you born?"
|Divide the students into groups of
10 to 20, depending on the difficulty level you want. The
more students in a group, the higher the level of
difficulty. Give directions for the "data"
groups are to use to "process" themselves. The
more creative the "data" the more fun the
"processing." Give prizes to the group who is
the first to correctly processes their data. Several
rounds can be played in a short amount of time, depending
on the size of the groups.|
|Here's a list of my
favorite "data" for this activity:|
best friend's first name|
according to favorite food|
|Length of hair|
|Number of letters
in last name|
|Length of thumb|
number of years taught|
|Some of my 1996-1997 students
taught me this one. At first, I was reluctant to play
because of the name (which I have changed.) However, once
I saw how harmless it was, and more importantly how much
fun the players were having, I couldn't resist. (I love
teaching 8th grade!)|
a system for secretly identifying the
"criminal" and the "cop." We used a
deck of cards. You only need enough cards so each player
may have one card. One card needs to be a jack--the
criminal, and one needs to be an ace--the cop. All of the
other cards should be below ten in rank. Let each person
draw and keep a card, without showing it to anyone.
The criminal needs to
recruit other criminals by winking at them, but without
getting caught by the cop. Any person who sees a wink is
to wait a few seconds, so as not to be obvious, and then
say, "I committed a crime." That person then
turns in his card and is out of the game. Play continues
until the criminal recruits all players without being
caught by the cop, or the cop identifies the criminal. If
the cop misidentifies the criminal, he loses the game.
|This is a variation on the Criminal Dealings game. Same set up with a
deck of cards. Choose the number of cards needed according to the number of
players. Be certain that the Queen of Spades is in the deck. All players
draw cards. The player who chooses the Queen of Spades is the murderer.|
Throughout the other activities, the murderer kills victims by winking at
them. When someone catches the eye of the killer and is winked at, they are
killed and (here is the fun part) can die in any manner they want. Some die
quietly by dropping over; others die in a dramatic finale.
The object of all other players is to a) not get killed and b) try to
identify the murderer.
I think you can make a case for using this in Writing - about the
experience, about fear and anticipation and how that clouds activities,
about processing fear, relaxing, then being alert again, etc.
|Submitted by GwenEllyn|
|Each group member will need a
5" x 7" card for a name tag. Then give the
- Put your name in the
center of your card.
- In the upper left corner,
write four things that you like to do.
- In the upper right corner,
write your four favorite singers or groups.
- In the lower left corner,
write your four favorite movies.
- In the lower right corner,
write four adjectives that describe you.
When everyone finishes, have
them mingle with the group for a few minutes. Without
talking, they are to read the upper left corner of the
other group members' cards. When time is up, they are to
find one or two people who are most like them and visit
for a few minutes. When time is up, they are to mingle
again reading the upper right corner of the other group members' cards. They then find the one or two people most
like them and visit. Repeat with the lower left corner
and lower right corner information.
To make sure everyone visits
with several people, you could implement a rule that no
two people can be in the same group more than once.
|Divide the group into teams of 8
to 12 members. Have each person join right hands with
another person in the group, but it has to be someone who
is NOT standing immediately to the left or right. Then
have each person join left hands with another person in
the group, but it has to be someone who is NOT standing
immediately to the left or right and someone other than
groups have to untangle themselves without letting go of
hands. They may have to loosen their grips a little to
allow for twisting and turning. They may have to step
over or under other people. The first group to untangle
their knot is the winner.
SPECIAL NOTE: There are four
possible solutions to the knot.
- One large circle with
people facing either direction.
- Two interlocking circles.
- A figure eight.
- A circle within a circle.
|For this activity you will need one
sticky note per person. On each note write the name of a
celebrity, political figure, cartoon character, book
character, etc. You can choose one category or mix them
up. Use a different person for each note.|
Place a sticky note on the back (or
forehead) of each participant. The participants are to
figure out who they are, but can only do so in the
following manner. Find a partner and read each other's
sticky notes. You may ask the other person three
questions to which there are yes or no answers.
Once your questions have been
asked and answered, make a guess as to your identity. If
you are correct, move the sticky note to your chest and
you become a "consultant" who gives clues to
those still trying to figure out their identities. If you
are not correct, find a new partner and repeat the
SPECIAL NOTE: Be sure to choose
characters that are appropriate to the age of the
participants to avoid "generation gap
|There is some preparation for
this activity. On a slip of paper, write the name of an
animal that makes an obvious noise. Create five to ten
slips for each animal.|
each participant a slip of paper, but tell them to keep
their animal a secret. The participants are to find the
rest of their kind, but there is no talking. So how do
they find the others? They have to make the noise of the
animal. Once two of the same kind have found each other,
they stay together to find more. Continue until all of
the like animals have created one big group.
Use Animal Scramble, but add a hint of danger by planting a couple
of danger animals who if incorrectly approached can take you out of the game
( snake, lion, tiger, etc). The last survivor of non-dangerous animals is
winner (Non-dangerous animals need to gather say 4 of a kind to be safe in a
pack; they can even fake being a dangerous animal but cannot take out anyone
- someone catches onto this and the fun begins!)
|Submitted by Phil Mizzi|
Sites with Icebreaker Items for Sale
Catch Ice Breaker -- found at For Teachers Only
Inflatable ball that has icebreaker
questions for students to answer. Questions include, "What do
you like best for breakfast?" and "What would you have in your
will for the person you care about the most?"