In my post about the "All About Me" Bag, I wrote about the importance of having a whole group ice breaker at the beginning of the year so students can begin to feel safe talking in front of the whole class. However, small group and partner ice breakers can have an even bigger impact on the environment of your classroom. Ice breakers can help build trust between students so your year can run more smoothly.
Why Small Group and Partner Ice Breakers are Important
Large group ice breakers usually lead to a lot of laughter, but small group and partner ice breakers can lead to conversation and real relationships. When students get to know other students on a more personal level, true friendship can be formed. The best ice breakers lead to more conversation.
Two Truths and a Lie
Two Truths and a Lie (also known as "Find the Fib" is for small groups or partners, and the only materials required for it are a sheet of paper and a pencil! Basically, students write down 2 true statements about themselves and 1 lie, and then the small group or partner tries to guess which statement is the lie.
I would always start by writing down the following statements where the students could see:
1. I have a dog named Snoop Dog.
2. I play the guitar.
3. I can do the splits.
Then, I would tell my new students that 2 of those statements were true about me, and one was a lie. After giving them a few seconds to think, I’d ask the students to show me with their fingers what number statement the lie was. (By the way – the lie is number 2, but it’s on my bucket list of things to learn!)
Then, I would have the students write down their truths and a lie. After everybody was finished writing, they would pair up and partners would try to guess each other’s lies. I would then have them find a new partner and repeat the activity with somebody new. My students absolutely LOVED getting to tell a “lie” in the classroom.
The best part about this ice breaker is that it can be repeated with a variety of different topics:
• 2 truths and a lie about what a student did the previous weekend
• 2 truths and a lie about a student’s family
• 2 truths and a lie about a student’s favorite foods
• 2 truths and a lie about how a student spends the holidays
• 2 truths and a lie about what a student did over the summer
The possibilities are endless! And very little preparation is needed.
Ice Breaker Question Cards
The easiest and most effective way to break the ice is to create a structure and questions that require students to talk to each other. There are a variety of ways to partner students up. Use the first week of school to practice your procedure for partnering up, and then have students ask and answer questions of their partner so they can get to know them better.
The only thing necessary for this ice breaker is a list of questions and a procedure for partnering students up. Use your own questions, or use these Ice Breakers: Building a Positive Classroom Community All Year Long Cards from my store.
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