Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Introductions and Icebreakers

You can click Wallwisher above to add your sticky, or for bigger image of Wallwisher, click here to add your stickies! Many thanks in advance.

Over the next 2 weeks I will be teaching 23 primary and secondary school EFL teachers in 2 groups at the Lake School of English, instead of writing about teaching! I love writing my blog, but it's time to get back to the chalkface, figuratively speaking. So, I've decided to experiment with my lesson planning here, where else? It will be a diary of events and also my learning journal.

One of my favourite icebreakers involves using stickies. I write down a combination of 5 numbers/names/years on the board, related to me eg
  • 3
  • 1979
  • Daphne
  • 18
  • 30

Students have to guess what these numbers/years/names refer to.

Students then write down 5 things related to them on a coloured stickie. They stick the stickie on themselves, and then walk around viewing as many other bits of information from the other students and trying to guess the significance of the numbers / names they see. It's a fun way of getting to know each other.

Web 2.0 Introductions and Icebreakers
I have experimented with creating introductions using Web 2.0 tools like the following. Please do write a comment about any other tools you have exploited when meeting a class for the first time. How was the new tool received? Any useful tips?

True or False information about your teacher. Students have to guess which facts are true.

Go Animate!
Questions to get your students talking and discussing right from the very beginning. The questions go too fast, but they will be paused to give students time to answer.

GoAnimate.com: Introductions and Icebreakers by Janet Bianchini

Glogster: Interactive poster
Facts about your teacher -students guess meaning of images etc. Students then create their own posters to display.

Look at Powerpointing Me by Kalinago English. It contains an excellent lesson plan for Introductions.

PS If you were wondering about the answers to the Stickies Intro activity, here they are.
3- I have 3 dogs
1979 - I graduated
Daphne - my best friend at uni
18-years since tying the knot
30- years of service


Shaun Wilden said...

We share the same couple of favourites Janet, my other staple one, I call line up. The sts stand in two lines opposite each other and facing so each has a partner. Give them a topic i.e. where are you from and they have to one minute to talk to each other - when time starts they walk forward, shake hands and start talking, after a minute one person from one line moves to other end, everyone shuffles along so that there is a new partner. Repeat the minute and repeat the move as many times as you want. Repeating the same topic gives confidence and therefore fluency but changing the topic keeps higher level sts interested. After you've finished the moves, get each line to go into a circle and share the information they learned about the other line then do class feedback. (it was too long a description to post on the wallwisher:-). I look forward to reading more as the summer progresses.


Janet Bianchini said...

Hi Shaun

Thank you for the great idea! I like it very much! It could also be done as a "musical circles" game.

Divide students into 2 circles, an inner one and an outer one. Facing away from the students, the teacher plays some jazzy music and students dance / prance their way clockwise (inner circle group) and anti-clockwise (outer circle group). You stop the music and students turn to face each other and chat for 1 minute on a topic that you call out. Teacher starts music again and stops it after a few moments. Students repeat process as before. It's great fun!

I'd like to try out your line-up version as it's a new way for me.

Thanks very much!