Growing Your Relationship with Your Students: First Day of School Ice Breakers 

Amy Banko

Sr. Product Marketing Manager • K-12 Core Math • National Geographic Learning | Cengage

It’s the first day of school. You’ve welcomed students into the classroom with high fives, fist bumps, smiles, air hugs, and handshakes. You have gone over the classroom procedures and developed classroom rules. Now it is time to put some faces to the names and get to know your students. Or maybe you are a few weeks in, and just want to know a little more about your students to start tailoring lesson content to students’ interests. What can you do? Here are some fun and exciting ice breakers that help you get to know your students! 

Two Truths and a Lie

Students write down two true things about themselves and one lie. Students take turns one by one, and the class must guess which statement is the lie. Ask students to elaborate if any of their true facts stumped the class! 

Would you Rather?

Create a list of Would You Rather situations, such as “Would you rather be a deep sea explorer or an astronaut?” or “Would you rather be in history class or math class?” Or get creative and have more fun with it, such as “Would you rather be surrounded by snakes or surrounded by spiders?” or “Would you rather skydive or snorkel?” Break students into groups with the same sets of Would You Rather questions. Have them discuss and come up with their individual answers. Encourage students to argue for their choice! Then bring the class back together and choose your favorite ones to discuss as a group. Ask students whether they agree or not, encouraging students to voice their opinions. 

Fun Fact Guessing Game 

Students must think of one fun fact to share about themselves. Bring groups of 5 or so students up to the front of the room and have them hand you their fun facts. Read them all, then read them one at a time while the class guesses whose fun fact is whose. Anyone comfortable with sharing more about their fun fact can elaborate on it. Be sure to have some examples ready about yourself that can help students think! 

Ball Toss 

Write short questions on a large beach ball or any other type of softer ball that can get tossed around the room and easily be caught. Ask students about their favorite sport to watch or play, favorite activity, how many siblings do they have, favorite subject or anything you can think of to spark conversation. Students toss the ball around the room, and whatever question their left thumb lands on is the question they must answer. They can even toss the ball to you to learn about you!  

Uncommonly Common

Divide students into groups and have them make a list of 5-10 things that they all have in common. Encourage them to think outside the box. Then have them decide if they think anything on their list is unique to their group.   

From all of us at National Geographic Learning, welcome to the new school year! We wish you a safe and healthy year.  

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