I hope you all had an amazing summer. Mine was great and although I’m still in the mood for just lying around and having no obligations, September is almost here, so let’s get to work.
First of all, I would like to inform you that I have created a Facebook page for this blog, where we will be able to share more ideas and you will get notified every time I publish a new blog post, so feel free to like it and participate with your own ideas.
Here in Croatia, the school year starts in just two weeks, so I think it’s a natural choice to write a couple of my first post-summer posts about some interesting get-to-know-you activities. You can, of course, adapt each of these to your learners’ age and proficiency level.
First up is the so called GOSSIP GAME.
In this activity you make your students talk about each other, which is a lot easier than talking about themselves and a lot more interesting for the rest of the class. You should first distribute pieces of paper among your students and then instruct them to do the following (you can even draw that piece of paper on a board to make it easier for them to visualize how it should be done – the template can be downloaded it you click on the picture below):
1. Write your name in the middle of the paper.
2. Write the name of your favorite book/author/movie/actor/musician/song in the top left corner of the paper.
3. Write your hobby/how you spend your free time in the top right corner of the paper.
4. Write the name of a place that is somehow important to you in the bottom left corner of the paper.
5. Write your favorite quote in the bottom right corner of the paper.
Give them approx. 5 minutes for this and then tell them to stand up and mingle a bit, or just tell them to walk around the classroom and when you say “stop” they have to talk to the person standing next to them. They should show their paper to the person they are talking to and explain why they have written those certain things. The other person can and should ask questions about them and remember as much as they can because later on they will have to report what they have learned about that person to the rest of the class.
When they are done talking, tell them to form a wide circle in the middle of the classroom and give them a ball to throw to each other (a soft, spongy one). The person who gets the ball has to report everything about the person they have talked to. (e.g. Ana’s favorite movie is “Crazy Stupid Love” because she likes the plot and Ryan Gossling is also very hot. She likes to read and draw in her free time and she even participated in an exhibition at the local gallery with her drawings of still life. For her special place she has chosen her room because she spends most of her time there and she has decorated it with many pictures of her friends. Her favorite quote is: “Don’t worry, be happy.”)
This will give you a great insight into the language knowledge of your students, into their personalities and it will be fun because they get to talk about each other.
What are the ice-breakers you use in your classroom? What do you think about this one?