College classroom icebreaker activities

Written by kim bentley
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College classroom icebreaker activities
Icebreaker activities to familiarise students with one another can take place outside. (moving group of people image by Pavel Losevsky from Fotolia.com)

When a student leaves home for college, everything is new. People, places and routines are completely different from high school life. Icebreakers in the college classroom are a useful way to warm up students to the idea of meeting new people. Icebreakers help students familiarise themselves with those with whom they will be sharing this new experience with and create a sense of community in the classroom.

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Human Knot

Students stand in a circle in the centre of the classroom. Stretching their hands into the centre of the circle, they hold hands with someone else. The group then has to try to unravel the knot without letting go of each other. Students can turn, rotate and move through the circle to accomplish this. This icebreaker will get students interacting with each other in order and teach communication and problem-solving skills.

Secret Winker

Students sit in chairs in a circle. Under each chair is a Post-it note with the word "observer" or "winker" on it. Only one student gets the "winker" note. Have these notes in place before the start of class. The secret winker gets people out by winking at them when they are looking at each other. The winker must be secretive about his activities so as not to be found out. If an observer thinks he knows who the winker is, he can ask them; the winker must say if he is correct.

Truth and Lies

Have each student write two true statements about himself, and one lie, on a piece of paper. Each student then introduces herself and reads the statements. The rest of the class tries to figure out which statement is a lie. Encourage students to be creative with the truths that they tell to make the game more interesting. For example, suggest that they share funny situations in which they have been involved.

Class Objectives

Have students pair up and create a list of possible course objectives. Their list will contain ideas about lessons they think will be taught, content they will learn and how the course will fit into their degree program. Each list will contain 12 to 15 statements about the course. Have the pairs introduce each other to the rest of the class and share their lists. After all of the groups have presented, share with the class the actual course objectives and content.

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