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Back To School Ice-Breaker Activities & Lesson Plans

Back to school can be a stressful time for both students and teachers – especially if they’re new to each other. That’s why ice-breakers, specially designed activities to break down barriers, are so important!

Regardless of your student’s ages, below are a selection of great warm up and getting to know you exercises that will help everyone make new friends, and feel belonging in your classroom.

Objective: Students will engage in fun and interactive ice-breaker activities to get to know their classmates, build rapport, and create a positive classroom environment at the beginning of the school year.


  1. Name tags or labels
  2. Colored markers or pens
  3. Sticky notes
  4. Ball or soft object (optional, for certain activities)

Day 1: Ice-Breaker Activities

  1. Welcome and Introduction (5 minutes):

    • Greet the students warmly and briefly introduce yourself.
    • Explain the purpose of the ice-breaker activities: to help everyone get to know each other better and build a friendly and supportive classroom community.
  2. Human Bingo (15 minutes):

    • Hand out blank bingo cards to each student. Instruct them to fill in each square with a characteristic or fact about themselves (e.g., plays a musical instrument, has a pet, speaks two languages, etc.).
    • Encourage students to mingle and find classmates who match the descriptions in each square. When they find someone who fits a description, that person signs or initials the square.
    • The first student to get a line (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal) filled with signatures calls out “Bingo!” and shares some interesting things they’ve learned about their classmates.
  3. Find Your Match (15 minutes):

    • Before the class, prepare a set of cards or sticky notes with pairs of related words or images (e.g., peanut butter & jelly, sun & moon, etc.).
    • Hand out one card or sticky note to each student without showing them the content.
    • Instruct the students to find their match by looking for the person who has the card with the related word or image to theirs.
    • Once students find their match, they should sit together and introduce themselves to each other, discussing why they are a match.
  4. Ball Toss Questionnaire (optional, 15 minutes):

    • Have students stand in a circle. Pass a soft object (e.g., a ball) around the circle while playing music.
    • When the music stops, the student holding the ball should answer a question written on the board or provided on a sheet of paper.
    • The questions can be light-hearted and fun, such as “What’s your favorite food?” or “What’s one thing you’re looking forward to this school year?”

5. “Two Truths and a Lie” (20 minutes):

      • Have students sit in a circle. Each student takes a turn to share three statements about themselves: two truths and one lie.
      • The rest of the class tries to guess which statement is the lie by asking questions or discussing the options.
      • After the guessing round, reveal the lie and give the student a chance to share more details about the truths.

Day 2: Sharing and Reflection (optional)

  1. Sharing Circle (20 minutes):

    • Invite students to sit in a circle again. Provide open-ended questions to facilitate sharing, such as “What was the most interesting fact you learned about a classmate?” or “How did the ice-breaker activities make you feel about the upcoming school year?”
    • Encourage students to actively listen to their peers and show support and respect during the sharing session.
  2. Classroom Expectations and Goals (20 minutes):

    • Transition from the ice-breaker activities to discussing classroom expectations and goals for the school year.
    • Collaboratively create a list of guidelines and aspirations that will contribute to a positive and productive learning environment.


The assessment for these ice-breaker activities will be informal and focused on observing students’ participation, engagement, and interactions during the activities. Additionally, the teacher can gauge the success of the ice-breakers by monitoring the classroom atmosphere and the level of comfort and camaraderie among students in the following days.

Wishing all of you a happy and fruitful year ahead at school! 🙂

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