Friday, January 25, 2013

Book Chook Favourites - Ice Breakers

Book Chook Favourites - Ice Breakers
by Susan Stephenson,

An "ice breaker" is what we call an activity or game that can serve to help group members feel more at ease with each other. Ice breakers can work well with any new group, whether kids or adults. Here are two of my favourites.

Two Truths and a Lie

This is a fun activity to do with a small group of kids, adults or even a family group. The main idea is to present three facts about yourself. Two facts must be true. One must be a lie. Simple, right? The fun part comes in fooling people as to which is the lie. It's also an interesting way to get to know others. Participants choose things about themselves they feel comfortable in disclosing.

Let's try an example. It's Billy's turn. He stands up in front of the group and says:

"I like to go fishing."
"Last year I went to my cousin's wedding."
"I have six toes on one of my feet."

The rest of the group tries to guess which one of those three statements is a lie. People can guess by writing down the answer, aloud, or indeed any creative way you like.

This is also a great short activity to use with kids if they're learning a new tool like how to use a video camera or recording software. For example, they can video themselves presenting their two truths and a lie, then classmates can respond via video as well. Or ask them to deliver their truths/lie via websites like Vocaroo or Blabberize. Another fun idea would be to have them present their truths/lie in comic or poster format.

Here's an audio example I made using Blabberize. See if you can detect the lie! (If it doesn't embed properly, check it out via this link.) If you're interested in learning more about Blabberize, check out my posts, Blabberize and Creative Prompt - Start with a Wacky Online Tool.


Where Two Truths and a Lie is more a language activity, Backwards encourages personal contact and co-operation. Divide the class or group into pairs. Each pair sits back to back on the floor, feet out in front and arms linked. The goal is for each pair to work together to stand up at the same time as each other. For a challenge, try groups of four, six, eight, or the whole class. Book Chook Feather of Approval to any whole class that can manage this!

Backwards is lots of fun. It's hard to stay standoffish with other group members when you've linked arms and used them to stand up! I usually try to roughly match sizes in pairs. Backwards breaks the ice and raises energy levels in a group.

Image credits: Book Chook at ToonDoo 


  1. Oh I can see these activities working so well, with great excitement in both afterschool and retreats for Early Ed'ers.

  2. @Pam I hope you like them as much as I do. I've used them with kids and adults and found both groups get really involved.

  3. I LOVE the backwards game - I hadn't thought of trying it with my kiddies at school!!

    Adoring Lilly

  4. These sound like so much fun. All classrooms should use these types of exercises as a change of pace randomly once per week. Just to keep it interesting! :)

  5. @Renee C.One of my many core beliefs is LOTS of change of pace, lots of activities to get all aged learners moving and inter-relating. The dynamic is so much more conducive to learning and enjoyment!


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