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He Said/She Said
"This is an idea to help students learn how rumors begin and spread and how the information changes from one person to the next. Ask for three student volunteers. Ask the three volunteers to please go outside in the hall. Ask for one more volunteer from the class. Ask the volunteer to come up front. Read a detailed description of a person to the student. For example: Susan is 12 years old. She is wearing blue jeans and an orange shirt. She has sneakers on her feet. Her hair is brown and her eyes are blue.
She is wearing a NY Yankees baseball cap, turned around backwards. In her hands are a lunch bag and 2 books. Ask the students who are seated to observe and note what they are about to witness. Invite one of the students in from the hall. Ask the student who just heard the description to repeat it to the student from the hall. Repeat this process with the next 2 students. Conclude by asking students to share their observations and ask them how they will handle the situation the next time they hear a rumor. Rumors are not true and the more they are spread around, the less truth they hold."
Record Of Me
"This helps students get acquainted and to start to feel at ease in the class/group setting. Make copies of a blank record; A circle within a circle divided into 6 segments. Start by talking to students about what a composer thinks of when he/she writes a song. The person wants to share his /her feelings or ideas with other people. Tell the students that they'll be doing a brief activity to share some things about themselves. Hand out a blank record sheet to each student. Ask students to choose six (6) categories from the following list and create a Record of Me. One of the categories must be what I hope to accomplish or get from this group/class.
Give students about 5 minutes to work, then ask them to pair off with someone they don't know. Ask them to begin to share the information they've chosen for their record with their partner. Ask students to take turns introducing their partner to the class/group, explaining what they've learned about their partners."
Who Loves You Baby?
"An icebreaker that seems to work well for high-schoolers entails
trying to guess their classmates' favorite things. Circulate writing paper
and pens and ask students to write their names and record their favorite
(you as a teacher can come up with subject appropriate topics) things. Some
ideas that I've used are: bands, TV shows, movies, books, subjects, foods,
sports and athletes. Collect the papers, and read the answers, but have
the class guess who responded. It's a good way to settle beginning of the
year tension and get to know your classes."
"For my junior high school class in which the students are in this
course for the first time and don't know each other yet, I usually play
"Remembering Names" game using a ball. I do this because they tend to be
quiet or shy to ask others student's names that they don't recall. After
they introduce themselves in front of others, I tell them to recall the
names for 1 minute & that'll keep them busy asking each others' names. Then
I throw the ball first to anyone I call and she/he must throw it again to
the another student by calling out his/her name. Remember, don't throw it
to the person next to the name you're calling out and/or to the same person
all the time. The one who miscall his/her friend's name must come forward
and ask the 'miscalled friend' about any of their favorite things. That'll
work for 5-10 minutes and finally they'll get new acquaintances."
"Ask for 2 student volunteers to come up and stand in front of the class. Explain to them that they are going to be part of an experiment about different perceptions. Ask the class to begin to describe the two classmates who are standing before them. Let the descriptions go on for a few minutes. Examples of descriptions might be: hobbies, music they like, etc. Ask the 2 students how accurate the descriptions of them were. Let the students point out things that were right on and things that were not true, at all. Point out to students how we all assume certain things to be true about people based on how they look. Additionally, our perceptions are based on our experiences and beliefs. Perceptions change from person to person and there is never an absolute truth in our perceptions. We need to be open to experiencing people for who they are and not how they look."