NTU Ice breakers guide

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This guide contains 24 ice breakers for use during programme inductions. It contains instructions, some health and safety advice and tips for using ice breakers.

Transcript of NTU Ice breakers guide

  • 1. Nottingham Trent UniversityIcebreakers Guide NTU Icebreakers Guide 1
  • 2. NTU Icebreakers GuideDear ColleaguePlease find attached a guide to 24 different icebreakers to facilitate with yourstudents. They are divided into two sections and intended to give you another toolfor your teaching toolkit/ arrow for your quiver (please insert your own metaphor).The sections are Getting to Know You These are usually short exercises intended to help students say one anothers names out loud and find out a little about one another. These are useful near the very start of an induction programme when students are perhaps a little reluctant to speak to one another. Team Challenges These exercises are slightly different and are intended to encourage students to work with one another on a task. The tasks are usually physical in nature giving an easy point to focus on.Some issues about using icebreakersAn ice-breaker is a short activity designed to encourage participants to talk to oneanother and to share some limited information about themselves. Ice-breakers canbe as simple as asking students to turn to one another and introduce themselves tothe people sat next to them, or they can be complex lengthy activities wherestudents can find a lot out about each other. Ideally there ought to be a fun aspectto the activities in order to provide participants with some shared history that theycan discuss later and, where possible, a relevance to the taught course/ universityexperience.Why are they useful?For some students, finding themselves in a year group with up to 250 other studentsis not a problem; theyll have already started to make friends in their hall/ house, inthe Union of Students, or in bars, pubs and nightclubs around Nottingham. Formany though, its a frightening challenge.I felt isolated and the unhappiest I have ever felt. - Interview with a student whowithdrew from their degree course (Ozga & Sukhnandan pg 34 (2001))Ice-breakers are a gentle way of ensuring that ALL students start to talk to oneanother and find out the names of the people they will be studying with.Research in the School of Art & Design during the 2003 2004 academic yearidentified what students wanted from their induction to the University. The threemain factors were:1. Will I make any friends? NTU Icebreakers Guide 2
  • 3. 2. Who will I be working with?3. Who will I be living with?Ice-breakers are one of the tools teaching staff can use to help students to answerthe first two questions. It would be overstating the case to claim that ice-breakersare all that is required to enable students to develop friendships, but they are onetechnique teaching staff can use to engender an environment in which suchfriendships can blossom.When are ice-breakers useful?Icebreakers are potentially at their most useful with groups of students comingtogether for the first time. The most obvious use is during the Welcome Week, butthere are also benefits in facilitating ice-breakers at the start of subsequent yearsand at the start of group projects. A minority of students wont have learnt thenames of their peers by the end of the first year; perhaps because it is embarrassingto ask other students their names once the initial induction window has closed. Theoccasional use of ice-breakers throughout the year may help such students to feelless isolated from their peers.Tips for facilitating ice-breakers Im sorry, but it says here that weve got to do an ice-breaker now.Ice-breakers are relatively-active, energetic activities. Lecturers need to congruentlycommunicate this in the way they facilitate the activity. If you hate the idea of doingice-breakers, then its probably worth swapping this particular task with a colleague.Programme teams should try to ensure that they are using a range of differenticebreakers with their student groups. Even the best icebreaker starts to grate ifoverused. There are twenty four ice-breakers in this guide and an internet searchwill quickly turn up hundreds of activities for use.Try to link the ice-breakers into the course. This does not necessarily meancataloguing the learning outcomes for each activity, but if the relevance of the ice-breakers can be introduced to the group, and links made to future learning, studentsare likely to engage more fully.Rehearse the ice-breaker. Most of the ice-breakers are extremely easy to facilitate,being essentially structured discussions, however some are more complex and thesewill require some preparation. If you would like to discuss how each ice-breakerworks, please feel free to contact Ed Foster, ext 88203Health & SafetyThere is an element of risk with some of these activities (theres marginally moreactivity than asking students to sit at their desks), but its very minimal. Youll needto look at the instructions and think through any issues raised. Please dont hesitateto contact Ed Foster if you have any concerns. NTU Icebreakers Guide 3
  • 4. Complete List of Icebreakers1. Juggling Balls2. Line Outs3. Stripper4. Human Bingo5. Three of a kind6. Corners7. 2 truths, 1 lie8. Coat of arms8. Coat of arms9. Trauma, trivia, joy10. Most tenuous claim to fame11. Balloons12. Paper Aeroplanes13. Postcards14. Group Map15. The M&M Game15. The M&M Game17. Lego Tower18. Paper Tower19. Keyboard20. Toxic Waste21. Newspaper Fashion22. Trust Levitation23. Shepherd24. Egg Drop NTU Icebreakers Guide 4
  • 5. Getting toKnow You NTU Icebreakers Guide 5
  • 6. 1. Juggling BallsTime 5 10 mins Suggested max. participants 25 30Equipment required 3 juggling balls ( couple from ToysRus), name badgesActivity level Participants will be throwing & catching, and need to be able speakand hear one anothers namesExplanationThis ice-breaker generates a lot of energy and usually plenty of laughs.Get the participants into a circle, ask them to write out / put on name badges.Explain that they will be passing the juggling ball around the group by making eyecontact with another person calling their name and then throwing the ball to them.(You might want to emphasise underarm only.Pass the ball around the group from one person to the next and ask each person tosay their name aloud and one fact about themselves.When the ball comes back to you, pick someone out, make eye contact, call theirname, then throw them the juggling ball.Once they start to get the hang of it introduce the second juggling ball and then thethird. As facilitator watch to make sure that everyone gets a go.Variations & Your NotesTeam challenge variation. (You need a watch/ timer)Once they have tried it out and got used to the exercise, collect the ball and explainthat this time you are going to set them a challenge. Each person in the group willcatch the ball from one person, then throw it to another so that everyone in thecircle will have touched the ball once. (You throw to Pete, who throws to Jane, whothrows to Sunita, who throws to Lucy, until the ball comes back to you)Tell the group to remember the order and explain that they are going to do it againin the same order and you are going to time it. Time it once, then give them thechance to go faster. People tend to get very fired up at the chance to shave a fewseconds off their time.Stripper VariationDo the Stripper ice-breaker and then give the group the chance to do this exerciseusing their stripper names. NTU Icebreakers Guide 6
  • 7. 2. Line OutsTime 10 mins Suggested max. participants 25 30Equipment required noneActivity level People will need to be able to move around and sort themselvesinto a lineExplanationThe group will form themselves into a continuous line based upon criteria you set.Examples includeFirst name Andrew to ZoHeight Shortest to tallestShoe size Smallest to largestBirthday (probably best not to use age)Hand sizeZodiac SignsThe furthest theyve ever travelledVariations & Your NotesAsk the group to do the exercise without speakingAsk the group to do it stood on chairs be very careful about checking the chairs areokay and talking to the group about taking care.If you use the shortest to tallest line out, it is possible to go get the group to sit onone anothers knees. (Too complex to explain, email ed.foster@ntu.ac.uk fordetails.) NTU Icebreakers Guide 7
  • 8. 3 StripperTime 5 - 10 mins Suggested max. participants 20 (gets a bit boring with many more names (consider breaking the group into 2 smaller teams if any larger than this)Equipment required OHP/ flipchartActivity level Very limited, people need to arrange themselves into a circleExplanationExplain to the group that this exercise may prove useful should their academiccareer not work out the way they expected. This exercise will work out what theirstage name might be should they ever choose to take up the career of being astripper. (Im not sure if Careers have any relevant information)The formula is very simpleYour first name name of