Icebreakers for Student Organizations
This or That:Instruct participants to line up evenly in 2 straight lines facing the facilitator; as opposite words are called out, have participants choose between one side of the line or the other based on preference. Opposite are:
Facilitator offers a series of questions such as:
What kind of organization do you represent here?
Why are you here at LeadingOrgs?
What animal represents you?
What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
After a question is called out, the facilitator then calls out a number between 3 and 7. Depending on the number that is called out, participants run around and gather with a like-minded group that shares the same answer and is consistent with the number called out. Repeat of several round of questions and numbers.
Have all participants sit in a circle. The first person asking a simple question (i.e. what is your favorite color?) and each person must answer the question quickly (in a flash!) with a one-word/one-phrase answer. Move quickly around the circle. The next person gets to ask a question. Continue moving around the room this way.
What's in a Name
Ask each person in the group to share the story behind their name (e.g. why that name was chosen, what it means, who they were named after, other people they know who have the same name, any nicknames they have, etc.). The group could also talk about a name they wish they had or another name they like, find unusual or funny. This activity is pretty free flowing. Remind the group to respect the name that that person wants to be called. Allow 1-2 minutes per person.
Ex: My name is Amy. I was named after my father’s mother. My parents were going to go with the French spelling Aimee, but decided Amy would ultimately be easier for me and others to spell. Amy means "beloved" and has a Latin base in the word for love. There were six Amys in my neighborhood when I was growing up. It was the second most popular name when I was born. Etc, etc,.
Commonality Test: First, split people up into pairs and have them find one thing that they have in common with each other (nothing obvious please). When they have one thing, they stick together and get with another pair. Then those four people have to find something that they have in common. Those four find another four and then those eight have to find something they have in common. This continues until everyone in the whole group has something in common with everyone (stay away from “we went to high school” or “we all can drive a car”)
- Arm Link
- The person who starts this game will begin by telling the group about him or herself. This person talks until someone else finds something they have in common with them. That person will then stand up, link arms with the first person (and yell "LINK") and talk about himself or herself until someone has something in common with them, until everyone in the group is linked.
Name Juggling: 10 min
Stand in a circle. Go around the circle and have everyone share names, one at a time. Let participants know that its OK to ask someone else’s name if you don’t remember. Start with one object, like a koosh ball. Explain: "I'm going to start by tossing this ball to someone else in the circle. If you receive it, toss it to someone else in the circle not immediately on either side of you. That person will toss it to another person who has not yet received it and again not immediately on either side of him or her. Throwing continues until the last person tosses the ball back to me. Remember who you tossed to because we will try to recreate the pattern in the next phase. Any questions?" This is a good point to encourage people to wait until the person you call looks you in the eye to throw the ball. When the person catches the ball, he or she thanks the person by name who threw the ball and then states a name and throws to a new person. Set a pattern so that each person in the circle throws and receives the ball one time.