This is a post for teachers. In this post, I compiled a list of my favourite icebreakers* to use on the first day of a new class. These activities are great to encourage students to talk in a fun and engaging way, especially on the first day when students might feel a bit shy. I think icebreakers should be a two-way thing: although it is important for students to get to know each other, it is equally important for them to know a thing or two about their teacher. Have fun!
1. If this is the answer, what is the question?
This is a great icebreaker for all levels. This can be used at the very beginning of a course in order for your students to know you and practice question forms at the same time.
Draw a circle on the board and inside the circle write information about you: it could be numbers (your age, number of brothers and sisters, children ,etc...), dates and years (when you graduated, when you got married, any significant dates in your life), name of countries, books, films, singers, bands, etc... It could be anything as long as the information is about you and is written as single pieces of information (not full sentences).
Pair students up and give them 5 minutes to come up with the questions for each piece of information. At this point don't help with grammar and vocabulary.
When the 5 minutes are up, ask each pair to compare with another pair and see if they come up with the same kind of questions.
Feedback: write the correct questions on the board even if they have mistakes. When done, ask students to have a look at the questions which have mistakes and to try and correct them. If needed, you can review question forms at this point.