Active Classroom Icebreakers

Get Your Students on Their Feet, Moving and Energized

Rear view of teenage students raising hands in classroom

Chris Ryan / Getty Images

An unresponsive classroom can be due by many things, but one common cause is bored students. When your students stop responding to you, get them up and moving with one of these active icebreaker activities and restore some blood flow.

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2-Minute Mixer

You may have heard of eight-minute dating, where 100 people meet for an evening full of eight-minute dates. They talk to one person for eight minutes and then move on to the next. This icebreaker is a two-minute version of the idea. Get your students up on their feet talking to each other and they'll be energized to participate better in class.

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People Bingo Resource Collection

People Bingo is one of the most popular ice breakers because it's so easy to customize for your particular group and situation. This collection includes how to play the game, how to make your own game cards and customize them, and several lists of ideas to get your creativity flowing.

Hand out "bingo" cards with personality traits on them like "Doesn't like grreen beans" or other facts like "Has visited Washington, D.C." Each person then tries to meet someone to match a square and make a bingo row horizontally, vertically, or diagonally and be the first to yell, "Bingo!"

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Beach Ball Buzz

Have a little beach fun without leaving your classroom. Beach Ball Buzz can be as fun as you choose, depending upon the questions you write on the ball. Make them related to your topic or completely frivolous and fun. Use this icebreaker for test prep, too.

Write questions on the beach ball, then toss it around the room. When someone catches it, they must answer the question under the section under their left thumb.

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Brainstorm Race

A brainstorm race is a great way to review topics you've already covered, and have some energizing fun in the process. Teams race to brainstorm and list as many items as they can in a certain amount of time—without speaking. (This works for test prep, too.) The team who lists the most things wins.

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Feel-Good Stretches

Stretching is one of the all-time best kinetic icebreakers or energizers you can do to get the juices flowing. It doesn’t take much, you don’t have to change clothes, and it just plain feels good. When the blahs set in, get your students up on their feet and lead them in a short round of stretches.

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Photo Scavenger Hunt

A picture is worth a thousand words, and this game is easily executed with the wealth of photographs everyone carries in their pockets or purses on their smartphones. The photo scavenger hunt is on!

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Drum Jam

A simple drum jam can be a fun and easy kinetic icebreaker or energizer to wake up your class. All you need is your hands on your desks. Start with a few rhythm exercises and let the jamming begin.

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Where in the World? (Active Version)

The more technology brings us together, the smaller the world becomes. Where in the world are your students from? Or, where in the world is your favorite place?

Have students describe a place they are from or have visited while also making physical gestures to describe the activities that relate to the place.

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Scarf Juggling

Scarf juggling will get your class up, moving, and laughing. The cross-body movement also stimulates both sides of the brain, so when the exercise is over, your students will be ready to learn.

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Rhythm Recap

When it's time to recap what you've just taught, recap with rhythm. Remember the old game where you sat in a circle, slapped your knees, clapped your hands and snapped your fingers? Slap, slap, clap, clap, snap right, snap left.

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Your Citation
Peterson, Deb. "Active Classroom Icebreakers." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Peterson, Deb. (2023, April 5). Active Classroom Icebreakers. Retrieved from Peterson, Deb. "Active Classroom Icebreakers." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 9, 2023).