Goal: This icebreaker activity helps you and your students bond as a group by demonstrating how you all share many things in common, regardless of individual backgrounds, ages, and cultures. Note: this exercise can be done as a whole class or in small groups.It can be more challenging and fun as a larger group.
Time: 30 minutes
1. Have the class help you make a list of 30 things about themselves that they consider unique or unusual. For example, one student might have 10 siblings, been to Africa, and know how to yodel. To create the list, everyone in the class must first agree that no one else can say it also applies to them. For example, if two students know how to yodel, yodeling would not be on your list. Be prepared for claims that this is an impossible task—stress that if they think hard enough, they can do it! If your class is very small or very large, you may have to adjust the number of unique items. The goal is to make sure the list is large enough that students feel challenged by the task.
2. Once the first list is complete, tell the class that now they must identify 20 items that everyone in the class has in common. For example, they may all own cell phones, want a college degree, or like fried chicken—again, it could be anything. Be prepared for claims that this is an impossible task—but if they work hard enough, they can do it.
3. Once both lists are complete, remind students that despite our many differences, we all are human and have many things in common and that if we dig deeply enough, we can find those things. It is a great time to quickly find out a lot about your students.