Category Archives: Icebreaker

Animal Sounds from Different Cultures (ENERGIZER)


PHOTO - Animal Toys

Time

10 minutes

Description

This fun energizer gets people up, moving, and making funny sounds as they mimic what animals sound like where they are from.  Different cultures often have different sounds for the same animal, and the differences can be surprising and quite funny sometimes.  This energizer works best with an international group.

 

Scripture

  • Acts 2:1-12 (Pentecost – …how is it that each of us hears them in our own language?)
  • Revelation 7:9 (…great multitude…from every nation, tribe, people and language…)

 

Materials

  • Printout of the slips of paper on the next page

Preparation

  • Print the next page, and cut it into slips. (Cut out just enough slips for the number of participants you have, and try to use the same number of slips for each animal if possible. It’s not necessary to use all the slips or all the animals.)
  • Fold the slips, and mix them in a bowl.

 

Procedure

Use the following procedure:

  • Have everyone draw one of the slips of paper from the bowl.
  • Instruct them not to share the type of animal written on their slip.
  • When you say, “GO!” they should circulate around the room making the sound of that animal from their culture.
  • Without using any other sounds, words or gestures (and without showing their slip of paper to anyone), they should try to form groups made up of participants who all have the same animals.
  • When everyone has formed up in groups, have them share their animal to see if they are in the right group.
  • If they are in the wrong group, let them move to the right group.
  • Give the groups time to talk about the different sounds and why they think animals seem to make different noises in different cultures.
  • If it fits with your goals for your program, debrief with the following questions and points:
    • Would any group like to share how different the sounds were for your animal?
    • We often see and experience the same thing in different ways when we are from different cultures. Why do you think this is true?
    • What can we learn from this experience?
    • Why do you think God created us with such diversity? (You may want to reference the Scriptures at the top of this page.)
    • How should we think or act differently when we encounter cultural differences in the future?

 

Source: Michael Kientz (www.teachingthem.com)

 

 

DOG DOG DOG DOG DOG
CAT CAT CAT CAT CAT
PIG PIG PIG PIG PIG
ROOSTER ROOSTER ROOSTER ROOSTER ROOSTER
HORSE HORSE HORSE HORSE HORSE
CHICKEN CHICKEN CHICKEN CHICKEN CHICKEN
MONKEY MONKEY MONKEY MONKEY MONKEY
FROG FROG FROG FROG FROG
SHEEP SHEEP SHEEP SHEEP SHEEP
ELEPHANT ELEPHANT ELEPHANT ELEPHANT ELEPHANT
DUCK DUCK DUCK DUCK DUCK
COW COW COW COW COW

 

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Filed under culture, diversity, Energizer, Icebreaker, Uncategorized

Fruit Salad (ENERGIZER)


PHOTO - Fruit Salad

Time

10 minutes

Description

This fun energizer gets people up and moving in a mad dash to grab an available chair.  It works well to increase the energy in the room, and it could also be used to randomly sort participants into new groups.  Use the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control instead of normal fruits to reinforce a message on the Fruits of the Spirit.

 

Scripture

  • Galatians 5:22-23

 

Materials

  • Chairs – one per participant at the beginning
  • Flipchart and markers (Optional)

Preparation

  • None

 

Procedure

Use the following procedure:

  • Have all the participants sit in a circle of chairs. If necessary, they should bring their chairs with them from the tables back to an open area.
  • Ask the first FOUR participants for their favorite kind of fruit. They cannot repeat a fruit.  If someone says their favorite fruit has been mentioned, prompt them to give their second favorite kind of fruit.  (You may want to flipchart the fruits so that participants don’t forget them.)
  • For example, participant #1 may say apple, #2 says orange, #3 says kiwi, and #4 says mango. (Alternative: If you have a large group, you can also use the Fruit of the Spirit – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control.)
  • Once all the fruits have been named, go around the rest of the participants, assigning them a fruit in the same order, e.g., apple, orange, kiwi, mango.
  • Make sure all participants are assigned one of the four fruits.
  • Then tell participants that you are going to announce a fruit, and all the people who were assigned that fruit have to stand up and switch chairs.
  • Tell them that while they are up, you will take one of these chairs out of the circle.
  • The person that is left standing must then announce a new fruit.
  • At any time, a person in the middle can say “Fruit Salad,” and it will force everyone to switch chairs.
  • Answer any questions participants might have.
  • Then, begin a round. Play several rounds.
  • If you are using the activity to randomly sort participants, have them number off the number of groups you want after the final round. Then have all “ones” get together, all “twos” get together, and so on.

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Filed under Energizer, Fruit of the Spirit, Icebreaker, Uncategorized

Ideas for Using Icebreakers, Energizers and Games Effectively in Learning


PHOTO - Icebreaker

The following tips might be helpful to you as you use icebreakers, energizers and games in your facilitation.

Connect to Your Content

Whenever possible, connect your icebreakers and games to the content.  Don’t just use them to increase energy; this is not the best use of your time.   You should be able to debrief the activity and make connections to one of your learning objectives.  (P.S. You can apply this principle to devotions, worship and even breaks sometimes.)

Provide Clear Instructions

Give instructions a little at a time and more than one time.  If you give all the instructions at the beginning, participants are likely to get confused or forget them.  Make sure you repeat the instructions, because there are always some who are not paying attention or don’t understand the first time.

Practice Before You Facilitate

Icebreakers and games rarely go as you planned them in your mind, and practice can help you see the flaws.  As you practice, think about how the activity will sound and feel to the participants.  Putting yourself in their place will help you see where you need to make adjustments.

Design Your Debrief

Design really good debrief questions to make sure they get the main ideas.  Icebreakers and games are fun, and participants often forget they are learning while doing them.  This is great, except that if you don’t do the work to connect what just happened back to the content, they may leave without learning what they needed to learn.

Set Clear Boundaries for Competition

When people compete in games, they get pretty upset if you change the rules in the middle or at the end.  They will be very creative in coming up with new ways to reach the goal, so you have to decide whether or not you want to allow creative solutions that may feel like “cheating” to other groups or individuals.  Make sure your rules are clear and comprehensive, and then stick with them.

Schedule for Downtimes

Icebreakers, energizers and games can be a very effective way of increasing engagement levels, especially when everyone is feeling tired or distracted.  The best times to schedule them are: at the beginning of the day, after breaks and after lunch.  It’s also a good idea to have a few extra energizers ready in case you can tell you are loosing your participants’ attention.  Try to keep icebreakers and energizers under five minutes so that they don’t eat up your facilitation time.

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Filed under Energizer, Facilitation, Games that Teach, Icebreaker, Teaching, Uncategorized

Team Member Highs and Lows (ACTIVITY)


Thumbs Up and DownTime

30-90 minutes (depending on team size and sharing times)
Description

This activity is a great way for teams to connect when they haven’t met for some time.  Each member shares their “high” (best experience) and “low” (worst experience) since the last time the team was together.  After each person shares, you might want to have another team member pray for that individual.

 

NOTE:  This activity can get very emotional.  Have a box of tissues available.  Also, if you don’t set clear guidelines at the beginning regarding how long people should share, it will be difficult to do it later if you notice you are going over time.

 

Audience

Children, youth, adults

 

Materials

  • None

 

Preparation

  • None

 

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Since we haven’t been together for some time, I would like for us to spend some time sharing about our personal highlights and struggles.”
  • “We are going to go around the room, and each person with share their ‘high’ (best experience) and ‘low’ (worst experience) since the last time the team was together.”
  • “While they are sharing, I ask that everyone just listen carefully.”
    “Once they are done, I would like to ask for someone from the group to pray for that person.”
  • “We have _______ minutes for this activity, so I would like to ask each person to try to keep your sharing to ________ minutes or less.”
  • “I’ll go first so that you can hear what I mean by highs and lows.”  (Be the first person to share.  It’s important that you model the type of sharing you want from the group.  If you share something superficial, most of the others will probably do the same.  But if you disclose something meaningful, many others will feel comfortable doing the same.)

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Filed under Icebreaker, prayer, Relationships, teambuilding

Clockwise-Counterclockwise (DEMO)


Time

5 minutes
Description

This demonstration helps participants see that a different perspective can change the way that they see things.

 

Materials

  • None

 

Preparation

  • None

 

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Everyone stand up.”
  • “Take your right hand, and point your index finger at the ceiling.”  (Hold up your right hand and point at the ceiling to demonstrate.)
  • “Now, turn your finger in the same direction that the hands on a clock move.”  (Demonstrate what you’ve asked them to do.  Your finger should turn in a circular motion to the right, i.e. clockwise.)
  • “Good, now keep your finger turning, and slowly lower your hand until your finger is below the level of your nose.” (Demonstrate the action.)
  • “What happened?”  (When their hands are below the level of their noses, their fingers should now appear to be moving in a counter-clockwise motion.)
  • “Now, raise your hand up above your head again while you continue to move your finger in the same direction.” (Demonstrate.)
  • “What happened?” (Their fingers should now appear to be turning clockwise again.)
  • “Can anyone explain what is happening?”  (Allow them to try to explain what happened if they can.  If not, point out that their finger is always turning in the same direction.  However, their perspective has changed.  When they are below their fingers and looking up, their fingers look one way, and when they are looking down on their fingers, they look another way.)
  • “So what can we learn from this activity?”  (Responses should include that what people can see the same thing from two different perspectives and have very different experiences of the same event.  They might also note that it’s a good idea to look at things from multiple perspectives before making decisions or judgments.)

 

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Filed under Belief, Demonstration, Energizer, Icebreaker, Perspective

Samlo! Tuk Tuk! Songthaew! (ICEBREAKER)


Time

10 minutes
Description

This fun icebreaker is based on three types of public transportation in Thailand:

  • Samlo (“three wheels”) is a rickshaw. Pronounced: “sawm-low” (long “o”)
  • Tuk Tuk (the sound the vehicle makes) is a three-wheeled motorcycle taxi.  Pronounced: “took took”
  • Songthaew (“two rows”) is a pickup truck with two rows of covered benches in the back.  Pronounced: “song-tow” (“tow” as in the first part of “towel”)

This icebreaker energizes and adds some silliness to a workshop.  Because the words are unfamiliar and a little challenging to remember, it requires focus and concentration.

Materials

·      Print out the pictures of the vehicles in the file called, “Samlo, Tuk Tuk, Songthaew – Photos.pptx”  You can download it on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at http://www.teachingthem.com.

Preparation

·      None

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Let’s do an icebreaker!”
  • “I need everyone to come stand in a circle.”
  • “Now, place your hands together like this (demonstrate) as if you were about to say a prayer.”
  • “This is your ‘Zinger!’”
  • “You use it to point to someone and say a word.”
  • “There are three words that you must say in the right order, and they describe three types of public transportation in Thailand.”
  • “The three types of transportation are ‘Samlo,’ which is a rickshaw; ‘Tuk Tuk,’ which is a three-wheeled motorcycle taxi; and ‘Songthaew,’ which is a pickup truck with two rows of covered benches in the back.”
  • “So, the three transportations again are: ‘Samlo,’ ‘Tuk Tuk,’ and ‘Songthaew.’”
  • “Everyone say them with me….‘Samlo!’….‘Tuk Tuk!’….‘Songthaew!’” (You may want to practice this several times so that they are familiar with the words.)
  • “Excellent!”
  • “Here’s how this icebreaker is done…I’ll start and point to someone with my Zinger.”
  • “I’ll say, ‘Samlo!’”
  • “Then that person has to quickly point to someone and say, ‘Tuk Tuk!’”
  • “Then that third person has to quickly point to someone and say, ‘Songthaew!’”
  • “The fourth person now starts over, quickly points to someone and says, ‘Samlo!’”
  • “It’s okay to point right back at the person who pointed to you if you want to try to catch them by surprise.”
  • “This keeps going until one of two things happens:
    • Someone gets confused and says the wrong word (or a correct word in the wrong order).
    • Someone takes too long to respond.”
    • “If either of these two things happens, that person is out, and whoever used their Zinger on them starts off the new round.”
    • “What questions do you have?”  (Answer questions.  Then, begin a round, or have someone else begin it.  Play continues until you are down to two or three people.  Announce them as the winners!)

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Filed under Energizer, Game, Icebreaker

I’ve Done Something (ICEBREAKER)


 

Time

10-15 minutes (depending upon group size)


Description

This icebreaker can be used as a meeting opener.  It works particularly well for groups that already know each other fairly well and will help them to understand something new about each person.

 

Materials

None

 

Preparation

None

Procedure

·       Explain to group that everyone is going to participate in an icebreaker.

·       Introduce yourself first using the criteria described below so that they can see how it’s done.

·       Have each person introduce himself/herself (basic info – name, time with company, time in leadership, functional area….) and then state something they have done that they think no one else in the class has done.

·       If someone else has also done it, the same participant must state something else until he/she finds something that no one else has done.

·       Proceed to the next person until everyone has had a chance to introduce himself/herself.

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Filed under Icebreaker, Pride, Relationships, Training