Wondering how to break the ice with a new group of students? The back to school season brings fresh beginnings & a whole new set of personalities (and so much prep!). Read on for five icebreaker games for elementary students that require no prep for this back to school season!
#1: This or That / Sit or Stand – Fall
This game is your typical ‘This or That’ choice activity – but I’ve added movement! Students will declare their choice by sitting or standing, depending on the directions for the given option.
Everyone enjoys learning about their classmates, and it helps them get the wiggles out (win-win 😉). You can take it further by having students find another classmate standing or sitting and instructing them to discuss their answers.
The format of this Sit or Stand game is digital Google Slides; no endless prep during the first week of school is required!
#2: Guess the Picture – Back to School version
Guess the Picture is exactly as the name suggests – students will be shown a set of slides with a disguised picture and must guess the item.
This icebreaker game is very low-stakes and incorporates various skills, like speaking and inferring.
Students will see a set of 4 clues, one at a time, with progressively more of the image revealed.
You can present the slide, and students will guess using the sentence starter on the slide.
It’s up to you to decide how you’d like students to guess: in the chat (if virtual teaching), raising a hand, calling out, etc. I love using this game during small pockets during the first few weeks of school.
#3: Question of the Day
You can use these Question of the Day slides to encourage conversation among your new group of students.
Morning meetings during the first weeks of school can be a lot to prep for, so these pre-made morning meeting questions can save your sanity!
They’re excellent icebreakers because they provide the basis of the discussion & a conversation starter so the discussion can flow naturally. These discussion questions are fantastic for community building, too.
The best part is that they’re available & prepped for the entire year, separated by each month!
#4: Would You Rather?
Would You Rather is one of my favorite icebreaker games for elementary students (or any student, really)! You know how it goes; show students two options and have them decide which they’d rather do or choose.
These slides evoke lots of laughter and really help break the ice because they only have to do one thing: decide! No getting up and talking or moving is required (unless you want to).
It’s fun for the teacher, too, to get to know students and their preferences. The best part is that you can use it as an icebreaker, but they’re versatile, so there are many other ways you can use Would You Rather in the classroom, such as opinion writing prompts.
#5: This or That / Sit or Stand – Food
As mentioned above, you can use This or That to break the ice. I had to include this version because kids LOVE talking about their food preferences.
While not specific to the back to school season, this Food version of Sit or Stand really helps keep the conversation going!
It might make some students & educators immensely hungry after playing 😂!
Icebreaker Games for Elementary Students
Now you know that no-prep icebreaker activities are the way to go; don’t make more work for yourself!
Click each image if you’re interested in purchasing the individual icebreaker activities.