Unity in Diversity
Stephanie Lawson / Irini Douladellis

Farihah and Annais

ESL Activities: Icebreakers

The following activities can be used as a way of ‘breaking the ice’ between students who don’t know each other, or don’t usually work together. They are a fun and non-threatening way of fostering tolerance and understanding between cultures.

1. The sun shines . . .

Students sit in a circle on chairs. One student stands in the middle. He/she says the phrase ‘The sun shines for everyone who…’ and completes the phrase with something that is common to some/all of the students, for example, ‘The sun shines for everyone who has brown hair.’ Students to whom the phrase applies (e.g. all students with brown hair) must stand up and change places. The person in the middle must try and take a seat in one of the empty chairs. Whoever is left without a chair is now the person in the middle, and must think of a new sentence. To make this more difficult for students, you can use the rule that students are not allowed to change seats with those immediately on their left or right.

2. Fruit Salad

This is a game of elimination. Students sit in a circle on chairs. Each student is given one of four fruit names (apples, oranges, pears, bananas). The teacher calls out one of the fruits, and those students must change places in the circle. The last student to sit down is out, and his/her chair is taken away. The teacher may also call ‘fruit salad’, which means all students must stand up and change places with another student opposite them. The last one to sit down is eliminated. The game ends when there is only one student left.

Copyright Acknowledgement

Activities developed by teachers at Beverly Hills Intensive English Centre, NSW


Beverly Hills Intensive English Centre

©2005 Drift1