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