Top five ice breaker activities for secondary teachers


Top five ice breaker activities for secondary teachers

A new academic year often means welcoming a fresh batch of pupils into the classroom for secondary teachers, and you’ll undoubtedly want to get to know them quickly.

That’s why we’ve developed a list of our top five ice breaker activities, ideal for those early lessons back after the summer break. Not only do they allow your secondary students to get to know each other, but these tasks can help you to remember their names too. Such is the nature of these ice breaker activities, you should also be able to promote freedom of expression and creative thinking in the process.

If you’re a secondary teacher and you need quick and easy ice breakers for the first few weeks of a new term, here’s some inspiration…

1. Two truths and a lie

The clue really is in the name with this one, and the best part is that it requires absolutely zero preparation for a secondary teacher. Simply go around the class and ask each pupil to say three things about themselves – two which are true, and one which is not. Give each pupil a chance to think of what to say, and then get the rest of the class to vote on which of the statements they think is untrue. Don’t be scared to join in too, as it allows pupils to find out a little about you as well.

2. Classroom bingo

Designed to encourage pupils to interact with one another, classroom bingo is a fun activity that requires limited preparation. Create grids on sheets of paper to hand out to pupils, and fill each square with a wide array of statements – from things like ‘I’m not on social media’ to ‘I speak another language’ or ‘I playing a certain sport’. There’s even handy tools online which can generate the cards for you to print out. Encourage every pupil to chat to others and to find someone else in the class who each of their statements applies to. You may wish to give out prizes to the first person to complete a row on their grid and to the first to complete the whole thing. When complete, have a discussion with the class to find out what the most popular statements were.

3. A game of firsts

It might well be the first time that some of your class have met each other, so it’s the perfect time for secondary teachers to find out about their career hopes and aspirations. This game of firsts encourages pupils to share their idols, and for you to find out more about the topics and people that inspire them. Go around your class and ask your pupils to identify an individual who was the first to do something. Initially, this helps you to find out more about them, as their choices are often linked to subjects they like or things that motivate them. Some examples include Britain’s first astronaut, Helen Sharman, or cricketer James Anderson being the first fast bowler to take 600 test wickets.

Now split your class into pairs and ask them to complete the following questions:

·       Name something that has never been done by anyone?

·       Name something that has never been done by a child?

·       Name something they have never done, but that they could do today?

Not only does this get your class thinking creatively, but you can also quiz them on the importance of being the first to do particular things.

4. Guess who

Much like the popular game, this ice breaker requires pupils to write down one fact about themselves, before handing them to the teacher to read out. Make sure you avoid reading out any which might be rude (secondary pupils always try their luck) and ask the class to guess who wrote it. Allow time for a discussion before giving your class three guesses per statement. If after three attempts the answer is still unknown, ask the student who wrote it to identify themselves to the class.

5. Meme-time

With so many memes doing the rounds on social media and other web platforms, why not use some to your advantage? Simply print out a number of different memes and place them around the classroom, before asking your pupils to find the one which best represents their feelings towards your subject. This allows secondary teachers to learn about the mind-set of their pupils and to identify areas of opportunity, while also introducing some fun into the classroom.

How Tradewind Recruitment can support Secondary Teachers looking for their next role in education

If you’re a Secondary Teacher looking for support in writing your CV and preparing for your interview then we can help! Alternatively, we have lots of resources to help with everything related to you and your career, from top ideas for lesson plans to keeping organised in the classroom.


We have hundreds of secondary teaching positions available if you’re looking for your perfect role as a Teacher – get in touch today.