Returning to school and getting into a classroom routine can be challenging for teachers and students. The first days of school are usually filled with some nervous anxiety as students get to know one another and teachers get to know their students. Relieve some of that back to school anxiety with science icebreakers! Science icebreakers are activities that allow students to quickly get to know one another and enable them to feel more comfortable.
Here are five back to school science icebreaker activities that you can use in your classroom:
Ask students to tap into their artistic side by using playdoh to sculpt something meaningful to them. Give students time to think about what they want to sculpt, remind them that it’s OK if they aren’t artistic – do your best, and then allow them to create. Make sure to leave time for all students to tell one another what they created and why it is meaningful.
This science ice breaker is excellent for students of all ages. My grade 6 students LOVE when I break out the playdoh for an activity. In my classroom, I have small containers that come in a multipack. They last for several years as long as they are always placed back in the container and the lid is closed tightly.
With remote learning and social distancing behind us (fingers crossed), our students have become proficient in using technology. Put their talents to use by allowing them to create a video autobiography is one way students can learn more about you, and the class can learn more about the student.
Increasing social-emotional health is one area teachers will need to improve upon in the new school year. Using platforms like FlipGrid allows students to tell about themselves quickly and easily be shown in the classroom.
Students can work together in small groups to meet and beat a challenge. Sometimes activities like this can be better for classes where students do not know one another. In addition, it can lessen anxiety on the students as they only have to work with a few students instead of being front and center of the entire classroom.
The Center for Developing Excellence has a compilation of many activities that can be found by clicking here.
So you hate group icebreakers yourself? Here are two ideas that will allow you to know your students without the stress of group activities.
Sadly, our students come from all backgrounds of life. Even students who appear happy on the outside can face tough personal challenges. This free worksheet gives students a chance to tell you three things about themselves. Some students may tell you superficial stuff about themselves, while others may give you surprising information that will allow you to be a better teacher and role model for them.
Back to School Activity: Elements of Me
I love this activity because it authentically combines a science topic, the periodic table of elements, and a getting-to-know-you activity.
Students will use the template to divulge personal information about themselves while creating their own “element.”
This also provides students with background information to help them learn about the periodic table to understand that each part represents something specific.