ice breaking activity that works in my classes!


“I am a teacher”

This specific activity is simple, suitable for YL (aged 7-8), who have already acquired the basic vocabulary of the English language. The purpose is to get the students to know each other, while at the same time introducing new vocabulary (professions) and practising grammar (the verb “to be”). It doesn’t require anything to be prepared in advance, just some pieces of colourful cardboard (size A4) are enough. I created this activity to help young students make their first lessons more enjoyable, using their senses (colours on papers), TPR (make them stand in a queue) without burdening them with a lot of writing or confusing them with lots of materials.


The teacher gives a piece of colourful cardboard (size A4) to each student. The students write their favourite jobs on them. If they do not know some of them, the teacher helps them with the spelling orally. Then he/she (the teacher) writes his profession on his/her piece of cardboard. Then he/she stands in front of the class, holding the paper saying “Hi, I’m Maria and I’m a teacher”. The first student, holding the cardboard with a profession written on it,  goes next to the teacher saying “Hi, I’m…..(name) and I’m…(profession)”. He/She also has to mention the teacher’s name and job like” This is Maria. She’s a teacher”. Then the third student comes to the queue saying his/her name, profession and mentions the previous student’s name and job as well as the teacher’s! This way, all the students in class not only introduce themselves but their classmates too.

The teacher makes sure that all the kids remember each other’s names and professions and moves on to the second part. In this part, the teacher shuffles the papers with the professions and gives them to the students. Then he/she stars by saying “I’m Maria and I’m a fireman ( the profession that another student has chosen)”. Then the kids take turns saying “ This is Maria but she isn’t a fireman. She’s a teacher”.


As there were some shy students in the class, I chose to let them stand up at the end of the activity. They did this willingly because they had seen their classmates getting confused, making mistakes and laughing. So, it seemed to them like a game. All the learners enjoyed the activity asking to repeat it by using their favourite football teams (boys) and their favourite singers (girls)!


The activity is based on Vigotsky’s theory that children learn through social interaction and teaching grammar in context. The teacher gives a clear example of the activity at first (introducing himself/herself and holding the piece of paper with the profession written on it), as it’s important for YL to have clear instructions of the task they’re about to carry out. It’s  an activity for small classes (appr.10 students) and it could be also done with teenagers. In this case, the students could collect more information about their classmates (hobbies, interests etc) and the teacher could round off by having them write a short bio of one of their classmates.




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