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Topic: cooperative warmup exercizes
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Posts: 133
Registered: 12/6/04
cooperative warmup exercizes
Posted: Jul 3, 1995 3:12 PM
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Instead of dropping the discussion of cooperative/group learning and
lecturing perhaps we could shift the discussion to what works for us as
individuals. What tips can we give each other that would facilitate
either approach? I suspect that many of us actually mix a variety of
techniques in our teaching process. I would like to start by sharing
materials on how to get students to get to know each other through warmup
activities in class. I will follow this with a listing of resources
on warmup activities.

Thanks to everyone who send along a class warmup activity.
The following is a compilation of responses I received to the question "How do
you use class warmup excercizes to help students get to know each other" I must
apologize in advance for any editing alterations to original mesages or if I
missed anyones citation. These machines are marvelous but they still fool me
every once in a while.

The responses come from different lists that I participate in and cover 10 pages
so be patient you will get to the end eventually.
Enjoy yourself, I certainly did.

Ted Panitz
Here's somethin' I do: Have students pick an animal, or some other
non-human living thing that possesses qualities or characteristics that they see
in themselves. They then write a short paper identifying the animal etc. they
picked, and explaining why they picked the one they did. I make it VERY plain
that I don't care about spelling, grammar, whatever. To help them get started, I
explain that I'd choose a porcupine as my representative because it's such a
mellow, take life as it comes - until it's threatened.
After the folks write their papers, I try to match animal, etc. to person, and I
have them do like-wise. We get to know a lot about each other. The folks'
honesty is always refreshing, as is their often candid appraisal.So...., as long
as I'm talking about it, what non-human living thing might you be??
Theatre in Education defines creative drama as "an improvisational,
nonexhibitional process-centered form of drama in which participants are guided
by a leader to imagine, enact and reflect upon human experiences."
CD makes use of multiple modalities of learning, and students learn to
work together to solve problems that come up in improvisational situations set
up by the leader. If a CD lesson includes a significant physical
component--something I include in every lesson--your students will warm up
physically as well as mentally, as well as to each other.
Results using CD are often astonishing! Many of my students,
although they cannot articulate why, find in this kind of work their only
connection with the classroom.
_Creative Drama for the Classroom Teacher_ by Ruth Beall Heinig,
Prentice Hall, 1993 (for elementary students); and _Structuring Drama Work_ by
J. Neelands, Cambridge University Press, 1990 (for older students, even through
college age) are two excellent sources for ideas. If you want to pursue the
concept further, there may even be a course in CD at a university near you.
Frank Booker
One that was successful for me was to ask the students to learn each other's
names, but not to give them a system. At first there would be chaos, with
students moving about asking each other their names, until they got organized,
realized they needed a system with
repetition, practice, etc. They would then get themselves organized, figure
out a way to learn each other's names and practice. We'd have volunteers try to
name people and practice a bit at each class. It didn't take too many class
periods before they knew each other and I knew all the names too. Then we had a
discussion of what worked and why and what principles of learning took place.
The main goal, however, was to have students get to know each other and feel
comfortable in the class.

Elaine Cohen Ph.D Dean of Instruction
Diablo Valley College, 321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
(510) 685-1230, ext. 203, FAX (510) 687-2527
Ted--One of the most effective methods for bringing a class together as a group
that I have heard about is through setting up a class-only list on the internet.
If it is set up as an online journal, and each student is required to make three
posts each week, then it serves several purposes simultaneously. I first heard
of it being used as an alternative to the traditional class journal in a writing
across the curriculum program. A side benefit was that it brought the class
We are just getting the capability to establish lists on campus so I have not
used the technique yet. I hope to this fall.

Regards--David Sill, Associate Provost
Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
I have the students fill out a basiscally serious and informative
questionaire about themselves, but the last question deals with some
disaster. "If your home/apartment/mobile home or castle had burned down last
night if all other people and pets had already left, what three things would you
tak with you. You must be able to carry it out in a hurry. At the same time
when going over their answers I talk over their answere with the entire class
and introduce each with his/her first name. I memorize their first name.
Really, it's sometimes difficult. I expain to them that I do it to prove to
them how important each of them are. Their name represents who they are, etc.
They then have a chance to say the other students' names too. It does break the
Bruce at Arizona
I often begin class with a Human Treasure Hunt. If I know something about the
students, or if I wish to introduce certain themes, I write up a list of human
treasures to be found (e.g. find someone who has had a good laugh this week.What
was it?, or find someone who wants to change something ...) Often, however, I
tell the students to go around and ask things of each other, creating a list of
students, and the one thing they want to share with the class or person.
Everytime person A is asked, however, she has to give the same asnwer. At the
end, when the list is completed, each person in the class,and I include myself,
has generated a list of names, and information, zany or serious, to help them
feel part of the group. Now, I actually have about 40 or more warmups, and a
group of us have put them into two manuals, called Warmups One and Warmups be used in
groups of all kinds. I am at home, but I have the acutal mailing address in
school. If you are interested in these, please give me a reply, and I'll send
the info out to you. We use them a great deal, and I have had some fun leading
workshops in the use of warmups in large and small groups, here at York
Univesity, and even at STHLE conferences. Thanks for your tips, wamrups are
really a great way to develop trust, discover resources, build creativity, and
create fun.
Enjoy. Rachel Schlesinger, York University, Toronto, Canada.
rachel schlesinger
york university
Please note my new e-mail address :rachels@yorka
Ted, interesting query. Do send me a copy of your results. At the beginning of
each of my "survey" American Constitutional Development classes I pass out a
syllabus which includes as the last sheet this following "student data sheet".
I ask students to form dyads with student "A" interviewing "B" and filling in
"B's" et. "B" does the same for a third student. Then I ask each student to
respond to the last question and add information as he/she think best. This is
the fouth or fifth versions; it has brought no complaints and provides useful
information on perhaps one student in three.
It is disappointing to learn the extent to which our students are without heros.
Gayle - Baylor Univ.
1. On the first day of class I try to learn students names. I ask them to
state their first name and answer a question about themselves, which I vary
from class to class. The questions are either "What is your favorite food?"
"What is your favorite TV show?" "What music group do you listen to if you sit
down to listen to music and do nothing else?" I take them in groups of five
and repeat their first names, then add a second group of five also repeating
the first group, etc. About halfway through I ask for volunteers to also try.
I make it a point to not always repeat their name in order of their seating
arrangement. The students also learn each other's name just by listening. The
second, third and fourth days of class I call everyone's name to see if I can
remember, and also ask for volunteers to do it. The students seem to enjoy the
challenge to see if I can do it and to try it themselves. Later I am able to
put last names with first names, simply by calling the roll. This enables me to
call on students in class to contribute to discussion, speak to them outside of
class when I see them, and makes students feel good that they are known.

2. I give students four small cards about the size of business cards
and tell them to fill the cards with the name, address and phone
number of four different people in the class. These are calling cards to use
when they miss class and need to know what was covered or assignments. I
usually do this after the names exercise so they have at least heard the names.
Cynthia S. Burnley -East Tennessee State University
Internet: BurnleyC@ETSU.East-Tenn-St.Edu
We use "handshakes". Rarely does anyone get feedback on the qulaity of their
handshake; yet we know how important that first impression is. In class, you
identify the characteristics of ineffective handshakes: the wet fish, the
knuckle cruncher, the pump, the finger grabber. Then you describe a "good"
handshake. Allow the students to circulate in class, introduce themselves and
shake hands. Rate the handshakes on a scale from 0 lousy to 10 terrific. If the
rating is less than 5 gently provide feedback to the person about their
handshake. Allow five minutes and ask them to introduce themselves to at least
five people.

A second suggestion is to make the course objective that "In this class you will
get to know the names of at least 80% of the class." This helps the students see
that the personalization of the learning environment is important to you. It
also remind you as teacher that you need to periodically include activities to
help students acheive that objective. Other activities include frequent diad and
triad activity on the course subject material.
IN%"woodsdr@mcmail.CIS.McMaster.CA" "Donald R Woods"
I sometimes have my students utilize the initials of our school to
describe themselves. As it turns out, your initials are the same, CCCC.
I have students describe themselves by:

Color: What color do you feel like today?
Car: What car describes your self image
Character: Fictional or non-fictional character with whom they might identify
Caption: A caption that could go under their picture in a yearbook to
describe themselves.

I teach electronics, so at times I use a Component as one of the C's,
i.e., identify an electronic component that describes you.
Students then share some or all of their C's. It can be a hoot at times.

From: IN%"" "Steven S. Lympany"
Central Carolina Community College
Ted, I do teach several classes that are cooperative learning or group
learning situations.
1. I have students make up 3 statements about themselves. Only one statement can
be true and the other 2 are a slant on the truth. Put students in groups and
have them guess as to which statement is true. The object is to be so creative
you fool the other participants into guessing the wrong ststement. The exercise
develops lots of interaction and conversation between participants. They also
learn a lot about each other.
2. I also use story boarding sessions to build goals and objectives for
class. What do you personally want to take away from this class? What are the
best study tecniques for this subject? Students break up into groups of 5 or 6
and write on post-it-notes all their opinions. I ask them to write their
thoughts and feelings about one of the questions. I ask them to write fast and
put only one thought on each piece of post-it-note paper. We write short
senences or thoughts and use markers so everyone can read them from a distance.
Each group puts their information on a portion of the wall and proceeds to group
thoughts and opinions untill they are comfortable with their goals, etc. At
this point they are given 3 votes each to apply to one or several of their goals
in hopes of obtaining group consensus as to what is important in class or what
they should do to maximize their study habits.
The questions are not important, however the group interaction really brings
them together.

At the CCCC Winter Workshop, Toby Fulwiler presented and we participated in
probably the best "icebreaker" I've ever done. I immediately came back to my
campus for the spring semester and tried it. It works.

Here goes:
1. Find a stranger in the room - someone you have not previously met.
2. Write a letter to this person and discuss what you think a class
called " " is going to involve.
You have 5 minutes.
3. Add a P. S. where you tell your partner something about your
personal life that you don't mind sharing.
You have 2 minutes.

Then, give them 2 minutes to exchange letters and read. No talking.

4. Now, write another letter to your partner where you discuss one of your
major concerns about " " or taking a " " class.
You have 5 minutes.

5. P. S. respond to your partner's P. S. from the first letter.
You have 2 minutes.

Then, give them 2 minutes to exchange letters and read. No talking.

6. Write a letter where you try to solve your partner's concern about "
" or " " class.
You have 5 minutes.
7. You may add a P. S. if you like.
You have 2 minutes.

8. Pair your group with another group and develop one major concern to share
with the class.
You have 5 minutes. You may now talk.

The key to this icebreaker is no talking throughout the session until
they reach #8. We found that it kept us focused. We, as writing
teachers, had an opportunity to talk about audience by shifting from the first
letter which was more formal to the P. S. and then to each of the subsequent
letters.You have to remain diligent to the time, and you may find yourself
writing with a student if you do not have an even number of people inclass.
Later in the semester this same activity can be used to check progress,to give
you a quick sense of who's understanding what, and to allow students to explain
a difficult concept to each other; then, you can collect the group concerns and
use that to supplement your lecture or to create a review for a test.I used the
prompts and time sentences on an overhead so that I would not talk either.
If you have questions, I'll be glad to offer more information.

Susan McKinney
Westark Community College
Fort Smith, AR
IN%"" "John Coates"

I begin one of my courses (a Social Work Theory for Practice Course)
with an exercise I adapted from one used by Ginny Griffin at OISE in
Toronto. In this course I encourage a great deal of discussion
and work in small groups so opening with a small group exercise is a
usefull orientation. I prepare groups of cards with different images
on the front and questions on the inside (depending on the size of
the class I usually have 6- 8 cards with the same image. I ask the
students to pick a card which appeals to them or says something they value
about social work, and think about the questions on the inside.

The images are from 'pop art' but are chosen to reflect what someone
might think about social work (for example a heart, a handshake, a
candle, etc). The questions are: Why did you choose this symbol?
How is it a symbol of you as a social worker? How is it a symbol of
you as a learner? what does your choice of symbol suggest you wish
to learn in this course? What similarities/differences do you find
in your group?

When cards are chosen the students are asked to think about the
questions on the inside for a few moments and then join others with
the same colour/image and share their responses. It doesn't take
long for students to get into active discussion about perceptions,
beliefs, expectations, etc. After 20 minutes, I ask each group to
share wtih the larger class any similarities or differences.

One year I had about 5 students who did not wish to participate. I
asked them to form a group and to share with each other their
reasons. I was told that this was very empowering for them as I
respected their right to choose but they were also involved in a
group and got to know some other students. I hope this is of interest. I am
looking forward to receiving the summary you put together. .

John Coates phone 506-452-0540
Department of Social Work fax 506-452-0611
St. Thomas University e-mail

We use a couple here with groups of new adult learners which work well and get
people out of their seats. One is to designate one end of the room north, the
other south, and the remaining walls east and west. (We usually get more
specific and give the names of close towns to help people). The participants are
then asked to put themselves somewhere in the room which corresponds to where
they live. They have to talk to each other to do this, in order to find out
who's closest to the centre (i.e. our Polytech) or to orientate themselves in
relation to other people. This helps students to organise car pooling,
proximity when joint assignments are being done etc. We usually ask at least a
sample to tell us where they
are, as well. This activity is sometimes altered by designating the walls
various parts of the country. They get to choose a spot which
has special significance for them, or where they really like to be. At sharing
time, after they've all sorted out where abouts they are in relation to each
other, they can say why that spot is significant. In New Zealand culture
particularly, the Maoripeople may come from one tribal area (which is their
'real home') but live in another, so it's important for them to be able to
indicate where their tribe originates.
What I do in my first classes, particularly those that are likely to have brand
new students--first quarter at Metro--is to have them get into groups of four or
five. I then give each group two large pieces of paper (flip chart size) and a
magic marker. Each group then writes their hopes for the course, the quarter,
or their time at Metro. On the second sheet, they write their fears about the
course, the quarter, attending Metro. After that, I hang all the sheets up with
masking tape around the room, and I try to answer their fears about the course.
Discussion usually points out that the fears are the opposite of their hopes and
that they each have a lot of control overreacting their hopes. That they have
common fears and hopes becomes apparent also. I, too, put up two sheets with my
hopes and fears for the clas, which let's them know I am human. On the last
class period of the course, I resurrect the sheets of paper and they discover
that they have lost their fears and realized their hopes. In the first class of
creative writing, I ask each student to write about him or herself as though he
or she is a fictiona character. They are to include physical description and
other fiction techniques that reveal character. These character sketches are
written in third person and usually are very honest and revealing. Creative
writing is a course that depends a great deal on trusting one's fellow
classmates, so beginning the class with such honesty helps set the tone for the
rest of the quarter. Lorinda Langner Cc:
Here is another, one that should be conducted the first day of class, right at
the beginning of the class. One of the best ways I have found to "enerize" your
classroom is to leave it! Tell students that you are going to leave the
classroom for five minutes, and that when you return, you want each student to
be able to introduce five classmates to you on a first-name basis. How are they
going to do this? That is up to them. Just do it! Then, leave the clas for the
allotted time. When you come back, 5 - 10 minutes later, you will find an energy
level that is sadly lacking in most of our developmental classrooms. Point this
out to your class, and then ask for a volunteer to introduce 5 students. You
will almost always get one, two, or three people to volunteer. If you don't,
pick out a student who looks as though he/she won't mind "being volunteered." As
the students are introduced, repeat their names and welcome them to the class.
activity is a terrific way to jump-start your class and let students know that
they will be active learners, that the normal "passive mind-set" that so many of
our students bring to class won't work in your class. With no instruction from
you on how the students are to learn the names of five others, you have put them
on the spot - they have to do it, and they have to figure out how to do it. Some
will write the names down, others will commit the names to memory,
others will not just give the names of 5 classmates, they will include other
information about the people they are introducing. After the introductions, you
can then tell students what you are expecting of them for the semester,
and,believe me, you will have their attention!
Please send your responses to

When answering the questions below, consider a team(s) you are currently
working with as a frame of reference.

1. Identify the characteristics of an effective team:
2. What are the current strengths of the team?
3. If you could change one thing in order to help the team function more
effectively, what would it be?
4. If you could discuss one issue in an open way, involving the total team in
the discussion, what would the issue be?
5. What one norm or practice does the team accept that keeps the team from
functioning better?
6. What are the strengths of the team's leadership?
7. What does the leader do that keeps the team functioning more
8. What does the leader do that inhibits the team from functioning

Julie Schirm
Team Leader/Instructor
ConferTech International
Westminster, CO
Thanks for your offer of a summary of ideas. I teach a fall semester course to
sophomores in "Communications and Introduction to Design. We have weekly 2 hour
lab periods, and in the first, I introduce some of Karl Smith's collaborative
learning strategies.The warm-up exercise is for groups of three strangers to
meet briefly, and then to solve the problem "How many {type of sport} balls
would it take to fill this room?" The next week, with advance warning, each
student arrives with a one page resume. They interview each other in pairs, and
then stand to introduce their partner to about 15-20 students (one third of the
class). Following the intros, they give each other constructive feedback on
their resumes. Later in the term, polished resumes are assembled into the
documentation provided by 4-5 person design groups who consult with real clients
on campus about real problems.
Dwight Scott, P.Eng. Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies
Mechanical Engineering Department
University of New Brunswick
DGSCOTT@UNB.CA (internet)
...we also get the students to undertake one or two creativity exercises. One
creativity exercise is to build a bridge to span a certain distance and to carry
a given weight within a specified time frame with given materials (pipe
cleaners, drinking straws, a polystyrene cup (!) and a few paper clips). The
other exercise uses similar
materials: build a free-standing tower as high as possible, with the
constraint that it must also be architecturally pleasing (we are a Faculty of
These exercises enable a number of agendas to operate simultaneously on a number
of levels, but virtually all students find them fun. They also are good
exercises to use for later directed reflective analysis.
Arthur Kingsland <\^^/> Telephone: +61 49 215783
Faculty of Architecture )==( Facsimile: +61 49 216913
The University of Newcastle //\\
N.S.W., Australia, 2308 _// \\_
The first was "Human Bingo". We prepared 24 cards (the size of the
group but also 4! for the mathematicians). Each has a table 4x4 but
with one cell deleted in each row and column and the other cells have
interesting items like: Rides a bicycle; Enjoys classical music; Has brown eyes;
Was born in February. Each person then had to go round and try to fill in
information on those cells by asking questions of the other participants. In
theory this should only go on until the
first person fills a row or column and then shouts "Bingo" and is
rewarded with candy or whatever - but in our case it just kept going
until everyone had spoken to everyone!
The second was "Cultural greetings". This again had 24 cards - the
expected number of particiapnts, though there were only 21 in practice!, 12 blue
cards and twelve green cards (the colours that
happened to be to hand). On the cards was a form of greeting (in
some cases with a guide to its performance or a diagram!) twelve in
all with duplicates in blue and green. Examples were "Shake hands";
"Curtsey", "Give a military salute", Kiss on both cheeks".
Individuals selected a card at random but were allowed to trade in
(as I had some spares) so I ended up with two "Rub noses" cards!!
The group was then set off to find their partner (an exercise in pairs
followed) introducing themselves to others by giving the appropriate
greeting first. This worked very well with this group but some
exercises could embarass certain groups so it is well to use it with

The third exercise had no prepared cards!! this involved grouping
participants in small groups - pairs and threesomes mostly - to
discuss their names: How they liked to be called, How they did NOT
like to be called, Any pet- or nick-names, What they knew about the
history of their names, and so on. This also appeared to work well
and ,with a new group meant that each person had got to meet - and
remeber the name of - a couple of others.

* Bland Tomkinson * Telephone 0161 200 3531
* Director of Staff Development * Fax 0161 200 3534
* UMIST, PO Box 88 *
* Manchester M60 1QD, UK *
In groups of approximately 50 students

1. have them line up (usually in the corridor to have more space)
according to their date of birth (day and month only). I identify
where january 1 is. Of course students, are not allowed to ask
direct questions relating to dates.
On this occasion, I try to identify upcomming birthdays.

2. have a deck of cards that I have cut in two. I hand each student
a half card and their assignment is to find the other half again
without asking the question directly.

3. have names of celebrities (real or fictionnal or even class topic
oriented) printed on name tags. I place a name tag on each student's
back. He or She must find out who's name is on his or her back.

I do not ask them to present (at this point) anything to the group
because of lack of time but also because I beleive that it is counter
productive. Several students are nervous at the idea of facing
the class. I prefer to give students a chance to interact amongst themselves
and eventually they feel comfortable with the whole class.

Robert B. From: Robert Baudouin <baudoir@UMONCTON.CA>

Explain to the students that they will be going on a trip for a week. As part
of their packing for the trip, they must take the amount of toilet paper that
they need for a while week. Pass around several rolls of toilet paper and ask
students to take the amount they will need. [This is funny enough as students
try to maintain their cool...there is always someone who takes half the roll,
someone who takes two squares, etc...good insight into their personalities].
Once everyone has their toilet paper, the fun begins. For every square they
have taken, they must tell the group one thing about themselves. For example,
if they have five squares...they must tell five things about themselves.

Depending upon the size of the class, this can take a while (also
depends upon how much toilet paper they use!). I usually have them take the
toilet paper during one class period and give them an envelope. I have them
write their name and address on the envelope and store their toilet paper in the
envelope. I collect the envelopes and then each day for successive days, we
work through the introductions. Once this activity is complete, I use the
envelopes in another way...see the next activity.

Setting Goals

This activity is different from class warmups, but it is well received by
students and an interesting exercise. I ask the students to write their goals
for themselves (personal and professional) on a sheet of paper. They insert
these into the envelopes and seal them. I collect the envelopes and keep them.

I have done different things with these goals. Sometimes I just mail
them to the student at the end of the semester. In some classes, we use these
as the basis for the final examination. In all of my classes,
students are required to maintain a "collection" portfolio. This is an
organization of all the material they have collected for the class over
the course of the semester. On the last day of class, I return the
envelopes to the students with these instructions. Students will write a
narrative discussing their personal and professional growth over the semester
with respect to the goals they had set for themselves. I ask them to support
their statements with samples/examples from their writings which are included in
their portfolios (we do reading logs and lecture logs and more formal writings).
In preparation for the exam, students must consider their growth, find examples
and I allow them to bring an outline of their narrative to the final exam (along
with their portfolio). Thenarrative is then written during the final
examination time. The great advantage of this activity is that most students
are absolutely astounded at how much they grew over time and it was only the
retrospective look at the semester that enabled them to see their growth.

Let's Make A Deal

I divide the students into groups of 4-5. Their task is to search their
personal belongings (purses and bookbags) and come up with the items necessary
to be a perfect "speech-language pathologist" (or historian, sociologist, etc.).
They are asked to create a list and provide an explanation for the use of the
objects that they have listed. Students get very creative in these activities
and at the end I collect the lists and type up a composite which I then print
and give copies to every member of the class.

Scavenger Hunt: Disability Style

Prepare for a scavenger hunt. Once in the class, randomly select teams (at
least six per team, but multiples of 3 work equally well). Each member of the
team is assigned a disability. The group members that are blind can hear and
talk; the group members that are deaf can see and talk; and the group members
that are mute can see and hear. [I blindfold the members that are blind and use
earmuff style hearing protectors for the group members who are deaf...although
they can still hear some things, it is more difficult and helps remind them they
cannot rely upon auditory information. I also provide masking tape if the
students who are mute elect to tape their mouths shut. Although I don't require
this, most do.] I also recruit former students to serve as "spotters"...a
spotter accompanies each group to verify that no cheating occurs and to ensure

While this might seem difficult enough...there is one more rule that each team
must adhere to. The team must join hands and there can only be one break in the
chain at any given time. If student A knows where they can get item #1, then
student A is in the lead. If student B knows where they can get item #1, the
group must form a circle and then break so that student B is in the lead.

This activity is a tremendous amount of fun but very challenging. You don't
need many items on the list, but try to include items outside of the building
the class meets in. After the scavenger hunt, I have students write a narrative
describing their experience (physical reactions; psychological reactions).

Karen L. McComas
Communication Disorders, Marshall University
Huntington, WV 25755-2634
More info? finger
In groups of approximately 50 students, I
1. have them line up (usually in the corridor to have more space)
according to their date of birth (day and month only). I identify
where january 1 is. Of course students, are not allowed to ask
direct questions relating to dates.
On this occasion, I try to identify upcomming birthdays.
2. have a deck of cards that I have cut in two. I hand each student
a half card and their assignment is to find the other half again
without asking the question directly.
3. have names of celebrities (real or fictionnal or even class topic
oriented) printed on name tags. I place a name tag on each student's
back. He or She must find out who's name is on his or her back.

I do not ask them to present (at this point) anything to the group
because of lack of time but also because I beleive that it is counter
productive. Several students are nervous at the idea of facing
the class. I prefer to give students a chance to interact amongst themselves
and eventually they feel comfortable with the whole class.
Robert B. From: Robert Baudouin <baudoir@UMONCTON.CA> (sthle)

> Peter Healy Paterson Public Schools, Paterson, New Jersey

Here's an ice breaker that was well received by a multi-age group of
people. (The ages were 6years to 82 years) As people arrive they receive a
slip of paper with a popular new or old song which most everyone would know.(
You need 8 to 10 songs divided up with the number of people you are expecting -
Yankee Doodle,
The bear went over the mountain, Jingle Bell, etc.) They keep this paper
hidden. (It is amazing as to how long some of the songs have been around. They
seem to bring good memories for the different ages. At a set time everyone
begins to sing their song while walking around the room trying to find others
singing the same song. As they discover the others, they stick together
listening and singing for their teammates --
Sometimes I've set a flexible time schedule, depending upon the groups.- .
Once they are together and in celebration of finding others they listen to the
teams sing their particular song. There is clapping and laughter and "good
feelings" to get more acquainted. Because they are in a mix group which is
often one of your goals to meet and get acquainted with others, you can do a
get-acquainted activity within the group. I like to encourage the groups to
sit in a "circle of friends" as they do
another activity. That way they can all see and hear each other. It's great
you are getting together. We have so many talented individuals as resourse and
having opportunities you are giving other should be most beneficial. Enjoy -
let us know please, how and what you decided to do. I'm always on the look out
for ideas to use or share with others.
I hope this idea may assist or lead you to create other appropriate
activities for your group. In planning I keep in mind the saying that

Donnis Arens - Omaha, (Go Big Red )

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