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Top 10 Ice Breakers for Adults

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

More Ways

Computer, Internet access, printer

Activity Description

This activity is an ice breaker to use on the first day of class to help students learn about one another and to help them begin to form a community of learners. Studies have shown that where community exists, persistence is less of a problem. This Web site lists 10 ice breakers for use in adult classes with complete step-by-step instructions. This activity highlights the People Bingo activity.


  1. Go to the Web site Example (above) and read about how to conduct the bingo activity with your students.
  2. You can use the Example Document for People Bingo (it has 10 created cards) if the English level is appropriate. If not, you can use the instructions at the Web site to create your own Bingo cards using Word or Technology has a free Bingo Card Maker  you can use.
  3. Print or photocopy the number of cards you need depending on the number of students you have.
  4. If you want to offer a "prize" of some sort for the person who gets the first Bingo, you will need to decide on a reward and obtain it.


  1. On the first day of class, tell students that they are going to get to know one another better.
  2. Explain how you want the students to complete the activity.
  3. If students are more advanced, you may want to explain the idiom "break the ice."

Teacher Tips

  • You may want to teach conversational turns for the activity, expressions such as the following: "Hi, how are you? What is your name?" "Nice to meet you. May I ask you a question?" "Thank for the information. It was nice to meet you. It was nice talking to you. Talk to you again soon. See you later."
  • For an alternative method of creating your Bingo cards, try Teachnology's Bingo Card Maker .

More Ways

  • Check the main site for summaries of nine other ice breaking activities. Some of the activities would be useful and fun warm-ups or fillers, as well. Here is the list of the other ice breakers, mixers, and team-building activities for adults:
    • Marooned (with whom would you want to be stranded on a deserted island)
    • Table Topics (provocative conversation questions)
    • The Power of Story (introducing oneself by telling the story behind a personal possession)
    • Expectations (sharing expectations for the course)
    • 2-Minute Mixer (timed small talk/chatting)
    • Photo Scavenger Hunt (asking for and sharing information about classmates' photos)
    • Where in the World? (giving clues for classmates to guess where student is from or where he/she would like to visit)
    • If You Had a Magic Wand (what you would wish for)
    • If You Had Taken a Different Path (if you could start over, what you would change in your life)
  • There are also links to articles for extra reading for teachers, and there is a link to an article you may want to include for supplementary reading for intermediate and advanced ESL students titled "Tips on How to Introduce People ."



  • Intermediate Low
  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced


Basic Communication

  • (0.1) Communicate in interpersonal interactions
  • (0.2) Communicate regarding personal information
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.