Tell & Throw – Breaking the ice

first-impression-of-websiteAre you excited to meet your (new) students? Are you looking forward to taking your first English as a Second Language lesson? Creating a good first impression or breaking the ice can, sometimes, be a nerve-wrecking task. If you yearn to impress your students and get their attention and approval in the first class, this article is for YOU!

First of all, breaking the ice and getting to know your students as soon as possible is vital in order to create a positive impression. To do so, we would recommend an activity or educational game! We like to call it “Tell & Throw”. For this ice-breaker, the only thing you need is a ball – not a football or a cricket ball! You don’t want them to get hurt, do you? A small, soft ball will be ideal.


Greet your students and tell them you’d like to play a game with them. Remember, you MUST play! Don’t tell anything about yourself yet, NOT EVEN YOUR NAME! (Well, if they already know, don’t ask me what you should do).

Divide the class into two groups and let them stand in two rows facing each other. You should join one of the rows or stand at a convenient spot.

Now give these instructions very clearly!

Take the soft ball and instruct them that you will tell your name and and two other details about yourself (for example, one thing you like and one thing you dislike). Then you will throw the soft ball to a random student who must catch it and first recall your details and then talk about him/herself. The student will then throw the ball to another random classmate who will have to start with the first person’s details (the teacher, you, in this case) followed by the second student’s and then his/hers. Therefore, the last student will have to start with the first person’s (your) details and recall the details of all the other students as well.

Why this activity?

  1. It’s sheer fun! Students simply love throwing the ball and recalling others’ details.

  2. You can LEARN the names and interesting details about your students in a jiffy!

  3. Students can know each other better.

  4. Exercise memory skills.

  5. Break the ice and build rapport quickly.

  6. Practise simple present tense!

Want to make it extra fun?

Ask your students to remember the order in which the ball is being thrown and do a reverse throw with all the students!

If a student could not catch the ball, let the class decide on a “punishment”!

We wish you all the best!

Now, get a BALL!



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