Friday, February 25, 2011

Ice Breaking

Purpose of ice breaker....
  • Create a positive group atmosphere
  • Help people to relax
  • Break down social barriers
  • Energize & motivate
  • Help people to "think outside the box"
  • Help people to get to know one another

1) 2 truth and a lie
  • A different kind of get-to-know-you activity which is engages and challenges each group member in a fun way
  • Particularly useful as an icebreaker, e.g. can be used as a opener for a workshop/conference.
  • For large groups (e.g., 30+), it is best to split into smaller group sizes.
  • Hand out cards or paper and pens (or if participants bring their own, that's fine)
  • Explain that in this activity each person write two truths and a lie about themself and then we will try to guess each other's lie.  The goal is to: a) convince others that your lie is truth (and that one of your truths is the lie) and b) to correctly guess other people's lies.
  • Allow approx. ~5+ minutes for writing 2 truths & a lie - this isn't easy for a lot of people - there will some scribbling out, etc.  The slower people will probably need to be urged along to "put anything you can think of" down.  Allocate 5-8 minutes, but you will probably need to urge people along.
  • Announce that we will now walk around and chat to one another, like a cocktail party, and ask about each other's truths and lies.  The goal is to quiz each about each statement to help determine which are the truth and which is the lie, whilst seducing other people into thinking that your own lie is a truth.  At the end we will caste our votes and find out the truth.
  • Emphasize that people should not reveal their lie, even if it seems others might have guessed.
  • Allow min. 10-15 minutes of conversation time.
  • Gather together in a circle.  Start with one person who reads their three statements aloud (to remind everyone).  Then read the statements again, stopping to allow a vote for each one.  e.g., "I am Turkish.  Who thinks that is a lie?  [Vote]  I am vegetarian.  Who thinks that is a lie?  [Vote]  I have a metal pin in my right leg.  Who thinks that is a lie?  [Vote].  OK, my lie was "I am vegetarian.""  The facilitator will need to help each person out, especially intially until the basic format is understood.  The facilitator may add drama and reinforcement, etc. for correct guesses, tricky statements, etc.
  • The exercise can be run competitively, e.g., count up how many correct guesses of other people's lies and take away the number of people who correctly guesses your own lie.  Highest score wins (honesty counts!).
  2) Animals Sounds
Equipment: Blindfolds (optional)
Time: ~10-15 minutes
Brief Description:
Participants are blindfolded and assigned an animal.  The challenge is to use animal noises in order to meet up with other animals of same species.  Releases energy. Loud, fun, chaotic, then gradually order and unity.
  • Works with any group size over 10 and with large groups; the more the merrier.
  • Invite people into a circle.
  • Hand out blind-folds and help people to blind fold another.  Alternatively, ask for eyes closed.
  • Explain that each person will be hear a whisper of an animal name.  Move around the group, giving each person the name of animal (e.g., from the list below).
  • The challenge will be to find all other animals of one's own kind.  No-one can talk - only animal sounds can be made.
  • Very loud chaos ensues, then gradually order and unity emerges as animals find one another.

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