Wry Exchange


Icebreakers for Exchange Students
11-03-07, 12:56 pm
Filed under: Culture, Exchange Students | Tags: , , , , ,

  When I don’t have an idea for a post, I look through my referrals from search engines.  Someone googled ‘non English icebreaker’ today.  I have a fun one.  

 Build an Alien

  • I like to make the groups small, about 5 or 6 students.  I go around and write a number on their hand as they come in or are sitting around.  That way they’ll be with students they don’t know.  You may end up with 10+ groups, but if there are too many kids in one group, most will sit like lumps as the 3 overachievers do everything.
  • Their goal is to build an alien, and tell it’s story.  Where does it come from? What does it want? Why is it here? What does it eat?
  • Give them 10 minutes to talk and decide on a plan, then 15-20 minutes to build it.
  • Give each group Popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, feathers, modelling clay, straws, etc.
  • Have the group explain to the other groups their alien.  I usually have prizes for the best alien, and group them all together for colorful photos.

We usually do this at our first meeting with the new outbound students after interviews to get them integrated into the group with the inbounds.  We observe who participates, who tries to take over the group, who is embarassed to be playing with feathers, etc.  It hopefully gives them something to think about as an alien far from home.   If you give people clay, pipe cleaners, and other toys to play with, they’ll usually have fun.

 Husband and I used to volunteer as judges for Destination Imagination and Odyssey of the Mind.   The kids used to do different types of games that could be used as icebreakers.  Look up volunteer sites for ideas.

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