Ice breaker

An activity to help students to get to know each other. Ideal for new classes / student groups.

An introduction lesson for ESOL/Pre Entry to help build learner confidence and introduce them to college rules/expectations.

Editor's note

Two complete and very welcoming lessons. Also covers asking and responding to questions about personal information, recognising letters of the alphabet, and classroom equipment.  Lovely :)

Level
M8
E1
English
AL SLlr/E1.4
AL SLc/E1.3
AL Rw/E1.1
AL Rw/E1.3
AL Ww/E1.2
Pre-entry
SLlr/M8.1
SLlr/M8.2
SLc/M8.1
Rw/M8.1
Rw/M8.3
Ww/M8.1
ESOL
ESOL Lr/E1.4a
ESOL Lr/E1.4b
ESOL Sc/E1.3a
ESOL Rw/E1.1a
ESOL Rw/E1.3a
ESOL Ww/E1.2a

4 Oct 2017. Updated information on source material added

A reading activity on legal age limits in different parts of the UK. Includes: education, voting, driving, marriage and work. Based on materials at: http://esol.britishcouncil.org/content/learners/uk-life/be-safe-uk/what…

Level
E3
E2
English
Functional English - reading
ESOL
ESOL Ws/E3.1a
ESOL Sd/E3.1d
ESOL Sc/E3.4e
ESOL Sc/E2.2a
ESOL Rt/E3.4a
ESOL Lr/E3.2d
Context
News, Politics & Government items

Three sets of dominoes to use in warm-up and for letter and word recognition activities. The first set, for pre-Entry ESOL and Literacy learners with very low levels of letter and word recognition, matches lower case to capital letter versions, the second set is a set of “doubles”, which can be used alongside the first. The third set, for pre-Entry / Entry 1 ESOL learners, matches a category to an example. Each set has 17 dominoes, so 4 each for a group of 4 learners, plus one to start.

Level
M7
M8
E1
E2
E3
English
Rw/E3.2
Rw/E2.1
AL Rw/E1.1
Functional English - reading
Form filling
Pre-entry
Rw/M8.3
Rw/M7.2
ESOL
ESOL Rw/E3.2a
ESOL Rw/E2.1a
ESOL Rw/E1.1a
Context
Employment skills & Public services

A recap game to practise applying knowledge of when to use capital letters. Learners supply names, dates, places and objects to create a mis-matched story.

It could also be used as an icebreaker.

Level
E3
E2
English
Functional English - writing
Ws/E3.4
Ws/E2.4

Mingle activity to use straight after the Christmas holidays to review past simple.
Learners ask each other questions to try to find one name of another learner to fill in each square. First to finish shouts “bingo!”
Review as a group and check questions using past simple.
Give a prize to the winner.

Level
E2
E1
English
SLc/E2.2
AL SLc/E1.3
SLc/E1.2
ESOL
ESOL Sc/E2.3b
ESOL Sc/E2.3a
ESOL Sc/E2.2d
ESOL Sc/E2.2c
ESOL Lr/E2.2a

This is a good starter activity to introduce measures, shape and space. It is also useful in dividing classes into small groups.

Using the templates I created I printed them on to card of different colours. I gave the shapes to the learners as they entered the room and told them to find the table with the same shape on it. When they reached the table they found the shape and some questions to answer.

After five minutes I asked for feedback from the learners.

Editor’s note
With Functional Maths mapping

Level
E3
L1
L2
Maths
MSS1/L2.8
MSS2/E3.1
MSS1/L2.7
MSS1/L1.9
MSS1/L1.8
MSS2/E3.2
Functional Maths - measures, shape & space

This activity encourages ESOL students:
- To communicate with each other while moving around the classroom,
- To revise Past Simple (questions and answers),
- To practise basic numeracy (subtraction).

With extensive teachers’ notes

Level
E2
E1
Maths
AN N1/E3.2
ESOL
ESOL Sc/E2.2a
ESOL Sc/E1.1a
ESOL Lr/E1.4a
ESOL Speak to communicate

This is a resource for mixed ability groups. It can act as an ice breaker and will help students ot think about word choice and context. It is useful in writing sessions.

This can be played by 4 or more players. If you have more than 8, you may want to print out the “things” cards twice.

Level
L2
L1
E3
E2
English
Functional English - writing
Apply grammar

This is a combination of speaking & listening, note taking & writing, that I have used successfully as an ice breaker with new groups. It involves learners talking to several people and finding out about their food likes & dislikes (plus allergies, religious considerations etc) before planning a menu for a dinner party. The menu must be acceptable to all the guests! Finally each learner produces their menu presented in a conventional style.

Level
E3
English
Functional English - writing
Functional English - speaking, listening & communicating
General literacy / English
Context
Catering Food Nutrition
Art Film Media Music TV

A mingling exercise to get students talking to one another. Great as an induction activity for new classes or for ESOL learners to practise speaking and listening.

Level
L1
E3
E2
English
Functional English - speaking, listening & communicating
Speaking & Listening
ESOL
General ESOL