UAL’s Induction Support (ISHE) website has some excellent tips from UAL staff on how to break the ice with new groups of students. Here’s a selection – visit the ISHE website to see more!
CLTAD’s Lindsay Jordan recommends ‘people bingo’, which is great for any group of staff or students ranging in size from 10 – 100+. Simply hand out pre-prepared’people bingo cards, and set everyone to work finding others in the room who match the statements on the card. The winner is the first to match a person for every statement. Lindsay notes that it helps to have a little prize for the winner: “a stocking-filler from Harpers Bazaar, the old staple, the Mars Bar…”
Nigel Bents and David Barnett from CCAD BA Graphic Design Communication suggest a ‘human typography’ activity, where students are split into groups in alphabetical order and asked to hold a pose making the initial letter of their surnames. So all the people with T surnames make a giant T etc. Students are then photographed holding the pose for a moment before it collapses.
Pitch Your Neighbour
Kelly Marshall, from LCC MA Screenwriting suggests a ‘pitch your neighbour’ activity where pairs of students introduce themselves and tell each other how they got to the stage of undertaking their course. They then find out two amazing/interesting facts about their partner – a secret, an achievement, a phobia – anything creative that makes them stand out. Each student then tells the rest of the class what they know about their partner.
Get to Know You for Diverse Groups
Professor Shân Wareing’s favourite icebreaker is a ‘get to know you’ activity where students find an article in the news about their home town/region/country, and bring it in to explain and comment on the erroneous assumptions it contains. It’s great for diverse groups where students may be inclined to split off into cliques with other students from similar backgrounds.
Sophie Gorton, from CSM foundation suggests a drawing activity where students draw a of partner in pairs. They have two minutes per drawing and are not allowed to look at the page they are drawing on during the exercises. They have another two minutes in which to ask their partner questions, the answers of which they include in the portrait.