Icebreaker Activities for the First Day of School for Fifth Graders

People in library.jpg

Begin the school year with creative, engaging icebreaker activities for your fifth-grade pupils. Icebreakers help teachers and pupils learn names quickly. They also provide opportunities to get to know each other. Ease any nervous feelings on the first day of school with enjoyable activities that everyone can participate in.

1 Silly Name Game

This game helps teachers and pupils quickly learn everyone's name. Ask pupils to sit in a circle. Choose a child to begin and work clockwise. The first pupil says her name along with a word beginning with the same letter. For example, "Macy" becomes "Messy Macy." The pupils that follow must say their own silly names along with the names of all the pupils preceding them. (e.g., "I'm Tricky Trent and that's Messy Macy.") When all pupils have introduced themselves, the teacher takes the final turn, naming every child.

2 Beanbag Toss

Learn more about each other during the Beanbag Toss. Move desks aside or play outside or in the gym. Ask pupils to stand in a circle. Give them a theme such as favorite movie. Toss the beanbag to a pupil. When he catches it, he tells the class what his favorite movie is. He then tosses the beanbag to someone else. Change the theme as many times as you like throughout the game.

3 The Observation Game

Divide pupils into two groups. The two groups stand in lines, facing each other. Pupils have 30 seconds to study the person standing across from them. They then turn around and close their eyes. The pupils in the second group must change one thing about themselves. For example, they may take off an earring or untie a shoe. The first group guesses what their partners have changed. Switch roles and play again.

4 Interview

Pupils work in partners. Set a timer for two minutes. Each pupil must learn as much as she can about her partner by asking questions. For example, she may ask when her birthday is, what she did over the summer or what her favorite book is. When time is up, pupils switch roles. Bring the class together to sit in a circle. Give each pupil an opportunity to introduce her partner and tell the class all the details about her she can remember.

Mother of two, Erin Agnello writes about parenting, relationships, and education. She has been teaching since 2001 and works in special education and early literacy. Agnello holds a B.A. in psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University and a B.Ed. from Windsor University.