Sport Psychology: The Name Game Icebreaker

Sport Psychology: The Name Game Icebreaker

Terry Moss, Consulting Editor, PE

The first weeks of school can be frightening for students, especially if they don't know all their new classmates.

Here's an icebreaker activity that will force your students to learn their classmate's names while simultaneously providing them with a good warmup. And if you're as bad with names as I am, you might want to play yourself.

How to Play the Name Game
Instruct your students to move randomly around the gymnasium or playing field, using whatever mode of locomotion you specify (i.e. jogging, hopping, walking backwards, skipping, sideways shuffling, etc).

When you blow your whistle everyone must form a circle, in groups of four -to-six, with the students who are closest to them at the time.

Once everyone is sitting, the last student in each group to sit, turns to the person to her left and says her name. For example, "Hi, my name is Sandra." That person then response, "Hi Sandra, my name is Fred."

The student to Fred's left then says, "Hi Fred, hi Sandra, my name is Bonnie."

The next student in the circle continues, "Hi Bonnie, hi Fred, hi Sandra, my name is Elma."

And so on around the circle of students. Once the circle is complete, everyone gets up and moves randomly around the playing area using a new method of locomotion that you specify.

If you repeat this activity several times, your students will receive a good warm-up while being introduced to most of their classmates.

Terry Moss, Consulting Editor, PE, September 2009.

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