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Americans United: Student Affiliates

Supporting church-state separation from campus.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Sample Ice Breakers

Initially, you may want to make use of ice breakers to allow members to get to know each other. The most important aspect of an icebreaker is timing. It should not be too long otherwise the serious work of the meeting will not be given enough time. Also, an all-day retreat might warrant a half hour ice breaker, but a one-hour meeting may merit only a minute or two. Use discretion, but once familiarity has been established, you may not need to devote any time to get-to-know-you activities.


  • Each person is given a list of 5 to 10 traits that they must find in common with the people around them. Sample items could be: "Find someone that was born in the same month," "‚Ķsomeone who lives in your state," or "‚Ķdrives the same model of car." A prize is awarded to the participants with the most in common.
  • Try to see how fast group members can put themselves in line related to the order of birthdays throughout the year.
  • Tell the group two truths and a lie about yourself and they have to guess which piece of information is not true. You can choose to elaborate if there is time and a small enough group.
  • Put people in groups of 4-5 and give them 5 index cards with events in history and see which group can put them in order fastest.

Simple Lead-Ins/Ideas

  • Ask participants to state their name, major and favorite animal, historical figure, book, or random fact no one knows about them, etc.
  • Have participants describe one strategy/resource they have used successfully (relevant to the topic of the meeting/training).
  • Tell a story of a scar you have and how you got it.
  • Pick an adjective that starts with the same letter as your first name and then the person next to you has to repeat your name and adjective and then tell their own and then the person next to them has to repeat both people who went before and their own and so on.