We recently created conversation starter cards at our house for a teen dinner party we had New Year’s Eve, but it’s also an ice breaker activity teachers could use in the classroom. Over the holidays, we hosted a small dinner for about eight friends. We printed a handful of funny questions and prompts to kick off conversation at the table. The questions were printed on cardstock paper and cut into roughly a business card size (~2″ x 4″). We put the stack of cards on a cupcake stand in the center of the table, and people reached for them during the dinner.
We got the idea after opening Christmas crackers at a family dinner. When we popped the Christmas crackers, they had small papers in them with trivia questions and conversation prompts. The questions worked well for a group of mixed ages and kept everyone at the table engaged. You can create all kinds of prompts depending on the age of your audience. Since our dinner was all teenagers, THIS CONVERSATION STARTER PAGE has questions that are a mix of pop culture and general opinion.
Using Conversation Starters at School
If you want to adapt this conversation starter idea for school, you can create a page LIKE THIS ONE with “Would you rather…” questions. We used this activity for a big/little mentor program we have at our school. Older grades are paired with students in younger grades. Our sixth graders met with their second grade “littles” and asked a series of questions and recorded all responses. Students polled a handful of students until they completed the question chart. After all the responses were tallied, the students incorporated math skills by creating a bar graph to determine the most popular answers.
Depending on the lunch program at your school, adding conversation cards to lunch tables encourages students to interact with peers. We assign lunch seats at our school and often students may not talk to a lunch buddy if it is someone they do not know well. By placing conversation prompts at the table, it encourages students to chat with someone different.
Conversation starters are a great ice breaker for the first week of school to begin building a community in your classroom. Or, use the ice breakers after a long break like the December holidays as a fun way to ease students back into the school routine.
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