Breaking the ice

A big challenge students face when starting high school is feeling comfortable around new students. Some may have come from large schools, while others may have come from small schools. Some students may have been friends since they were toddlers, while others might not know anyone at the school. By using engaging ice-breaker activities, students will form connections and feel comfortable with their new peers.

Year Level



20 minutes


  • In class activity

SEL Competencies

  • Self-awareness
  • Social awareness
  • Relationship skills

Learning Intention

Students will use ice-breaker activities to get to know their peers.

Key Outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • follow instructions
  • feel connected to peers by learning new facts about them.
Activity 01

Ordering: Get to know you 10 min

  1. Gather students in an open space.
  2. Explain to students that they will be lining up in particular orders or organising themselves into groups, based on a topic.
  3. Read out a statement and give students a limited timeframe to organise themselves.
  4. Variation: ask students to arrange themselves without talking.

Example topics:

  • Line up in alphabetical order by your first names.
  • Line up in alphabetical order by your last names.
  • Line up in order of your birthdays, from 1 January to 31 December.
  • Line up in height order.
  • Line up in order of distance from school to home.
  • Line up in order of how many languages you speak.
  • Gather with people who have the same eye colour as you.
  • Gather with people who get to school in the same way as you (car, bus, on foot).