It may be helpful to present instructions visually on the board with both written instructions as well as picture cues to accommodate different levels of reading and ability to follow multistep directions.
Teacher may want to write examples on the board and emphasize that the examples should not be copied. Teacher can ask comprehension questions after explaining the directions to both assess student abilities and make sure that the game will run smoothly.
If there is only a few students who haven’t been guessed, this can be a good opportunity to encourage critical thinking and the ability to inference. Students can try and “problem solve” who could be attributed to each fact.
A smartboard or powerpoint presentation may also be helpful for this activity.
Additional benefits include the teacher’s opportunity to informally assess student abilities as well as pragmatic language skills.
The teacher may want to make sure all the students understand or are familiar with less standard vocabulary words used.
The teacher can also accumulate informal information on the reading skills, oral language skills, and comprehension skills of his/her students.
Icebreaker group assignment
Learning Team 2:
Whodunit is a simple icebreaker game that allows
students to learn interesting facts about their
classmates and facilitate interaction between
This is a simple “get to know you game” in which
students guess what facts correspond to what
students in the class.
It can be adapted to accommodate many different
styles of learning as well as cultural diversity.
INSTRUCTIONAL SEQUENCE: STEPS 1-3
1. Teacher will explain to the students that the class
will play a short game to get to know one another
2. The teacher will pass out an index card to each
student and advise them not to do anything with
them until given instructions.
3. Teacher will ask the students to write down an
interesting thing they have done. It could've
happened long ago or just this past summer.
Teacher will remind students to be appropriate
(Icebreakers, 2007). Also the teacher should tell the
student not to share their answers with anyone.
INSTRUCTIONAL SEQUENCE: STEPS 4-6
4. Next the teacher should provide the student with
examples: "I ate bugs before", "I once drank a gallon
of milk", "I lived in seven different states". Tell the
students to try and pick something that not everyone
would already know about them (Icebreakers, 2007).
5. Once the students have filled out their index card, the
teacher will collect all of them.
6. The next step is to guide the students through the
main point of the game. Teacher should pass out
completed index cards and instruct students to read
their new card out loud and then try to guess which
student wrote it (Icebreakers, 2007).
INSTRUCTIONAL SEQUENCE: STEPS 7-9
7. The person that was guessed will say "yes" or "no"
depending on if it was their card or not.
8. If the student guess correctly, the student that
wrote the note card can briefly explain their story if
they care to (Icebreakers, 2007).
9. Each student only gets one guess. Once everyone
has guessed, students can reveal which card was
theirs (Icebreakers, 2007).
The point of the game is to have students guess which peer
wrote which item on the note card and for students to get to
know one another better. It also includes several academic
skills such as:
• Critical thinking
• Inferencing skills
• Following Directions (in both oral and written modalities)
• Note cards
TASK ANALYSIS (CONTINUED)
• Students will have fun getting to know one another as
silly stories will be shared.
• Students will feel more comfortable with each other and
barriers will break down after silly stories are shared.
• It also gives the students an opportunity to learn and
ask questions about their peers.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR DIFFERING LEARNING
This learner remembers facts when presented with
information through videos or music. The auditory
learner can also focus better on content when they
are writing the information down as they are hearing
it. During the icebreaker, working with a small group
for cooperative learning would be helpful. Auditory
learners may benefit from having the cards read out
loud more than once. Singing the clues on the card
may be another beneficial way to present the
OPPORTUNITIES FOR DIFFERING LEARNING
This learner draws meaning from images and pictures.
Opportunities for them during the icebreaker could
be to draw, act out the clues written on their card to
best represent what they are trying to get across.
Using the smart board or flip chart to create a visual
for their audience could help them share other
talents they possess.
These students may also benefit from having the
directions to the game written on the board.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR DIFFERING LEARNING
This learner does best when movement is involved.
The person who is trying to identify the student
whose clue it is may be encourage to tap the
hypothesized student on the shoulder, which could
appropriately incorporate movement into the task.
Also, using props or dance to represent what the
clues are on their index card may be a fun way to
incorporate movement into the activity.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR MULTICULTURAL
Students from diverse cultural backgrounds may need
additional guidance. This guidance can include:
• If they are comfortable, perhaps these students can greet
their new peers in their first language.
• They can share their facts about their country as clues on
their cards. Instruments, food and traditions can also be used
• Pairing them up with some leaders in the classroom could
help with transition as well.
TEACHER NOTES: PART 1
The results of this activity will provide the teacher with
an abundance of information. The teacher will find
out about student interests and student learning
styles. As students share stories the teacher can
learn about the various experiences of the student
while also assessing the reading level of the student
as they speak out loud in front of the class. This
also gives information such as how comfortable
they are interacting with their peers and speaking in
front of groups of people. The teacher can then get
an idea of which students would work well together
when forming groups in the future.
TEACHER NOTES: PART 2
At the end of the activity the teacher will collect the cards that the student wrote on and can use
those as another way to gauge student writing skills, grammar, and spelling. This tells the
teacher what level the students are at coming into the class, and gives information on what
kind of instruction they will need to start off the year.
A teacher can use this activity to:
• Pick out students from the very start that may have exceptional
learning needs and have struggled with an activity such as this.
• Decipher areas of struggle for certain students, such as reading
fluency, spelling, story telling, etc.
• Come up with appropriate supports for those students during
times of instruction.
TEACHER NOTES: PART 3
One way to tailor this activity to elicit certain information is
to have certain "rounds" where the students all have to
write about an experience in their childhood, or about
their family, etc. This way the teacher can find out certain
information about the students that may be helpful when
designing instruction for the future. This simple, fun ice
breaker activity is a great way for students to get to know
one another, and for the teacher to gain important
information about his/her students.
Icebreakers. (2007). Who done it whodunit game. Available
it-whodunit.html (Accessed: 26 July 2015).