by IYWP intern Robyn Henderson
Imagine. It’s your first day as a volunteer at an IYWP site. You’re standing in front of a room full of kids who might or might not know each other, and who definitely don’t know you. They watch you expectantly. You want them to have fun, write stories, and be creative. But where do you start?
Never fear! Welcome to the IYWP Volunteer’s Toolbox, a little introduction to some of the ways that our volunteers help to get kids writing, focused, and creative! Here are 4 icebreakers that can help get everybody involved!
Alliteration Name Game
Alliteration Name Game is a large group icebreaker activity that needs a pencil and paper.
Ask the class if they know what alliteration is. Alliteration occurs when a series of words start with the same sound. Have the students write down their first name and. depending on the first letter of their name, come up with three sentences to make an imaginary alliterative biography. Not every word has to begin with the same sound, but most of them should. For example: My name is Ivey. I am from Ireland. I want to eat an icicle. I live in an igloo. It’s important that the students know that the statements in their “biographies” do not have to be true to their lives. After the students are finished their biographies, share!
Any Truth Told Twice is Fiction
Any Truth Told Twice is Fiction is a sit down, individual activity that can be used as an icebreaker.
Have the students write a story that they have heard told by a family member about an event that happened before they were born. Encourage the students to fill in any gaps in the story with fictional elements. When the stories are complete, share! Originally contributed by Francine A. Pilkington to Badgerdog.
Favorite Words is an individual writing activity that can be used as an icebreaker.
Have each student write down on a scrap of paper what their favorite word is. Collect them, then read each word aloud, having the student that wrote the word state their name and explain why that word is their favorite. After this has been done, place the words somewhere visible (perhaps writing them on a whiteboard or easel) and have the students write a poem or story using at least 3 of the words. Share!
Six Word Memoirs
Six Word Memoirs is a sit down icebreaker activity that requires a pencil and paper.
Have each student attempt to write a memoir for themselves using only six words. Go over six word stories written by other famous authors, such as Ernest Hemingway or Alan Moore. After the students have finished, share!
Want to know more about what it’s like to be an IYWP volunteer? Well, on Saturday, February 25 from 4 to 5 p.m., we will be hosting an Info Carnival on the second floor of the Old Capital Mall! If you’re curious, feel free to stop by!