As a teacher, you know that a little community building goes a long way! This free bilingual icebreaker is ideal for the Spanish immersion or dual immersion classroom and will help your students get to know each other while also developing their language skills.
I participated in this icebreaker as part of a professional development a few years ago, but I lost the questions. So I invented my own and translated it into Spanish as well. I’ve done this with adults and I think that students as young as 2nd or 3rd grade would enjoy it as well.
Bilingual Icebreaker Directions
To prepare for this bilingual icebreaker, you need a beach ball. I use an inflatable soccer ball that I got at the dollar store. Inflate the ball, then use a sharpie to write the numbers 1-20 spread out randomly around the surface of the ball.
When you’re ready, ask students to gather in a circle. Throw the ball to a student. Ask the student to call out the number closest to their right thumb. Read the question that correlates to that number for that student to answer. Then pass the ball to the next student. Continue until everyone gets a turn.
The benefits of this bilingual icebreaker:
- It gets everyone up and out of their seats.
- It can help learn names (I ask students to say their name when they catch the ball).
- It can help you get to know your students and them each other.
- Some of the questions are a little silly, which just adds to the fun.
- Spanish questions can support Newcomer students to make them feel part of the community. A student in the class can help translate if you don’t speak Spanish.
- Spanish questions could serve students in a Dual Immersion environment or perhaps an advanced level Spanish language class
- It’s reusable. Students likely won’t get the same question, so you can repeat this activity several times.
Are you looking for more bilingual back to school activities?
The beach ball bilingual icebreaker is part of my Back to School Activities Bilingual Bundle. In this set, you’ll find:
►Who Am I? / ¿Quién soy?: Students write clues about themselves using the provided frame and the other students guess who it is
►Two Truths and a Lie / Dos verdades y una mentira: Students write two truths and a lie, then try to guess the lie!
►Class Mixer Bingo / Bingo de conocer a tus compañeros: Students get to know their classmates by completing a bingo grid describing different talents and attributes
►I want my teacher to know / Quiero que mi maestro/a sepa: Students write a private letter to their teacher about themselves, giving them the opportunity to share more intimate details of their lives
►Beach Ball Community Builder / Creador de la comunidad de pelota de playa: Students catch a beach ball with numbers written all around it. Then they answer the question based on the number their hand lands on.