5 great ice-breakers in five days: #2 Idea Sprint…

Welcome to part two of my Tyson Seburn-inspired five-day Blogathon. For more detail, please visit yesterday’s post.

The idea sprint

The Idea Sprint is a fantastic way to either review topics you’ve already covered, or brainstorm what learners already know. Also, it offers some energizing fun in the process.

What you need…

You need something learners can write on. A white board is fine, but flip charts where each team can’t see the others’ work are better. Each team needs a marker to write with.

How to…

  • Divide the class into teams.
  • Give them a topic.
  • They will have 30 seconds (or more) to brainstorm and list as many ideas as they can.
  • Remind them they cannot speak.
  • Each student must write ideas on the board.
  • The team with the most ideas after the given time wins.
  • Get the winning team to present their ideas.
  • Ask remaining teams to add extra ideas and/or correct any mistakes the winning team made.


  • Write an example on the board to show what you’re looking for.
  • Try to plan the activity so the ideas they came up with lead in to the main part of the lesson.


Learners are up and moving around, so this is a natural energizer.

Possible follow ups…

Ask if the learners liked working in groups. This will help you understand the dynamics of the class and enable you to plan group work in the future.

Your part…

  • How would you adapt this?
  • Are there any age groups you’d use this with specifically?
  • How would you set up the activity differently?
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11 Responses to 5 great ice-breakers in five days: #2 Idea Sprint…

  1. @JillBromen says:

    RT @ShellTerrell: via @yearinthelifeof 5 great ice-breakers in five days: #2 Idea Sprint… http://t.co/7XejSH0EBC #eltchat #esl

  2. 5 great ice-breakers in five days: #2 Idea Sprint… http://t.co/buam9g14Qf via @yearinthelifeof

  3. 5 great ice-breakers in five days: #2 Idea Sprint… http://t.co/XE3Cf8YodE via @yearinthelifeof #blogathon

  4. Sounds good for my kids. However, I’d want to stipulate that the ideas should be correct and related to the topic before declaring a winner based on volume of ideas.

  5. New post by Adam Simpson (@yearinthelifeof)… http://t.co/XYQ01sopdk

  6. 5 great ice-breakers in five days: #2 Idea Sprint… http://t.co/fv3IRM3GwF via @yearinthelifeof

  7. I use it with young teenagers to boost their dictionary work (plus, they really like looking up for words about animals, illnesses, food etc.). Then we make a huge list on an interactive board (children love writing on that board) and the group which has the biggest and most accurate list is going to have a prize – chocolate, less homework, choosing a game etc.
    This activity is real fun :)
    Take care and thanks for great posts!

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