CSI Literacy NZ

Back to school: The ultimate classroom icebreaker

Back to school: The ultimate classroom icebreaker

Here we go, a new school year!
We’re excited, are you excited?

You’ve got a new class: a new group of learners who need to get to know each other, need to get to know you, and need to feel comfortable in the classroom.

Of course, you already know how important it is to build relationships with your students right from the start. You’ve probably even got a few solid introductory lessons up your sleeve.

But there's one icebreaker that rules them all: This or that. You know how it works: you ask your students a THIS or THAT question.

How you run the game is up to you, but here’s a suggestion: you stand in the middle of the room, with all your students lined up in front of you straight down the middle of the room. You ask the ‘this or that’ question, and your students move to the side of the room that most closely represents their opinion. 

If you want to encourage a bit of dialogue, you could engage your class in an informal debate by getting them to explain their choices. (It’s a great way to help students to quickly build confidence talking in front of their peers.) They’ll find kindred spirits, and it’s really fun! 

We’ve put together 80 This or That questions that are perfect for students. Ask them all in one hit or spread them out over a week – the choice is yours!

80 This or That questions for students

These questions are available as a PDF presentation for your board or screen. You can download it here.

  1. Cats or dogs?
  2. TV or movies?
  3. Books or puzzles?
  4. Black and white or colour?
  5. Drawings or paintings?
  6. Indian food or Italian food?
  7. Early bird or night owl?
  8. Chocolate or vanilla?
  9. Shy or outgoing?
  10. Winter or summer?
  11. Spring or autumn?
  12. City or country?
  13. Cake or biscuits?
  14. Ice cream or frozen yoghurt?
  15. Ketchup or mustard?
  16. Comedy or mystery?
  17. Sandals or boots?
  18. Silver or gold?
  19. Dancing or singing?
  20. Board games or video games?
  21. Freckles or dimples?
  22. Rugby or football?
  23. Skiing or snowboarding?
  24. Bracelet or necklace?
  25. Fruit or vegetables?
  26. Sausage or bacon?
  27. Scrambled or fried?
  28. Milk chocolate or white chocolate?
  29. Cowboys or aliens?
  30. Pancakes or waffles?
  31. Ninja Turtles or Transformers?
  32. Numbers or letters?
  33. Money or fame?
  34. Washing dishes or doing laundry?
  35. Snakes or sharks?
  36. Bananas or apples?
  37. Sunrise or sunset?
  38. Pen or pencil?
  39. Potato chips or corn chips?
  40. Adventurous or cautious?
  41. Sweet or savoury?
  42. Glasses or contacts?
  43. White bread or wheat bread?
  44. Inside or outside?
  45. Flowers or trees?
  46. Underwater or up in the air?
  47. Curly hair or straight hair?
  48. Shower in the morning or shower at night?
  49. Spicy or mild?
  50. Bowling alley or skating rink?
  51. Rain or snow?
  52. Noise or silence?
  53. Sky dive or bungee jump?
  54. Truth or dare?
  55. Roller coaster or Ferris wheel?
  56. Stripes or spots?
  57. Hot or cold?
  58. Spoon or fork?
  59. Skateboard or BMX?
  60. Teacher or student?
  61. Run or walk?
  62. Zoo or aquarium?
  63. Beach or pool?
  64. Pizza or burger?
  65. Clean or dirty?
  66. School or no school?
  67. Dolphins or whales?
  68. Shower or bath?
  69. Bar soap or liquid soap?
  70. Forest or desert?
  71. Be older than you are or younger than you are?
  72. Raisins or nuts?
  73. Picnic or restaurant?
  74. Long hair or short hair?
  75. Fiction or non-fiction?
  76. Bare feet or shoes?
  77. Jokes or riddles?
  78. Pasta or rice?
  79. Think before you talk or talk before you think?
  80. Asking questions or answering questions?

 Have a great idea for an icebreaker? Leave it in the comments!


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