A Different Kind of Icebreaker

I once read a story that when you meet Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor she will ask you, “what do you love about what you do” rather than ask the typical questions of who you are and what you do. In explanation of why she asks this unique question is that when someone tells you what they do you know what type of noun they are; but, when they tell you what they love about what they do you begin to understand what kind of person they are.

This year, rather than our typical first day introductions of: my name is, I went to this elementary school, and my favorite food is … I will begin with the following:

Hi, I am Mrs. Cullip. I absolutely love engaging students in the process of learning through activities, readings, lectures, and games so that they better understand the world in which they live. What do you love about what you do?

Doesn’t that sound better than your typical introduction of my name is Mrs. Cullip, a 6th grade Social Studies and Science teacher?

In addition, I will then give students the option to share their answer aloud to the class, write down their response in words, or draw/sketch out what it is that they love about what they do. I am really looking forward to hearing and seeing their responses this August as we begin to understand what kind of people are in our classroom.

When I asked my daughter, a future 6th grader, she stated that she loved creating and living her dream life through play. She had a little bit of trouble putting the words together (because she says she has summer brain) so I think sentence starters or mentor sentences could be provided to help students who may become stuck or need some inspiration.

Think of things that you do (go to school, dance, paint, sports, listen to music, etc.). (I love doing this because) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Share in words or pictures what you wrote on the lines above. For example: I enjoy moving to the music in creative ways that I have designed.

What type of introductions and/ or icebreakers do you complete during the beginning of the year? Please share them and what you love about what you do in the comments below.

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