We use a lot of ice-breaker activities in theatre classrooms. These often included revealing information about one’s self or emoting in some way. You can surprise your students with either of the following two activities that do not require any sharing of information or acting; they are purely visual. In spite of this, they are excellent tools for getting a group comfortable with each other very quickly.
Activity 1: Sorting by Size
Everyone closes their eyes. They are not allowed to talk. They are required to sort themselves into a line with everyone arranged from tallest to shortest. The instructor can offer basic verbal guidance: “You are currently in two lines instead of one.” “You are still missing someone.” This exercise involves respect, trust, and cooperation.
Activity 2: Sorting by Eye Color
This time, they get to talk. They have to sort themselves into a line based on who’s eyes are the palest to the darkest. This will involve everyone looking carefully into each others’ eyes and cooperating. They all need to agree as the order is created, which means that almost everyone will need to stare very carefully at everyone else’s eyes.
Got a really big group?
Split it in half. For Activity 1, any split will do. For Activity 2, consider putting everyone with brown eyes into one group, and everyone else into another.