Sep 17, 2013

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A Colorful and Delicious Icebreaker Activity

skittles in bag

When I say the word “candy” my students’ ears immediately perk up. I generally steer clear of allowing any type of candy or treats in my classroom for various reasons including health and cost, but this colorful and delicious icebreaker activity was worth breaking my own rules. I used Skittles for this activity but you could use any sort of small, colorful candy. (M&M’s, jelly beans, Sixlets, etc.)

Directions:

1. Put an equal amount of candy into a bag, one for each student.
I chose ten pieces. You also could buy individual packages of candy, but it was more cost effective for me to buy a large bag. This is where Sixlets might work well, save time and be cost effective.

2. Pick a question you want each student to answer that corresponds with a color of candy. Write your questions on the board with the coordinating colors so students can refer to them throughout the activity.
For example:
Green= What is your favorite hobby?
Red= What is your biggest goal for this year?
Yellow= What is your most memorable (or embarrassing!) moment?
Orange= What is your biggest accomplishment?
Purple= What is your favorite book?

3. Have a student in each group pick up a piece of candy and answer the corresponding question. Then, it’s another group member’s turn . Students take turns until all the candy is gone.

This activity can be used as an icebreaker for the beginning of the year, or can also be used with curriculum-related questions like color theory. For example, if a student picked a green skittle, they might have to tell how you mix the color green and whether it is a primary, secondary, or tertiary color.

Students were truly engaged throughout this activity. Not only did they learn about their peers, but I learned about them too. The activity is well worth the eight to ten minutes it takes to complete.

 

 

What other kinds of curriculum-related questions could be used for this activity? 

What is your policy on using candy in the classroom? Would this activity be as effective with a different, non-edible material? 

 

 

 

CassidyThis article was written by AOE Team member Cassidy Reinken. Cassidy is a certified K-12 art educator with 7+ years experience. Her background includes teaching elementary and middle school art in Iowa.

About Cassidy | Cassidy’s Articles

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  • Shawsha Newcomb

    This could be good with color identification in kindergarten… as long as you could see that they have identified the correct color before they ate it!

  • Stephanie Needham

    I do use treats in the Art room. I give my High School students a snack because they come in mid-day and still have an hour before lunch. I frame it by saying i reward the good kids not the ones who are getting all my attention for misbehaving. I focus on everything they are doing right…no hats…no cell phones…being on task. They have been known to break out and give themselves a round of applause. This is my best year of teaching ever and it all boils down to one thing. I treat them the way i would like to be treated. It is worth every penny.