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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.)
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.
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?