Build Class Community: Fun Activities & Ice Breakers (21st Century Skills)

Grade Levels
6th - 10th, Homeschool
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29 pages
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SAVE HOURS of PREP WORK with this package of high interest, fun activities for your students to help build classroom community: character, citizenship, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity.


This lesson includes 6 fun icebreakers to play with your class during the first weeks of school, after a reporting period or at the start of a new term.

This is a great way to introduce 21st Century Skills (the Six Cs of Education) to your students and to set (or re-set) a positive tone in your class built around growth mindset.:

The Six Cs are a bunch of transferable skills that you can use at school, at home, at a job… pretty much anywhere. They’re learning skills that some people think our students are going to need in order to be successful in the 21st century.

In this package, you get over a week’s worth of lessons to do with your students (6 periods of material). Each icebreaker lesson is intended to fill one period of instruction and includes…

* an explanation for teachers of how the icebreaker connects to one of the Six Cs.

* a description of the activity for students,

* discussion questions and teacher talking points to guide conversation

Here are the six icebreakers we carefully selected to line up with the Six Cs.

* Character (Human Knot)

* Citizenship (Switch Spots if you...)

* Collaboration (Human Shapes)

* Communication (Line Up)

* Creativity (Boggle Brainstorm)

* Critical Thinking (Build a Tower)

IMPORTANT NOTE about teaching during COVID:

This product is fun but it may not be appropriate for your classroom depending on your school's covid-19 rules. Please read carefully to make sure it fits your needs.

Requires physical contact

  • Human Knot requires students holding hands to untie a group circle

Requires use of shared resources

  • Build a Tower is the classic activity where students are given newspaper and tape and have to construct the tallest free-standing tower. This may not work if students are not allowed to touch common resources.

Requires space

  • Switch Spots requires students in a large circle. During different times of the game, students run to the other side of the circle to take a different spot. If you have a large enough space and pylons or some other object to designate spots, this could work. (Chairs work - but may not be appropriate with low-contact rules at your school.)
  • Human Shapes requires students to work in groups to create shapes with their body language. This would require much more creativity and space with physical distancing rules.
  • Communication requires students to line up in a specific order (i.e. birth date). Students need to communicate with each other and find their appropriate spot in the line. This could work if you have enough space for students to line up.
  • Boggle Brainstorm is a word game that requires students to work in groups to come up with different answers. Students get more points for unique answers so groups will need to figure out a way to record group answers during physical distancing rules.

There are lots of ways you could use this package:

1. Homeroom teachers could do one of these activities at the end of every day during the first week of September.

2. Literacy teachers could do these activities at the start of the term and collect some diagnostic information about their students abilities in oral communication and group work.

3. Your school could organize a fun Welcome Back to School event.

* At a morning assembly, after the Principal welcomes back the students, do the Six C unit overview presentation to introduce the Six Cs to the student body.

(The Unit Overview lesson is provided for free here)

* Students could then visit 6 workshop stations throughout the day. Each workshop would focus on one of the Six Cs and could use the icebreakers from this package.

* The teacher running the workshop would use the lesson plan to teach the “C” to different groups of students throughout the day. (Using the lesson plan from this package means teachers don’t have to prepare anything new for the first day event. All of the materials will be provided to them. That way, they can focus on preparing their material for their own classes.)

* During the rest of the week, literacy teachers or homeroom teachers could have deeper conversations about the Six Cs with their classes. (But, a consistent and systematic initial overview of the Six Cs would be provided to all students on the first day.)

When you download the zipped file, it includes:

* A 23 page lesson plan (PDF)

* A Microsoft Powerpoint (PPT) file (that you can modify)

* A link to the Google Slideshow file (that you can copy and modify)

NOTE: THIS LESSON IS PART OF A LARGER BUNDLE about Exploring the Six Cs / 21st Century Skills / Competencies

The Six Cs are a bunch of transferable skills that you can use at school, at home, at a job… pretty much anywhere. They’re learning skills to help us be successful in the 21st century.

Each Chapter package focuses on a different “C” and contains different lessons, slides, videos, and handouts. Although we use the same structure in each chapter (activity, video, vocabulary building), there is no overlap of content between packages.

Lessons can be purchased individually, or you can SAVE MONEY and purchase the entire unit as a BUNDLE.

PSST, do you know the one magic phrase that teachers should tell their students? It's not what you think. Hint: It helps build a growth mindset...

Total Pages
29 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 Week
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