Ice breakers… Now, before you avoid eye contact and totally disengage from this conversation, hear me out. They aren’t all bad. In fact, here is one that will have your kids engaged while also empowering them to see the good in others and themselves! 

Affirmation Station Ice Breaker

This activity can be done with a variety of ages and differentiated as needed! I used a version of this activity with a group of 3rd graders after coming back from a break. It was a great way to get back into the swing of things and also remind them that their individuality is celebrated and noticed in the classroom.

Print the template for free.

What’s an affirmation?

As a class and depending on age, you may want to go over what the word affirmation is and what it means to give it.

Each student writes an affirmation about their classmates

After setting intentions, give each child a copy of the affirmation station ice breaker and have them write their name at the top of that paper. As the papers make their way around the room, each student writes a positive about the student whose name is on that piece of paper. You can have them fill up the paper or set a timer, but each student should get their sheet back and have it filled with affirmations from their classmates. Have each student then write an affirmation about themselves at the bottom of their page so they learn the importance of recognizing the good in themselves. 

Come together and reflect as a group.

Give students the option to share different things people wrote about them or what they wrote about themselves. You can ask questions like, “Did anyone have an affirmation about their creativity?” or “What was an affirmation that you were surprised someone noticed about you?” We then acknowledge that what people affirmed about us are all different and that we all bring different strengths (and weaknesses) to the table. And we need those differences to make a complete classroom. 

If this is an ice breaker that doesn’t make you want to crawl into yourself or die of awkwardness, you can print it out for free and use with your class or maybe even for a staff meeting! 

Steps to Use in Your Classroom:

  1. Hand out the following worksheet to each individual and have them put their name at the top
  2. Pass around the papers or post the papers around the room. When a paper makes it to a new person or a new person arrives at a paper, they are to write an anonymous positive comment about the owner of the paper.
  3. Continue this process for as long as you need or until papers are all filled up.
  4. Have the original owners of the paper get their papers back and reflect on the positives written about them.
  5. Optional is to have the individuals reflect and write down a positive about themselves in the last box. Feel free to share as a group.