Surprising Things

Surprising Things is a very flexible and fun activity that works great as an icebreaker or to practice specific grammar. It works with your students' personal information and is always fun and dynamic. Below are lots of ideas to modify this activity.

Surprising Things is a very simple activity. It works best in medium-sized groups (between 7 and 15 students). In its basic form, you should have each student write one surprising thing about themselves on a small piece of paper.

Here are some ideas for how to personalize the game.
  1. If you have a small group, collect all the pieces of paper. Read them aloud andhave the students guess who wrote each surprising thing. Have the students tell complete stories about their surprising facts.
  2. Another way to make the game more active and silly is to have a "paper war." After the students write their surprising things, have them crumple up their papers into a ball. They can all throw the papers at each other like in a snowball fight! After a minute of fun, have each student pick up a ball of paper. Then they should read it out loud and guess whose surprise it is.
  3. You can also use the surprises to play telephone in a smaller group. Put the students in a circle. Whisper a surprising fact into one student's ear (for example: Sarah once swarm with sharks!). This student must whisper the sentence in the next student's ear, and so on. The last student should write what they heard on the board. It is funny how much the sentence changes! At the end, the student (Sarah in this example) should explain the story.
You can also use Surprising Facts to practice conditionals. Ask the students to write what they would do if they had unlimited money to do anything they wanted for a day. Then use one of the ideas above.

Use this activity to help students get to know each other and be as creative as you want!

Check out the teaching center for more tips and ideas!