Icebreakers & Openers

Ways to start off class with a bang!


(not necessarily content-related; often best done Day 1)

Two Truths and a Lie

Good icebreaker for the first day of class: Begin by writing three "facts" about yourself on the board, one of which is not true. Tell students that two of the items are true, one is not, and their task is to ask you questions to figure out which is the lie. Remind them that you will lie to cover up the incorrect item on the board.

You can set a time limit for questions, or allow the students to ask as many as they like, depending on the amount of time you can dedicate to the activity.


  • Make the "lie" very close to something true. It's easier to keep the "facts" straight and the students guessing. Steve Singleton's lie is often, "I have 13 first cousins," when he actually has 14.
  • Make the "true" items unusual things students might not readily believe. Singleton often uses, "My wife and ex-wife have the same first name" as one of his truths. Another is, "My ex-wife has two brothers: one's a cop; the other is a convicted felon."


(content related kickoff activities; can include Day 1 activities or short jolts to introduce new material)

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