SOS Top Ten for Breaking the Ice

Welcome to our special SOS Top Ten series. In this edition, we highlight some of the most popular ways to use Spotlight on Strategies (CDN Version) to help new groups break the ice and get to know one another.

How you will meet, greet, and develop community with a new group of students?

We suggest using media to build relationships with your class by selecting a media segment that relates to a topic of study and partnering it with one of these curated instructional strategies .

We hope you’ll try one or more of these strategies and share your experience with us in the comments or in the DEN Online Community!


3 Truths… 1 Lie  (CDN Version)] helps students focus on the key takeaway in a media selection. You have the option of providing the 3 Truths and 1 Lie and having students work together to determine which is the lie, or you could consider asking small groups of students to work together to develop 3 Truths and 1 Lie to present to their classmates.


Can You Guess My 2-1-4 (CDN Version) provides students with background knowledge before beginning a unit of study. Students are provided with two facts, one clue, and four digital images related to upcoming content and analyze the pieces to make predictions. To help students meet one another, ask them to work together in small groups to examine the media and pose their guesses.


AEIOU (CDN Version) asks students to interpret information from images or videos they have viewed and write down their thoughts next to five descriptive categories: A-E-I-O-U. As they share responses with one another, ask them to find similarities they share with other students in the group.


Conga Line (CDN Version) encourages students to work with one another while incorporating movement to stimulate thinking and participation. As students move through the conga line, they pair and discuss.


Table Top Texting (CDN Version) requires students to think critically about and discuss a video segment. It ensures that all students have an equal opportunity to participate because their discussion is written, not verbal.


Snowball Fight (CDN Version) is a fun way to encourage students to share the big ideas they’ve learned from a selected digital resource. Students write their big ideas on paper, crumble them up, and share their ideas by tossing them across the room.


Two Stars and a Wish (CDN Version) engages students in providing constructive feedback to one another. Students trade work with one another and provide two positive comments and one “wish,” or a comment that provides constructive feedback.


Tug Of War (CDN Version) hones students’ abilities in the art of deliberation and debate. Students are placed into two groups who then use digital media selections to learn about a topic or issue. They use what they learn to argue their position, using reasoning and evidence to back up their claims.


4 Corners (CDN Version) encourages students to discuss their thoughts about a specific topic. Each of the four corners of the room corresponds to a possible opinion about a thought-provoking statement. Students go to appropriate corners, based upon their opinions, to discuss and get ready to justify them.


Partner Time (CDN Version) has students preselect a collection of partners to work with throughout a unit. Establishing these partnerships early in the year facilitates a smoother transition into partner work, encourages broader understanding of different perspectives, and encourages students to work with a variety of different peers.


Related posts


  1. Jio4GVoice said:

    The next time I read a blog, I hope that it does not fail me just as much as this particular one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, nonetheless I actually believed you would probably have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something you could fix if you were not too busy looking for attention.

Comments are closed.