Balloon Toss

Let's say you have a several day workshop with teachers who may or may not know each other. You may have tried an ice breaker so teachers get to know each other. Here's one that is lots of fun, even without technology, but a lot more fun with technology:

  • After lunch on the first day, we asked everyone to fill out a small piece of paper with something about themselves that they believe no one else in the room would know.
  • We then took the pieces of paper and inserted each into a balloon for each participant.
  • Next morning we blew up all the balloons.
  • We threw the balloons in the middle of the room. With the floor covered with inflated balloons we told each person to grab one, pop it, and pull out the note inside.
  • Participants went to their computer and logged in to the discussion board.
  • They shared the information on the piece of paper with an idea of who they thought the paper was about and why.
  • Then they looked for the information about themselves and what the other person wrote.
  • Then they replied with more specifics such as "love fly fishing."

It was fun watching the writing fly – and listening to the giggling. They didn't stop with just replying to what was written, but started looking for people with similar interests and asking more questions. The participants weren't really talking to each other but were communicating beyond what we thought would happen. Try extending any of your ice breakers with discussion boards, chats or blogs.

Submitted by:
Sally Stratton
Technology Specialist, ESD 101
Spokane, WA

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