“What did you do on your summer/winter holidays?” is over. “What are your plans for the weekend?” is boring. You need some new and fresh icebreaker questions to get your students conversing. Not only will these questions help your students get to know each other, but they’ll give you deeper insight into their lives and personalities as well.
The following questions are open-ended, so students can share more than just yes/no or one-word responses. They’re also meant to be inclusive, so students can participate without feeling “less than.” For example, asking students what they did over the holidays can be great if they went on a fancy vacation, but not so great if they had to stay home and babysit their siblings or work a part-time job. Some of the questions are funny, some are serious, some are more personal. Be aware of your students’ dynamics and what questions might be uncomfortable for them, and adjust or omit questions as necessary.
You can use these questions for the traditional “pair up and interview your partner” exercise, as full-class group discussion questions, or as written journal prompts.
1. What television show, movie, novel, or comic book do you think would make a great theatrical stage production? Why?
2. If you got to set the drama curriculum for the semester, what lessons/topics would you teach?
3. What do you think drama teachers do when they’re not in class?
4. What is your dream job? How could the skills you learn in drama class help you to get that job?
5. What are three traits a great drama teacher should possess?
6. What is something you’re interested in? Why does it interest you?
7. Name a person you respect or admire. What is it about that person that you like?
8. What is a great piece of advice you have received? Or, what advice would you share with others?
9. If you could write a play or musical about any topic or featuring any music, what would you create?
10. Describe a favourite taste or smell with as many expressive words or phrases as you can.
11. If you could donate a million dollars to any charity or cause, what would you donate the money to? Why?
12. If the drama classroom could talk, what do you think it would say?
13. If you could have any talent, what talent would you want and why?
14. What place — real or fictional — would you like to visit and why?
15. If you had a time machine, would you rather visit the past or the future? Why?
16. What do you want to be remembered for?
17. If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be? Who would star in the movie adaptation?
18. Describe how you’d arrange and decorate your ideal drama classroom.
19. What three words would you use to describe yourself? What are three words you think others would use to describe you?
20. What is something that always makes you laugh?