Break some ice: Impromptu Speeches

I love icebreaker activities and have plans to throw them into the middle of class periods as espresso shots here and there.  This activity was first introduced to me this year at the AVID Summer Institute.

Teacher Prep:

  1. Create several questions or topics.
  2. Write them on notecards (or type them and save them).
  3. Make enough copies for each group to have a set.



  1. Put the students into groups.
  2. Handout the baggies.
  3. Go!


Student instructions:

  1. Your teacher will put you into a group.
  2. Decide who will be the timer.
  3. You will receive a bag of questions.
  4. When it is your turn, draw a random question out of the bag.
  5. You must respond to the question by talking for 60 seconds.  Other group members may not interrupt you, comment, and/or ask questions.  You must fill the entire 60 seconds.  When it’s the timer’s turn, someone else must act as the timer.
  6. When all group members have gone, return the questions to the bag and give it to your teacher.

I plan to explore a modification in which after each speech, two people must ask follow-up questions.  While thus far I’ve only used this as a get to know you activity done in English as a part of my setting the tone week, I cannot wait to use it in the target language.  It will provide a fun way to possible combine presentational speaking practice with interpersonal speaking practice.

The most beautiful lesson plan book

Have you heard of Erin Condren?  You may hate me in a few seconds if you watch the video below.  My kindergarten teacher cousin introduced me to this planner, and it was love at first sight.  I seriously want to purchase everything on this site.  It’s ADORABLE!!!!  For now, I have only ordered my personalized lesson plan book.  It arrived yesterday and is everything I expected and more!  I highly recommend getting the extra check-list pages (I don’t keep records, but I plan to use them as additional notes pages), the personalized notepads (I attached mine in the front of my planner) and the pen clip.  The front and back covers are thickly laminated and the interior pages thick and sturdy–no worries about accidentally ripping some as you flip.

In case you don’t want to watch the 10 minute video from her site, scroll past it for a 2-minute picture slideshow of my 2013-2014 lesson plan book.

My Personalized Erin Condren Planner:

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