Three People Interacting

Icebreaker: Find Someone Who . . . .

Icebreakers help us create a sense of community which is essential when we are going to collaborate with people.  In the classroom, especially in a foreign language class where students need to try to get their mouths to pronounce unfamiliar words and sounds, people need to know that they are in an environment where it is safe to take risks and make mistakes.  Using icebreakers at the beginning of a semester facilitates the process of getting to know one another; this one is a favorite in face-to-face classes.

This icebreaker is a game of BINGO.  It’s important to take a few moments before playing to make sure that everyone knows the rules of the game and understands how to play because not all of our students are from the United States and some might not be familiar with it.  Ask the class for a volunteer who can explain what the object of the game is and how you get a BINGO by having 5 answers vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.

It is easy to customize the BINGO with questions that relate to a specific discipline or instead use general questions that simply help students to get to know one another, as in the example below.

Remember:  When giving the instructions to students, emphasize that the game is an excuse to meet people; everyone is to get up and move about the classroom.  When they approach a classmate, each student should introduce him/herself and then ask the classmate a question. If the person responds positively, the asker should record his/her name and answer a question for that person in return. Again, it’s more about getting to know classmates than about winning the fabulous prize for getting a Bingo!  Also, for that reason, students can only use each classmate’s name for one square.

Demonstrate:  Do a few practice examples – either you can approach students and model the interaction you desire or you can ask students to model one or two examples.

Play:  Then, have your students begin the game.  They should approach a classmate, introduce themselves, ask a question, and if the person responds in the affirmative, write the person’s name and a detail or two in the appropriate box.  If someone gets four in a row, the student should say BINGO and then call back their answers as this step will allow students another opportunity to hear classmates’ names and learn a little bit about them.  If you have small prizes (pencils, bookmarks or candy, for example) to award to the winners, it adds to the fun.

BINGO Board:

Has studied at another college besides GCC

Has a child Has taken public transportation Has visited another country Plays a musical instrument

Plays on a sports team

Was born outside the United States

Exercises every day

Works while attending college

Has friends or relatives who speak another language

Takes more than three classes

Has visited both Niagara Falls USA and NF Canada


Commutes more than 30 minutes to study at GCC

Has the same major as you

Is the first in his/her family to attend college

Wears glasses to read

Has attended a concert during the past year

Speaks a language other than English

Has a pet

Likes pizza Has studied at GCC for more than 1 year Has taken classes in another community college Has completed an internship

Takes classes at more than one GCC campus center

Use this as a template to create your own board – edit away!

Download yours here: BINGO Board – Find Someone Who


Submitted by:

Jeanne Mullaney

Professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures

Community College of Rhode Island

Edited By:

Judith Littlejohn, Genesee Community College, 8/19/2018

Image of three people interacting is “Conversation at Wikimania 2014” by Ragesoss, CCBY,

Teaching Tip Image

This Teaching Tip is part of a series. Faculty and staff of SUNY Genesee Community College are encouraged to join the TLC Organization for more professional development opportunities. To request enrollment or suggest a topic, email

August 19, 2018, Judith M Littlejohn