Posted in Conversation Classes, Exam Preparation Class, Games

CAE First Class – Ice Breakers

Here are some ice breaking activities for a first class with a CAE group.The idea is to get students talking and also to recycle and refresh some grammar and vocabulary that they should have covered in the FCE.

You’ll need this prezi:

Part 1

For the first activity you need to come up with 10 sentences using adjective + preposition combinations. My example is the first slide of the prezi:

1. I’m petrified of heights.
2. I’m brilliant at football.
3. I’m interested in studying German.
4. I’m proud of English cuisine.
5. I’m dreadful at cooking.
6. I’m pessimistic about my football team’s chances.
7. I’m famous for making a delicious Spanish omelet.
8. I’m fond of basketball and rugby.
9. I’m dissatisfied with my team’s 1-1 draw at the weekend.
10. I’m allergic to walnuts.

Dictate the 10 sentences, have your students write them down, then project them or write them on the board. Tell students that five of the sentences are true and five are false. Put the student in pairs and have them discuss the sentences, they can ask you questions to try and catch you in a lie. After about 5 minutes tell students to come to a decision about which are true/false and explain their reasons: “We don’t reckon you’re interested in studying German because….” the team with the most correct answers wins. Use the opportunity to share some information about yourself with your students.

Now tell students that you want them to do the same. Show the second slide of the prezi with other adjective preposition combinations:

accustomed to
addicted to
annoyed with/at sb
annoyed about st
anxious about
ashamed of
awful/dreadful/rubbish at
brilliant/amazing/excellent at
capable of
crazy about
content with
curious about
dissatisfied with
delighted about
experienced in
fed up with
envious of
furious about
fond of
puzzled by
suspicious of

terrified/petrified of
upset about
worried about

Students can use any of these or the ones you used in your 10. Clear up any of the vocabulary and then give students 5 minutes to come up with their 10.

Students read out their 10 sentences to their partner and discuss them trying to guess which are true and which are false. Focus should be on repetition of the adjective + prep but also allow them to chat freely to get to know each other. Change partners and repeat as many times as you like.

Go round the class and have students share any surprising things they discovered, or any of their false sentences that fooled their classmates.

The next slide can be used at the end of the class as a recap of the prepositions from your original ten sentences.

1. I’m petrified __ heights.
2. I’m brilliant __ football.
3. I’m interested __ studying German.
4. I’m proud __ English cuisine.
5. I’m dreadful __ cooking.
6. I’m pessimistic __ my football team’s chances.
7. I’m famous __ making a delicious Spanish omelet.
8. I’m fond __ basketball and rugby.
9. I’m dissatisfied __ my team’s 1-1 draw at the weekend.
10. I’m allergic __ walnuts.

Part 2

This is my take on another classic ice breaker. Project the next slide onto the board:

1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose and why? (I’d choose….)
2. Make 2 wishes, 1 present wish and 1 past.
I wish I had brown hair.
I wish I was shorter.
I wish I had studied Spanish at school.
I wish I hadn’t stayed up so late last night.
Explain your wishes
3. Where would you rather go on holiday, the beach or the mountains? Why? (I’d rather go to…)
4. What’s your earliest memory?
5. If you could relive one day in your life which day would you choose and why? (I’d…..)
6. If the weather had been better at the weekend, what would you have done? (I would have…)

Again you might need to tailor the questions a bit. Put students in pairs and have them ask and answer all 6 questions, but first tell them that they have to remember all of the information that their partner tells them. The idea is to get students using the complete grammatical structures so remind them that they have to ask each other the complete questions (not just say “what about number 2”) and give complete answers (I have included the sentence stems). Tell students that they have 10 minutes to ask and answer all of the questions to every person in the class and that they need to remember all the information.

When the 10 minutes is up, split the class into two teams. Ask for a volunteer from team 1 to come to the front of the class and sit in the hot seat, team 2 then have to remember all of that volunteer’s answers to the 6 questions, they receive 1 point for each answer they remember correctly. Remind them to use the complete grammatical structures, this way they are recycled multiple times. Then team 1 has to remember a member of team 2’s answers. Repeat until everyone has been in the hot seat.

By the end of the class you will have hopefully learned all your student’s names, a bit about them and refreshed some grammar and vocabulary.


Barcelona based English Teacher, blogger and sometime actor and director.

7 thoughts on “CAE First Class – Ice Breakers

  1. Thanks a million for this amazing lesson Tim. I’m about to start with my first CAE group and I was bit stuck. You rock!

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