Brief Reminders

Brief Reminders is an Ice Breaker activity ideal for a first class. It requires little or no preparation and can be great fun. This is probably more suited to an intermediate and above level class.


On the board simply draw a large bag shape. Ask the class what it is and invite discussion about it. Finally write above the shape: MY MEMORIES and explain that the bag contains some significant memories you have.

Next, inside the shape write a few simple reminders of important moments or people or things in your life. For example, you could put:

  • August 22nd, 2007
  • Sally
  • TVF879R

Invite discussion on these ideas!

What happened in 2007? How do the students think this was significant to you? Was it your first kiss (laughter in class) or perhaps when you first arrived at this school? Maybe your birthday or your Mum’s birthday?

And who is Sally? Your girlfriend? Your dog? Maybe your favorite teacher at school?

TVF879R sounds like a number plate; your first car maybe?

The idea is to generate as many ideas and as much discussion as you can and to use the students’ questions and your answers for them to find the right answers. Stress this last idea: you do not tell them the answer, they have to work it out with you.

Running the Activity

Each student now has a few minutes to draw their own memory bag on a piece of paper and put in 3 or so significant reminders from their life. After this, get the students into small groups‏‎ to share ideas and ask/answer questions.

Following this, you can have each student say something interesting about the person next to them to the whole class.

1999 – In 1999 Pedro’s little brother was born.

New York – last year Mari went on holiday to New York with her family.

What this activity is about is talking. Get the class to speak, to speculate and to guess. There are no right or wrong answers, it’s all about suggestions and ideas and at the end of the lesson you will have a rough idea of how the class can speak and your students will have a few interesting facts about each other!

Variations on a Theme

Rather than writing up these memories, you can also get the students to bring in 3 items which have a special meaning to them. For example, you could bring in an airline ticket, an old watch, a pressed flower, a photograph and so on. This would have to be on a second lesson, of course.

Posted in Lesson Plans & Activities.

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