Warm up activities

Would you rather?

This fun icebreaker can be used to spark interesting conversations in class.
Would you rather?
Educator prep: Minimal
Student prep: None
Synchronous or Asynchronous
Video conferencing, Shared online space
Duration: Variable

Activity purpose

This activity can be used as an introductory, warm-up, or icebreaker. It can be used to start spirited debates and conversations about preferences and personal ideas. Additionally, it can be reused with the same group of students with no repetition.

Useful for

Learning about individual preferences, practicing justification (defending a controversial position), and lowering learner affective filter through hypothetical situations. This activity can also be used to solicit learner feedback throughout the course, or as a prompt for students (have them create their own binaries).

Preparation

The spreadsheet (download here) has 94 sample ‘would you rather’ questions. If you want to modify any selections, there are instructions provided on the sheet titled ‘instructions.’ Use the spreadsheet to generate 10 ‘would you rather’ prompts, and present them to your students.

Instructions

Depending on the particulars of your class, each student, in pairs or as a small group can be provided with one question to discuss. Discussions can be sequential, or in small groups, depending on class size. Give students a brief amount of time to make their selection, and develop reasons why they feel that way. Then they should have time to present their opinion to their peers, and their peers should have a chance to voice agreement or disagreement.

Duration

Duration varies based on the number of questions used, and class size. Estimate at least 2-3 minutes per question to allow for ample preparation and presentation.

Adaptations and examples

If the randomly selected questions are unsuitable, it is easy to reselect prompts. If the teacher wants to modify the list of prompts, instructions are provided on the ‘Instructions’ sheet of the excel spreadsheet. Another possible adaptation is for teachers to invite students to create their own 'would you rather' binaries.

Technical requirements

Microsoft Excel (or Google Sheets)

Useful resources

There are an abundance of ‘would you rather’ questions easily found by a Google search. This section could easily balloon beyond control, so it’s best to do your own research, and modify the activity as you see fit!

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