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Coat of Arms: Senior High School Icebreaker Activity

For our new #teachertuesday series, we ask for submissions of lesson plans, activity ideas, or general advice for teachers/ALTs. Christopher Sept, a SHS ALT, presents his Icebreaker activity for high school!

Coming up with a unique Ice Breaker game can be tricky, so here, try mine! It’s called Coat of Arms. A simple shield image with four blank spaces. The idea is to draw four pictures that represent something about you and your life and then explain them to others.

I begin with a short background about the history of the coat of arms. Embellish as you see fit, but I say it is basically like the Japanese Kamon seal but for medieval European kingdoms.

Then, I find it helps to go through a little demonstration. Show off your own coat of arms. The images can be about anything: Your hobbies, places you have traveled, memorable life moments, or a series of your favorite things. Mine were about my love of martial arts, love of playing music, my last name being 7 in French, and the Kabuki play that got me interested in Japan. Go wild.

Give the students some time to draw with a little guidance if they get stuck. I had a student draw 4 pictures of bread, so, yeah, anything goes I guess. Then have them share their work with their partner. If time allows, select some students to come to the front and have them showcase their hard work to their fellow classmates. I have found great success in this relatively simple Ice Breaker activity. Give it a try if ya like. Good luck, have fun.

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