Snowball Fight

Paper snowball fights are perfect for getting students to interact with their classmates while practicing designated skills. Students get to toss paper around the class, clean it up, then communicate with random classmates. Here’s what to do:

 
What to Do

1. Distribute a piece of paper to each student in class.

2. Have students write their names at the top and 1, 2, 3, down the left side of the paper.

3. 1, 2, 3 will be points replying to a query that you pose based on the day’s lesson. If the lesson is an introduction, the points might be:

  1. Something you (“you” being “the student”) love
  2. Something you really don’t like
  3. One additional point about you

If the lesson is for classes on job interviews, the points could be:

  1. Your greatest strength
  2. Your biggest weakness
  3. One additional point about you

4. Demonstrate how to answer the question on the board (point form or full sentences will depend on your objectives).

5. Ask students if they like snowball fights in the winter. Usually, you’ll get curious looks about why such a random question was posed, but typically someone will say yes (if not, goad them into it: too bad!).

6. Inform them they’re about to have a snowball fight. (An astute student may ask how it’s possible to do so in the class, especially when there’s no snow.)

7. Take a student’s paper and get everyone else to follow your lead: crumple it up into a ball.

8. Split the class into two approximately equal teams facing each other. Move the desks to opposite sides of the room if possible.

9. Give your snowball fight rules:

  • Start throwing when the teacher says “fight!”
  • Avoid the head.
  • Keep picking up the balls and throwing them back at the other team.
  • Stop when the teacher says stop. Stress this point.
  • When the teacher says stop, everyone must pick up a snowball.

10. Yell “Stop!” Ensure everyone picks up a snowball.

11. Tell the students to open up their snowballs and look at the name. If someone has their own snowball, exchange it with someone else’s.

12. Instruct students to find the person who owns the snowball, calling out names if necessary. Once found, they should ask a “wh” question about each point written on the paper: why do you like ___ so much? How often do you do ___?

13. Model a sample answer for the class or have a pair of students model for everyone. Tell them to remember the answers to each question.

14. Set them to their task.

15. Tell them to stop (typically when it looks like everyone has shared information). Select a student to talk about their partner. “Whose snowball do you have? Tom? Ok, tell me about Tom.”

16. Repeat if time and atmosphere permit. Get students to sit back at their desks and begin again.

 

Tips

  • Keep students in their seats during the fight to prevent chaos
  • Model everything.
  • This warm-up gets students to use first person, second person, and third person pronouns, meaning they practice different forms of subject verb agreement. For younger classes or ESL, it’s a good way to practice or see if your students need help in this area.