Got a Case of the Mondays? Here’s How to Energize Your Adult Students

Posted by on January 4th, 2016

Have you ever walked into the classroom on Monday and just felt like the mood had been sucked out of it? That “blah” feeling is normal, especially after a long weekend or during bad weather. Unfortunately, this lack of positivity can make even the brightest teacher feel a bit uninspired. If you noticed that your class has a “case of the Mondays,” it is time to change the energy in your classroom with one of these icebreakers. The following activities are fantastic for adult students.

Historical People, Major Cities, Leading Ladies, or Guess the Film

If you want to boost the energy in the room, this activity will get the group asking questions and getting excited. You can choose a historical figure, famous location, well-known actress, or popular movie for each student. Write the chosen item on an index card, taping one to the back of each student.

Next, students go from person to person, asking questions answered with either a yes or no. Their goal is to figure out which item is posted on your back. For instance, you might choose a theme of “Guess the Film.” Students might have films like Pulp Fiction, The Godfather, Romeo & Juliet, and Casablanca. They may ask questions like, “Is my film considered a horror movie?” or “Is my movie based on a true story?”

Shared Conversations

Do you notice that conversation has reached a lull in the room? Get your students talking about current events, pop culture, history, and more with this exercise. Simply pair the students so that they are working with somebody they don’t seem to talk to very much. Choose a topic, preferably a random one out of a hat, and allow the class to talk about it for two minutes or so. You can choose to switch partners or topics at this point.

2 Truths, 1 Lie

Encourage each student to write down two truths about themselves followed by one lie. Each student should read their three “facts,” and the rest of the class determines which one is a lie. This allows students to get to know each other better, and it also offers some discussion and excitement as students disagree and debate.

What Did You Learn?

As you already know, learning commonly happens outside the classroom. If you want to encourage students to discuss things they learned over the weekend, spend part of Monday’s beginning of class to go one-by-one and list one thing they learned over the course of the weekend.

Something in Common

Split the class into groups of 4 to 5 students randomly. Ask the students to determine five things every person in the group has in common. This works best when you encourage students to think outside the box, delivering answers that delve beyond the most obvious.

Whether you are encouraging your adult students to learn more about each other or you simply want to hype up the class for an upcoming activity or project, these icebreakers can relieve some of the tension or that “blah” feeling you experience at the beginning of class on Monday. Socialization is the key to ripping through the blues.


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