Facilitator Cards

Pair & Share Icebreaker Template

Use tiny breakout groups to increase connection, camaraderie, and participation to set your sessions up for success!

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What is the Pair & Share icebreaker? 👯

In this activity, you’ll pair people up in two-person breakout rooms and give them specific prompts to respond to in the breakout rooms.

Ideally, most questions they should respond to should make them think rather than remember.

This is a great way to create connections and break the ice before a more extensive session.

Sample Prompts

  • “In your breakouts, introduce yourself, share where you’re calling from, what’s under your feet, and one of your favorite parts of the morning. The person who lives closest to New York City goes first!”
  • “In your breakouts, introduce yourself by sharing a bit about your work and one of your first jobs as a kid. The person who has a book closest to where they are sitting goes first!”
  • “In your breakouts, introduce yourself, share how someone who didn’t understand your job might describe your job, and one thing you geek out about. The person with the birthday coming up next goes first!”

How it works

  1. Let participants know you’re going to place them into breakout groups with one other person.
  2. Let them know what you’d like them to do when they arrive in their breakout groups and (optional) who should go first in the pair.
  3. Clarify if there are any questions.
  4. Open the breakout groups.
  5. After 1/2 the time has passed, send a message letting folks know to switch partners.
  6. Close the breakout groups after time has elapsed (about 5 minutes).

About the creators

Facilitator Cards is a deck of 60 facilitation activities that are simple to implement and easy to reach for whether you're planning or in a pinch.

Facilitator Cards were created by the same two humans behind Facilitating.XYZ (a free online resource for all facilitators), Unlocking the Magic of Facilitation (a book about key facilitator concepts), & The Safe Zone Project (free curriculum & train-the-trainer retreat guide).

To learn more about using Facilitator Cards and Butter together, check out this blog.


1-10 mins

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