ESL Icebreaker: Deserted Island

ESL Icebreaker: Deserted Island

Deserted Island is a simple no-prep first class icebreaker for young learners and teens. In this activity, students imagine they have been trapped on a desert island. They must think of five things that they would take with them if they lived on a deserted island. Encourage students to say what the items are and why they would take them.

Activity time: 10 – 15 minutes (approx)
Skills Practiced: Speaking
Level: Young learners and teens. Lower intermediate and above.


  1. Tell your students to imagine that they are trapped on a deserted island. To make the game livelier and make the students’ imagination work, you can show them some pictures of a deserted island.
  2. Give them some time to think of five items that they would take to the deserted island. You can start the game yourself by naming your five items. Alternatively, you can use the prepared handout below.
  3. Encourage them to discuss how each item might be useful. Ask the students to explain why they want to take these items.
  4. Enjoy and have fun.


  • What five songs would they bring?
  • What five books would they take?
  • What five foods would they take?
  • Give students a handout (see printable download below) and ask them to pick five items. Encourage students to discuss how each item would be useful. Have them pick five on their own and then later put them in groups and decide which five they would take as a group.

More First Class ESL Icebreakers
Discover more first class activities for kids, teens and adults.

Tell Us About Yourself – In Tell Us About Yourself, the teacher passes around a bag of sweets. The teacher tells the students to take as many sweets as they want but not to eat them just yet. Once all the students have a sweet, the students first count how many sweets they have and tell the teacher.
Human Spelling – In this activity, students are put into teams and given a clue. First they must work out what word the clue is and then spell the word using only their bodies.
Dead or Alive – A simple first class speaking activity for teens and adults.
Numbers in my Life – A simple first class activity where students speak about important numbers in their lives.
5 First Day Activities – Five first class activities for young learners, teens and adults.
ESL Vocabulary Fortunes – an online game for teens and adults that is a great way to practice vocabulary on many topics.
ESL Creativity Activity –  a simple creativity activity to get students thinking
Find more first class icebreakers for all levels here. 
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