CERCA Framework Icebreakers

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ThinkCERCA ice breakers are a great way to introduce students and teachers to the CERCA framework, as well as continue practicing the framework throughout the year. Each of these ice breakers includes a slide deck you can use to guide the activity (teacher instructions are outlined in the notes below each slide).

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CERCA Humans


In this activity, students will be given a part of the CERCA framework and will need to find others who have the missing pieces of their argument. Then, they’ll need to work as a team to determine the correct order of the CERCA argument.

View CERCA Humans Slide Deck >>

Captain CERCA


In this icebreaker, the teacher acts as “Captain CERCA” and calls out different parts of The CERCA Framework. When each part is called out, participants must pose in the relevant formation, otherwise they are out of the game.

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CERCA Scramble


This icebreaker asks students to work in teams to respond to a debatable question - writing each of the parts of CERCA on a separate note card. The notecards are then scrambled and passed to another group to be organized into a viable CERCA argument. 

View CERCA Scrabble Slide Deck >>

CERCA Circle


Students form groups of 3-5. One person volunteers to begin and asks a debatable question. Rotating clockwise, each person will respond with the next part of CERCA. The final person will end with a concluding statement.

View CERCA Circle Slide Deck >>

CERCA Snowstorm


Each student gets one piece of paper with a prompt at the top. The first student reviews the prompt, and answers with a claim + reason to answer the question. Each student wads up their paper into a (snow)ball. Students proceed to have a “snowball” fight until the music stops. Each student then picks up a piece of paper and completes the next part of CERCA. 

View CERCA Snowstorm Slide Deck >>



Students are given the pieces of a CERCA argument on cut up pieces of paper. Working in a group, they will sort the pieces into a viable CERCA argument. 

View CERCA Sort Slide Deck >>



This is a kinesthetic activity that asks students to work in groups to stack cups with pieces of a CERCA argument on them. The cups are stacked in a pyramid that make sense for the building of a CERCA, but the students must work together to stack the cups without using only rubber bands to pick up the cups. 

View CERCA Stack Slide Deck >>

I Have, Who Has


This circular call and response icebreaker is great for reviewing the different parts of the CERCA framework. The person with card #1 begins by calling out the definition and someone else responds with the corresponding CERCA part. This game is easily adaptable to use for selected vocabulary.

View I Have, Who Has Slide Deck >>