Throw a ball

Looking for a different start or for a break in your (online) class? In this activity, students will throw an imaginary ball at each other while providing a brief answer to the question. 

Activity goal
Activate prior knowledge | Brainstorm | Get to know each other
In class
Hybrid | Offline | Online
< 10 minutes
Group size
Small | Medium

MS Teams, Zoom

Step 1

Ask students to enable their cameras in order to participate. Give them, if necessary, some time to appear presentable. 

Step 2

State a simple question that requires a one-word answer. For example: 'What is the first word that comes to mind when talking about …?'

Step 3

Pick a random student, say their name, and pretend to throw an imaginary ball at the student (to the camera).

Step 4

The student pretends to catch the ball and answers the question by saying his or her word. 

Step 5

5. Repeat until everyone has participated. 

Step 6

If you heard answers that made you curious, spend some time to ask questions about it. 


  • Ask students to show their first names in their videostream (Zoom, MSTeams),since they need to be able to call out each others' names. 
  • You can make this energizer more dynamic by encouraging the students to throw the imaginary ball in a fast pace. 
  • Ask participants to stand up for this energizer, so they are in a different position for a while. That often changes the energy level. 
  • The exercise with an imaginary ball also works well in a face-to-face setting (offline) with a real ball. 

Consider the tools and materials mentioned here as suggestions. In many cases it’s possible to use alternative tools. Please turn to the Learning & Innovation team of your faculty (EUR or EMC) first to see which online and offline tools are available and how to apply them. 


MS Teams, Zoom



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