Here is an engaging team building icebreaker to get your participants connecting and thinking. Participants are challenged to match the correct beginning and ending of quotes. When used in-person, it gets people up and moving, while talking about the topic of the day.

This idea came from Aimee Cooper, an internal facilitator at a federal agency, who has adapted this activity by changing the quotes to match her audience and topic.

If you are doing this IN-PERSON:

  1. You will need one quote for every two people. (See examples below.)
  2. Before your meeting, you will need to write/type the quotes on an index card. Each quote will be split in half, with the first half of the quote going on one index card, and the second half of the quote going on a second index card. If you have 10 people, you will need 5 quotes to create 10 index cards.
  3. Mix these up and randomly give each person a card (with ½ of a quote on it).
  4. Ask them to mix and mingle and find their match.
  5. When they are finished, ask each person to read their combined quote together, and then you can tell them if they are correct.
  6. Optional: Ask them to discuss their quotes and what it means to them.

If you are doing this ONLINE, here are three variations you can experiment with:

  • Give them the first half of the quote and then create a poll where they select what they believe to be the second half of the quote.
  • Post a quote and ask them to guess the author.
  • Assign one quote per breakout room (2-4 people in a room) and ask them to discuss it.

Here are the quotes (click to get a .pdf of the quote cards) that Aimee Cooper uses:

  • “Be the change that you wish . . . |   . . .  to see in the world.”  ― Mahatma Gandhi
  • “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but . . . |  . . . no one thinks of changing himself.” ― Leo Tolstoy
  • “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can . . . .   |  . . .  change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ― Margaret Mead
  • “Education is the most powerful weapon . . . | . . . which you can use to change the world.” ― Nelson Mandela
  • “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot. . . | . . . be changed without changing our thinking.” ― Albert Einstein
  • “Nothing is so painful to the human mind as . . . | . . .a great and sudden change.” ― Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein
  • “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so . . . |  . . . I am changing myself.” ― Rumi
  • “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, . . . | . . . change your attitude.” —Maya Angelou
  • “Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and . . . |   . . . one teacher can change the world.” — Malala Yousafzai


In this engagement exercise, participants are challenged by asking them to match the ending and beginning of quotes. This engaging team building activity can be used at the beginning of a meeting or training to break the ice and engage the group.

About the Author: Leigh Ann Rodgers, Founder of Better Teams and the Forward, community, is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator with 20 years of experience in the human development field. Leigh Ann is a skilled meeting facilitator, trainer, and coach working across the globe to help leaders cultivate teams that are happy and high-performing.

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3 Responses

  1. Thank you for sharing these creative resources. I look forward to your emails and the enthusiasm with which you share so generously. With appreciation. Catherine

  2. Nice warmup activity around the topic of change. Like the creative use of quotes. Thanks much for sharing so freely! Ulla

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