I use them for "Hot Topics"- I give everyone a card as they come in,
there is a question up on the board or projector and the students
write an answer on the card. I'd hang the question and the cards with
their answers on a board near the door. They loved to read each
others answers. I used all sorts of questions, not just art, but
things that somehow related in some small way to what we were doing
or related to a current Hot Topic in our school or a current event.
Everything from What's your favorite color right now and why? to
Which painting do you like better and why (showing them 2 random
pieces of art)? to What do you wish you could tell your teacher, but
can't? and on and on. There were short survey questions in the
newspaper that would have 4 or 5 people's answers featured that gave
me the idea.
When I was at the Google Teacher Academy, we did a fun icebreaker
with cards too- We were assigned groups named after innovators &
inventors, each group was handed a stack of cards and was told to
write one innovation on each card, one of the cards had to be an
innovation by the person we were named after. We were given 2 or 3
minutes to brainstorm and write and had been told that the more cards
we used, the better. Then we were told to build a tower using the
cards- only the cards- Our "group innovator" card had to go on top.
The highest tower would win. We had like 5 min. to build. Obviously,
the more cards your group had written on, the higher the tower could
be. After measuring, we talked about the innovative ways groups built
the towers and the importance of innovation and creative thought.