There are many fun ways to get to know your students and help them learn about each other too! These ideas are all based on the students providing information about themselves, based on the topics that you give. Besides getting to know more about your students, it’s a great way to hear their conversational speech. Pick the activity that suits your style and have some beginning of the year FUN!
A Square to Share (aka Pass the Toilet Paper)
Pass around a roll of toilet paper and tell the students to take “as much as they need” without telling them what they will be doing with it. Once everyone has their toilet paper, have them count how many squares they have. Then go around and have them share one thing about themselves for each square of toilet paper. You can give them basic topic ideas (e.g., family, favorite movie, etc.) or just let them share whatever they think of. The students usually get a good laugh when they find out that maybe taking more isn’t always better!
This one is always fun and interesting and works even better with larger groups. Start by giving each student an index card or half sheet of paper. Have them write 3-5 interesting things about themselves that others may not already know (e.g., I’m a twin, I’ve been to 45 states, etc.). Make one about yourself and let your students get to know some cool things about you too! Once everyone is finished writing, collect the cards and mix them up. Read a fact out loud and let one student try to guess who it is. If they are wrong, read another fact and let someone guess again. When someone guesses correctly, give the card to its owner and have him/her read the remaining facts.
This one is very similar to the Fun Facts activity, but with a bit more liveliness! Have your students write interesting things about themselves on a few smaller pieces of paper and wad them up. Then…have a snowball fight with the paper wads! Once the set amount of time is up, each student picks up a few paper wads and brings them back to their seat. Go around and have the students read what is on the papers they gathered and try to figure out who it belongs to. For tips on having a “snowball fight,” you can visit my post here.
This is an easy way to get your students talking and only requires you to have a single die. I’ve written a post about this game that can be found here.