Julie has taught high school Zoology, Biology, Physical Science and Chem Tech. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Education.
Find a Friend...
This first-day activity requires you to create a worksheet for each student and include several questions on the sheet. Then students have to find someone in the class who fits the statement or question. The student who fits the statement, will sign the paper. Here are some example statements/questions that can be used as icebreakers:
- Find a friend who:
- Visited a relative over the summer
- Has his/her driver's license
- Had a summer job
You can also make the Find a Friend activity content-specific to see what students know going into the course. You will need to include an 'answer' line for these questions. For example:
- Find a friend who:
- Knows how many protons the element neon has
- Knows what year the United States joined WWII
- Can calculate 8x = 5 + 35
This activity works allows students to get to know each other and can also lead into timelines if that is something utilized in your content area. Each student will need a large piece of paper and colored pencils/markers. Give students the following instructions:
Think of six major events that have shaped who you are. Next, think of major events you would like to see in your future. Create a timeline of events (past and future). Instead of writing out the events, create an image that represents the event.
- Some examples students might choose to represent the past include the following:
- Sporting events
- Some future goals students might choose include the following:
- Graduating high school
- Getting into a specific college
- Buying a specific item
After students have completed their timelines (or the following day), pair up students so they can share their timeline. Then have the partner introduce the student to the class, sharing a few of the past and future events on the timeline.
What Do You Know?
This is a game that allows students to work in teams, which makes peer interaction easier on the first day. It also lets you see what students know coming into the course.
- Break students into groups of two to three. Each student needs a piece of paper and a pencil/pen. You can have each group come up with a team name.
- Tell students they are all starting with one hundred points, and they can bet up to half of their points each round. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
- Have each group tell you how much they are betting. You'll need to keep track of this number.
- Next, ask a question related to your course. For example, if you're teaching biology, you could ask students to give you two ways plant cells are different from animal cells. If you're teaching chemistry, you might ask students to determine how many protons a specific element contains.
- Give each team a few minutes to confer and come up with an answer. Each member of the team must write down the answer and the answers must match.
- Go around and see if each group is correct or incorrect. If they're correct, add the points. If they're incorrect, subtract the points.
- Give the class the correct answer and repeat.
What's in a Name?
This activity acts as an icebreaker and also helps you learn your students' names. Additionally, it can be used to introduce classification and taxonomy.
- Have students write down the origin of their name OR a story as to why they were given their specific name. They can use their first name or first and last name. Most students have some idea about why they were given their specific name.
- Next, pair up students and have the pairs introduce each other.
- Finally, each student will introduce his or her partner to the class and will give a brief story as to why the partner has his or her specific name.
- If you're teaching science, you can use this to lead into why scientists give certain organisms specific Latin or Greek names.
To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account
Register to view this lesson
Unlock Your Education
See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com
Become a Study.com member and start learning now.Become a Member
Already a member? Log InBack