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Get to Know You' Activities for High School

Instructor: Derek Hughes

Derek has a Masters of Science degree in Teaching, Learning & Curriculum.

Getting to know high school students can be a bit of a challenge. However, the activities detailed in this lesson will help you get your high school students to open up to you and their classmates so you can learn more about them.

Getting to Know You

Think back to when you were in high school. For some, this may not be that long ago. For others, it may be quite some time in the past. However, you probably all remember how hesitant you were to put yourself out there for others to get to know you, especially your teachers. Now, as a high school teacher, you are in the position of trying to get teenagers to open up to you.

Get to know you activities are fun activities that will help all of your high school students open up, even a little, so you and their classmates can get to know more about them. By using these activities and games in your classroom, you can at least start to get a sense of the different personalities you will be teaching in the upcoming year.

Two Truths and a Lie

Two truths and a lie is an old standby that many teachers use as an icebreaker. There's a good reason so many teachers use it: it's a fun, useful activity that can get your students talking about themselves and learning from each other. In case you've never heard of this game, the rules are very simple.

In this game, each student takes a turn telling three things about him or herself. However, as the name of the game implies, one of these things is false. The rest of the group will try to decide which of the three things is the lie. The point is to try and fool the other people playing the game by making all three sound like they could possibly be true.

Using this game means that you'll probably get more personal details out of your students, as they will want to tell stories that sound like they might be lies. Instead of hearing about your students' favorite color and food, you may hear a larger than life story they love to tell. These kinds of stories will give you a better idea about the students telling them.

Snowball Fight

I'm sure you read that title above and thought 'No way am I hosting a snowball fight in my classroom.' Bear with me- I'm not saying you should throw frozen water around to learn more about your students. This game is more like a simulated snowball fight. Instead of throwing snowballs, students throw crumpled up paper with facts about themselves written on it.

To start this game, have each student write several things about themselves on a piece of scrap paper. It might also help to clear the center of the room and push desks into a circle around the room. After students are done filling out their papers, they crumple them up to look like a snowball. On your cue, students begin throwing the 'snowballs' at each other. After about a minute, have students stop throwing and pick up the snowball that landed nearest them.

Once each student has a 'snowball', they should un-crumple it and read out loud what it says. The rest of the class then has to guess who wrote the snowball. After several failed guesses, the student who wrote the information should speak up and let the rest of the class know that he/she wrote it.

This game might seem a little stressful- encouraging students to throw stuff around during class sounds awful, I know. But really, not only are you learning facts about your students as each snowball is read aloud, you can also observe the students during the snowball fight and see who you might have to watch more closely or who is more reserved. You can learn a lot about students by watching them interact with their peers in this way.

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