'Get to Know You' Activities for Kids

Instructor: Derek Hughes
The first week of school can be very hectic. Getting to know your students (and helping them get to know you) should be one of your main priorities, and the activities detailed in this lesson will help make learning about each other fun.

Getting to Know You Activities

Learning your students' names and personalities is an incredibly important first step in a new school year. Getting to know you activities are the kinds of activities you might choose to use during the first few days of school to get to know your students, let them get to know you, and help them become comfortable with each other. Ideally, these activities should be fun but simple, allowing all students to participate, regardless of ability level.

This lesson will detail some of these activities you can use in your classroom during the beginning of the school year.

Passing Notes

Remember all the times you were told NOT to pass notes in class? How you would get in trouble if you even thought of passing a note to another student? Well, this activity actually encourages your students to pass notes to each other, which is what makes it a really fun introductory activity.

For this activity, put students in pairs. If someone doesn't have a partner, let that student partner with you. While in pairs, instruct students they are to tell each other about themselves, but only through written notes they pass back and forth. Students are not allowed to speak or write questions; they must share information about themselves only.

After allowing the students to pass notes for however long you feel works (younger students might require less time, while older students can stretch on a little longer), instruct your students they are now going to introduce their partners by sharing the information from the notes they were passed.

This activity not only allows your students to spend some time getting to know each other, but allows you to see what kinds of personalities are in your room. Some students may be hesitant, while others might get into the activity right from the start.

Weird Breakfast

The weird breakfast activity (strange name, but trust me) is good for students who might not have good writing abilities, as this activity only requires talking and some short term memory. For this, seat your students in a whole group, maybe in a circle around you on the floor. Ask students to think about the weirdest breakfast they've ever eaten.

After everyone has had some time to think, randomly choose a student to go first. This student should give a short introduction and tell about the weirdest breakfast he or she has ever eaten. Students should find this activity funny or silly, which will help them remember the details better. The next student then needs to recall the name and breakfast of the preceding student and add their own name and breakfast. Each succeeding student needs only remember the student who immediately went before them.

At the end, it is your job as the teacher to remember every student's name and weird breakfast and list them all for the class. Finally, you introduce yourself and your weird breakfast. For a few days following this activity, refer to students as their name and what they said was their weirdest breakfast (John Fried Chicken). This will help other students remember their classmates' names.

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