Try these getting to know you activities on the first day of school or halfway through the year. It’s never too late to learn more about the people in your classroom. Middle school and high school students will enjoy breaking the ice with these fun activities.
Improve the ambiance in your classroom with these getting to know you activities for homeroom. Soon you’ll be rewarded when the collection of individuals on your roster begin to resemble the members of a caring classroom community.
Create a Tri-fold
Pass out a sheet of blank paper. Ask students to fold it vertically into thirds, like you would fold a business letter for an envelope. Prop open the paper so that it sits on the desk like a nameplate. Students will write their name on one side, three favorite things on the second side, and two truths and a lie about themselves on the third side. After all the information is listed on the paper, students take turns introducing themselves and their favorite things. Then the class will have to try and guess which of their three statements is a lie.
Play a Name Game
For this game, students will think of a food which begins with the same letter as their first name. Every person after the first has to repeat all the names and foods that came before them. A variation of this name game is for students to think of two adjectives that begin with the same letter as their first name. For example, I am Pam the peppy perfectionist. A third variation of the name game is for students to think of an animal that describes their personality. As each person speaks, they say their name, the animal they chose, and how that animal reminds them of their own personality.
Create a Personal Brochure
For this getting to know you activity for homeroom, students will create a tri-fold using construction paper or scrapbook paper and other craft supplies. The front cover provides the student’s name and a picture. The remainder of the brochure could be filled with any of the following categories.
- birthday and birth place
- dream job
- personal motto
- lucky number with explanation
- favorite subject
- favorite color, food, music, movies, books, objects they treasure
- personal goals
- places they’d like to visit
- family description
- what makes them proud
- people they admire
- top 10 list of anything
The personal brochures are a lovely display for meet the teacher night. Nostalgic teachers might keep them until the end of the year and pull them out during the last week of school so students can reflect on how they’ve changed and grown throughout the year.
Pass out a copy of a page full of random questions. Tell students they must walk around the room and find people who have met the criteria in the questions. Here are a few sample scavenger hunt questions:
- The name of a person born in April ____________________
- Someone who has visited a foreign country___________________
- A person who is an only child________________
- Someone who owns a bird for a pet__________________
- The name of someone who has broken a bone__________________
Works like Clockwork
With a picture of a clock (or a circle on a sheet of blank paper), students will move about the room and locate four other people they don’t know. Next, they’ll write their names at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. When you announce a designated time, students will move about the room and hold a conversation with the person whose name is written at that time. Students will jot down information about appearance and what they learned from talking to them. When they move on to the next person, they’ll share something new about themselves. At twelve noon, students will introduce the people they spoke with and share what they learned about them.
Around the Room Questions
If you have the space, set up as many question sheets as you have students. Write a question at the top of the page and tape the page to the wall. Read the questions to the students and explain that they will have 20-30 seconds to respond to each question and leave their name beside their response and then rotate to the next page. When students have visited each page, review answers with them to see what they have in common.
Comparing and Contrasting Strangers
Just like comparing two characters, students will pair up, create Venn diagrams on a sheet of paper, and discuss what they have in common. Afterwards, they’ll present what they learned in class.
Would You Rather…
Play a game of Would You Rather… Students can learn plenty about a person based on their choices and values. Make up your own selections or purchase the manufactured game sold in stores. You can use this activity in student pairs, small groups, or with the entire class.