Authored by Alana J. Tutwiler in Child Education
Published on 06-30-2009
The first day of school is always exciting, but it can also be confusing or scary. Starting at a new school or in a new grade and having to deal with a new set of classmates and teachers can cause apprehension for a lot of kids. Teachers can do a lot to ease this first day tension and help their students make a smooth transition into the school year by providing some simple but fun activities so that classmates can get to know each other.
This activity involves pairing students up. The students take turns interviewing each other by asking questions about the other person’s favorite color, favorite book, hobby, etc. After giving the students about ten or fifteen minutes to do this, the teacher has each student stand up and introduce the person that they interviewed and tell about that person.
Find the Match
This involves a little preparation on the teacher’s part. Using index cards, the teacher designs pairs of things that go together. For example, the teacher could use professional sports teams. On one index card, the teacher writes the city of the team, such as Dallas. Then on another card, write the mascot, such as Cowboys. Make enough pairs so that there are enough cards for the class. Then on the first day, give the cards with the city names to one half of the class and the cards with the mascot names to the other half. The students have to find the person with the card that goes with their own. Then those students get to know each other or become study partners for the semester or the year.
Which One Isn’t True?
This is a unique twist on the usual first day activity of standing up and introducing yourself. In this activity, the teacher has each student write on a sheet of paper four things about themselves. The catch is that one of the things that they should put down is not true. In order for it to work, though, it has to be believable. For instance, a student’s false statement might be that they have five brothers and sisters when actually they are an only child. Having five brothers and sisters is entirely possible, but just not true for that student. Then, each student recites the four things and the rest of the class has to guess which one is not true.
This is actually an idea used in a lot of writing workshops but it can work as an introductory activity. Students write a poem about themselves that includes their hometown or country, and a description of themselves as a person, such as their likes and dislikes, and their hobbies. This is not only a good introduction activity, but it can also spark an interest in creative writing and poetry.
By using a little creativity and a lot of fun, teachers can provide some interesting activities to help their students get to know each other and have a successful school year.