Tuesday, August 26, 2014

13 Fun Get-to-know-you Activities

I survived my first day of teaching early morning seminary today!  I already love these students, and I know I'll love them more and more and more...

Here are 13 fun ways students can get to know each other. I'll likely use a handful of these over first couple weeks of seminary. 

(Note: I didn't create any of these...I'm just good at gathering others' great ideas!) 

1. Question ball 

On a ball, write a bunch of questions like: What college do you want to attend? Favorite sport? Favorite movie? Pet peeve. Toss the ball. When the student catches it, they answer the question by their right thumb. 

2. Foodie names 

Each person says their name and a food that begins with the same letter as their name. The next person repeats the first person's name and food, adding their own. Each additional person repeats all previous names and foods, and adds their own. 

3. Name and favorite ice cream...scripture...any other favorite

This game works the same as Foodie names. 

3. Toss the name ball 

Students sit in a circle. Say your own name and another person's name, and then toss the ball to that person. That person says their own name and a different person's name and then tosses the ball. If the ball is dropped, the group gets to start from the beginning. 

4. Two truths and a lie 

Each person tells three things about themselves: two truths and one lie. Others try to guess which one is the lie. This game goes more quickly when the kids write it down first. This is the game we played today for the first day of class. I set my watch timer to give each person 30 seconds to quickly say their three things and then let people guess. If people didn't guess by then, the lie was revealed and we moved on. I had 28 students there, so I needed tricks to keep the game moving or it could have taken way too much class time.  

5. Which object describes you?

Bring five or so objects to class. They could be items like a spatula, a tool, a mirror, a toy ball, a journal, a band-aid...anything. Set the items in front of the class. Ask each member to choose one item that best describes themselves and why. They can get pretty creative with this one. 

6. Signature page

Create a list of descriptions that's about the same number of students in your class. For example: I have my Young Women medallion, I had pizza in the past week, I can say all 13 Articles of Faith, I have my Eagle Scout, I've never had a cavity. Give a sheet to each student and have them get as many signatures as possible, but only one signature from each person. Also they can't just say "Sign my page." They have to ask questions like, "Have you had a cavity?"  When the time is up, you read the list and have everyone raise their hand who could have signed that line. 

7. Snowball fight 

Each person writes one thing they are excited about, one thing they're nervous about, and one thing they want to learn. They crumple the papers and have a snowball fight! When time's up, they each grab a ball and take turns reading it aloud, trying to guess who wrote  it. 

8. Ready, set group! 

Students form groups quickly with criteria given by the teacher. For example: Make a group of three people with the same color hair. Then give new criteria for them to mix up again. 

9. Silent line

Students organize themselves into a line silently according to criteria from the teacher. For example: height, birth month, how many siblings they have. 

10. Fruit basket 

The group sits in a circle with one person in the middle. The middle person sets a criteria, and everyone who meets it moves to another seat in the circle. The middle person tries to find a seat before the last person does, so the next person gets to choose a new criteria. 

11. A poem about me 

Each student writes a poem with five lines: 

  • Three things they like 
  • Three things they dislike 
  • Three words that describe them 
  • A place they'd like to visit 
  • One thing their mom likes about them 

12. All about you page 

This is best given after a few days of class, when students feel safe to open up. List things like their name, cell phone or email they'd like to be given reminders with, and other questions like: 

  • Tell me about your family
  • What do you do for fun? 
  • Favorite and least favorite food 
  • Pet peeves
  • Most embarrassing moment in 10 words or less
  • Personal hero 
  • Your best quality 
  • Weirdest characteristic 
  • Little-known ambition or desire 
  • Your favorite book, movie, song 
  • What do you like about seminary?
  • What would you like to do when you grow up? 
  • Write me a letter. What else would you like me to know about you? 

13. Integrate a get-to-know-you activity into the lesson 

You could create a page with as many short-answer questions as students in the class. They might be questions like: How old was Joseph Smith when he had his first vision? How many siblings did Joseph Smith have?  Then under each short question, add the question: Write something we probably don't know about you.  Assign each person a question number. After they write their own two answers, students go around the room to fill in the rest of their questions. Then briefly go through the list with the whole class. 

If you have another get-to-know-you activity that you like, feel free to share it in a comment below! 

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