I got this simple and effective Get To Know You activity from my brilliant DoS. I’ve used it a few times now and it always goes well with teens and adults. Here’s how to set it up…
Get students to write one question each. It can be something simple like…
“What’s your favourite animal?“
or something more meaty like…
“When was the last time you laughed so much it hurt?”
Try and encourage a balance of the two – I normally give the students some prompts on the board to get them thinking. It’s important that everyone has a different question, so this is your chance to monitor. Fast finishers can write a second or third and then choose their favourite.
Once everyone has a question, students mingle to find out the answer from their classmates. This is a good time to introduce themselves for the first time. check up on names they might have forgotten, or simply say hi to a classmate they haven’t spoken to in a while. They ask their question and note down the answer (1 or two words is fine).
Students pick a classmate’s name out of a hat, and this person then becomes their focus… In the next mingle, students have to find out
as much as they can about the person they picked out of the hat. Let them know at this point that they’re going to write about the person – it gives them good motivation to find out as much as they can.
After students have gathered all the information they can, it’s time to write. Give each student a piece of paper like the one in the picture here.
Students have 10 minutes to write a magazine-style article about their classmate. They also have to add an image in the box. If they’re (like me) not a confident artist then they can add something more abstract or just some representations from the text.
Eventually, you’ll end up with magazine-style write ups of your class. You can display them as a gallery or collect them in for error correction, but I always like to make sure the students get the article about them back.
So, in summary…
- Write a question
- Mingle and note down answers
- Pick a name
- Mingle and note down info about that one person
- Write an article