Here are 3 simple ideas to do in class that will get a good start and help students get to know each other better at the start of the year.
Back to school can be a stressful time for many children. Will they make friends? Will they know other people in their group? Will they be able to integrate well? These are often the predominant concerns. An article from the American site Edutopia offers 3 activities that should help students to get to know each other better and to forge links between them at the start of the year.
The first activity is dynamic and simply takes place in pairs. This is the greeting. The first student says “Hello! ", " Hi! Or other formulation, names itself and makes a physical gesture, such as offering a handshake, a friendly pat ("high five"), or even making a dramatic curtsy! The other responds "Hi such, how are you, my name is… ”. Then we change partners. No need to pass everyone the first time, but the activity can be repeated a few times so that everyone learns the first names at a minimum.
The second activity takes place in small groups of 4 or 5. Everyone has 30 to 45 seconds to answer a question such as "what kind of music do you like, what languages do you speak, where are you from, if you could you change into an animal, which would it be and why, etc. ". Students can be asked to build the list of questions and repeat a “session” regularly. Groups also need to find a way to manage time and develop listening strategies.
The last activity suggested is for the whole class. The teacher begins with a question such as “How many of you…” (for example, “play an instrument?”). The pupils concerned stand up. With the help of the other students, the questioning continues to find out more. This allows vocabulary and questioning skills to be practiced, and can take place several times during the year!
The three activities are described in detail with many suggested questions to ask in the original article from the Edutopia website, titled " Back to School: 3 Question Activities to Connect Students ".