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Supergirl's avatar

Fun "get to know you" games for first day of school?

Asked by Supergirl (1671 points ) August 17th, 2008

I am looking for fun games/art projects to do with my 5th graders the first week of school. Any ideas?

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26 Answers

pinky134's avatar

I always like being paired up and then making name tags. You make the strangers name tag and they make yours. It’s not too stressful. Then, wearing the name tags everyone takes turns telling a “fun fact” that they learned about their partner.

cyndyh's avatar

You could go around the room and have people introduce themselves in a different kind of way.

You could have them add an adjective in front of their name that starts with their first initial. So, I might be Cynical Cyndy.

You could have them draw themselves now and at the end of the year and share their vision for the year and view of themselves with each other.

You could have them introduce each other to the class after being paired off with a simple questionnaire for each other.

aisyna's avatar

2 truths and a lie. give them a notecard or something and have them write 2 truths about them and a lie and then have the rest of the class guess which one the lie is. I guess the notecard are not really a must but my teacher gave us notecards.

finkelitis's avatar

There are a lot of great improv games that are great for kids. Like:

- sit in a circle. One person says their name to the person on their left or right. Then that person says their name to the person on their left or right. And so it goes—names go around, reversing directions. It’s surprisingly fun.

There are tons more that I can’t think of right now.

tedibear's avatar

Introduction BINGO is fun. Everyone gets a bingo card with different descriptors on it: “has blue eyes”, “likes football” etc. They have to go around and meet each other and try to get bingo based on who they met.

Seesul's avatar

I like to start this age with having each person write down something unique, funny and interesting about themselves. Only positive is allowed. Then have them give their name and how they got it.

aisyna's avatar

give the students paay dough and make them scuplt one of their hobbies. Thats fun for any age group my english teacher junior year of high school did that and everybody liked playing with the play dough

Judi's avatar

2 truths and a tale. Have the kids tell two truths about themselves and one “tale” then have the other kids try and figure out which is the tale.
Here’s mine that I told at vacation Bible school:
I have an airplane
I’ve been to China
I’ve swam with Sharks
I’ll reveal the tale tomorrow if anyone is interested.

skfinkel's avatar

With older students, pairing up and telling each other about themselves. Then, the other makes the introduction. It might be a bit sophisticated for really younger kids, though. But it’s quite nice for older ones.

cyndyh's avatar

I think 5th graders can handle that. It might be too much for 1st graders.

aisyna's avatar

@judi im gonna go with the airplane as the tale

cyndyh's avatar

@Judi: I’m tempted to go with airplane, too. But I think maybe you haven’t been to China yet. The airplane thing is different enough that I bet that one’s true.

jeanmay's avatar

Cornflakes – clear desks away and make a circle with chairs around the room. Use one fewer chairs than you have students. Everyone sits with the ‘left-over’ student standing in the centre of the circle (you could join in at first to get it started and be the one in the middle). The student in the middle says a sentence beginning ‘Everyone who likes..’ or ‘Everyone who can…’. If the student says ‘everyone who likes tennis’, all those who like tennis must get up and find a new chair. They cannot return to their original chair, they cannot swap with the person next to them. The student in the middle also tries to get a chair, so that there is always someone left standing. Repeat until it gets tired. If you’re in the middle and you can’t think of anything to say, you also have the option of saying ‘cornflakes’, where everyone must then find a new chair.

It can get a bit noisy and chaotic but it breaks the ice and is fun!

dulcecorazon's avatar

Have everyone write their names on a piece of paper and have random people pull out a paper and make them match the name with the person.

Judi's avatar

I Have never been to China

cyndyh's avatar

@Judi: Cool! What do I win? :^> I know I left myself open with that one.

Judi's avatar

Let me think on that one. Humm…....

Supergirl's avatar

If you guys could stay on topic that would be most appreciated. Since I am actually hoping to using some of the Fluther responses, this exchange you have going is mocking my question, by playing the game you suggested and deterring people from giving helpful responses. Thanks.

lefteh's avatar

Nobody is mocking your question, Supergirl.
Fluther just has a severe case of attention deficit disorder.

punkrockworld's avatar

The teacher starts introducing themselves and after he or she does that she tosses a ball to one of the students, then that student who caught it starts introducing him or herself and then she tosses the ball to someone else. Played it a lot, its pretty cool to get to know one another in a fun way.

WordlyWorldly's avatar

I used to use this game with kids of all ages:

I taught history and English so I used names of historical figures and literary/pop culture figures whom all the kids would know. Make a nametag of sorts for each child. Put the nametag on the child’s back without letting him/her see the name. Kids are allowed to ask anyone any yes or no question about their “identity” until they discover who they are. As a teacher I sometimes would let kids give me an identity and would sometimes focus on helping out kids who were getting stuck. When they discover who they are, they sit down and continue answering questions to help others discover their identity.

This game is such a fun ice breaker that once I even played it at my house on Thanksgiving with my family and my in-laws. It was a huge hit!

Judi's avatar

@wordly;
I love that game! It’s great for parties where people don’t know each other too. It gives them something to talk about.

Rozee's avatar

@lefteh I am just wondering if there is demographic data available on the participants for Fluther? I am not sure about the ADD tag for the group as a whole, but I think it could apply to me. There seem to be a lot of educators and students who take part in the discussions. From the caliber of posts, it seems that the level of education is college plus.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I hate to throw a wet blanket on these fun ideas. But you should be aware that some children with autism-spectrum disorders would not respond well to this. They just want to do their schoolwork and go home. Any kind of forced-introduction or “team building exercise” is going to be traumatic to these children. Since autism spectrum is about 1% of the population, you have about a one in three chance of getting one of these students in your classroom. Any of these exercises is going to make that child feel excluded and rejected because of their verbal communication problems or inability to read nonverbal cues. Pushing them to paticipate will result in emotional “meltdown” or complete unresponsiveness,
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do any of these things, but you should make allowances for any child who is clearly uncomfortable participating in them. As a child over 40 years ago, such activities subjected me to ridicule and drove me deeply into a shell that I never emerged from.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

Heads up seven up! I love that game.

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