Skip to main content

Introductory activities to get to know your students


The first day of school is filled with many emotions. Some students are excited to return and spend time with their friends, and others are terrified about new subjects and making their way around. As a teacher, you may have similar feelings, as well as a little anxiety about getting to know all your students and remembering all those names! Introductory games can be a great way to break the ice and make everyone feel comfortable during the first few weeks of class. Here are a few options to try:

Two truths and a lie
A classic first-week activity includes sharing fun facts about yourself while seeing if others can tell when you're fibbing. Two truths and a lie is great for middle and high school students. They get to tell their peers about cool things they like or even fun trips they've taken, all while trying to trick their classmates. This is a great introductory game because you learn a lot about a person with their two true facts and also can see how well they handle being under pressure.

Summer story
Have each student in your class share a story about his or her summer. Some may have spent the whole break upping their scores on a difficult video game. Others might have tall tales about fishing trips or camping in the backyard. Not everyone has an exciting summer, so some might prefer to share something about themselves instead. Shy kids may be particularly interested in saying a quick fun fact, like that their favorite color is blue or they have a dog named Roger.

Animal favorites
Young students may enjoy talking about their favorite animals. They can tell the class information about the critter, like how fast cheetahs run or the age many turtles live to. You can even have each child pick an animal to be. This will help you and their classmates remember them. Try picking creatures that have the same starting letter as the beginning letter in each name. Tony, for example, may choose a tapir. Ariel could go for an ape or aardvark. Pairing unique things up with each student's name is super helpful for you to remember who everyone is, and it's fun to see everyone's eyes light up as they talk about their favorite furry or not-so-furry animals. You could even base a project around the students' picks, having them research more about the creature and report back to the class.