Getting to Know You
This fun icebreaker calls for students to describe themselves using an alliterative descriptor.
- Grades: 6–8
- Unit Plan:
Students will introduce themselves using an alliterative descriptor. They will begin building a nurturing learning community.
- Follow multi-step directions for preparing applications and completing forms
- Demonstrate speaking in front of an audience using appropriate eye contact and voice level
- Be able to recall the names of all their fellow classmates
Step 1: When students arrive to class, have them jump right into completing the Interest Inventory without delay. This is a strategic classroom management concept that will minimize disruption and encourage the launch of instruction. Find a creative way to distribute the inventory. Greet the students at the door, introduce yourself, hand each an inventory, and express your desire to read their individual answers. Another option would be to place one inventory on each student's desk, then as you greet each child at the door invite him or her to complete the inventory for you.
Step 2: After providing enough time for your students to complete the inventory, invite each to turn it in or take it home to complete it later. Some students will want to share more information with you. By encouraging that, you will help make them comfortable in your class. Be sure to give a deadline for when you need the paper returned to further the idea that you are interested in the information it contains.
Step 3: Proceed to explaining the goals of the class and completing your own introduction.
Step 4: Invite the students to stand in a circle facing inward.
Step 5: Explain that the students are going to introduce themselves to the group. Tell the students to think of one adjective that describes them that starts with the same sound as the beginning sound of their first name, or alliteration. For example: Jubilant Jennifer, Crazy Candice, or Kind Cathy.
Step 6: Start by introducing yourself the same way, as a model, using either your first or last name.
Step 7: Proceed around the circle in one direction to each student. The catch is that the introductions are cumulative, meaning that the first student has to introduce you first ("Polite Mr. Price") then himself or herself ("Bashful Brenda.") The second student introduces you, the first student then herself ("Polite Mr. Price, Bashful Brenda, and I'm Loyal Lola.")
Step 8: By the end of the round, after the last student has introduced himself or herself, finish by making eye contact with each student in the circle as you say his or her name. This will not only help you learn your students' names faster, but you will now know how each student thinks of himself or herself.
Step 9: Conclude the lesson by distributing the first homework assignment, which is for the parents. (The kids will love that!) Explain to the students that each parent is invited to complete the form on the Parent/Guardian Letter as you invited them to complete the inventory.
Supporting All Learners
- If students struggle with handwriting, allow them to type answers to the inventory on the computer.
- If students do not speak fluent English, before the introduction game, have them write their name on a piece of paper and draw something that represents them. Students can share the drawing when it is their time in the circle.
- If a parent or guardian does not speak English, ask the student to help the parent or guardian come up with three goals for the school year or any other information they wish to share with you.
The students will take the Parent/Guardian Letter home and return it the next day completed, if possible.
- The students will take the Parent/Guardian Letter home and return it the next day completed, if possible.
- If the Interest Inventory was not completed in class, the student should finish it at home and return it to school as soon as possible.
Observe the students as each enters your classroom the following day.
- Do they interact more than before?
- Are they calling out each other's names?
- Are you able to call out each student's name?
If so, then the lesson was successful.
Play the game one more time at the beginning of the next class period. Discuss with the students why some names are easily recalled while others are not. Ask the students what this implies about learning, and lead them to the conclusion that repetition makes learning "stick."