Post ideas for getting acquainted with students using the target language here.

What kind of language-based assignments can I give that will help students get to know one another better? (See below for instructions for these activities.)

- Don't forget scaffolding!



1) Have students write down on a sheet of paper three things in the target language about themselves that other members of the class are unlikely to know about them and would not be able to guess just by looking at them. These sentences can be extremely simple for beginning students, or more complex for more advanced students.

2) Have students make paper airplanes out of their papers.

3) Have students fly their paper airplanes in the classroom.

4) Play culturally authentic music from the target language and allow students to continue picking up and throwing airplanes until you stop the music.

5) When the music stops, have a student open an airplane and read it aloud to the class. Have the rest of the class try to guess who the airplane describes.

- skauer skauer

Baby Picture Profiles

Have students write a paragraph describing themselves in the target language, then have them attach it to a baby picture of themselves. Post their "profiles" on the wall (each with its own number) and then give students time to circulate, read the profiles, and determine to whom each one belongs. (Adapted from an assignment by Ann Dorrah) - chericem1 chericem1


Each square on the bingo board represents a quality or an event. The class has to go around and find people who represent that square until they get a
bingo. - liederhosen36 liederhosen36

Cell Phone Photo Introductions


Focus on Icebreakers - A collection of icebreakers, many of which are particularly well-suited to supporting students with visual impairments - chericem1 chericem1

Icebreakers - Collection from the Center for Teaching Excellence at MSU - chericem1 chericem1

Index Cards

Make a list of categories on the board (favorite band, pet peeve, dream job). Each student writes down their picks for each category on an index
card (no names). Put each card into a bag or hat then pick one and read it out loud. The class then guesses whose card was read.

OR have each student pick one card out of the hat and read it out loud. The student whose card it is stands up. Then that student proceeds to read the
card they have...yadda yadda. - liederhosen36 liederhosen36

Index to Group Activities, Games, Exercises & Initiatives

Team-building activities and initiative games, organized by categories such as energizers, fun, peace, psychological self-awareness, team-building, trust building, etc. Also includes a "most popular activities" link, as well as links to other group games resources. - chericem1 chericem1

Inside Outside Circles

- Ask students to make a list in the target language of 5-7 interesting things about themselves that someone could not tell just by looking at them. Encourage them to use simple sentences to accomplish this. Have them do the inside-outside circles activity--sharing the first item on their list with their partner, and listening to their partner's first item. When they move to the next partner, they should share the next item on their list. Collect their lists and then debrief by asking for volunteers to share interesting things they learned about other members of the class. More advanced levels can be encouraged to ask follow-up questions about the information they've just heard. - chericem1 chericem1

Introduction to Students

I used this towards the end of the year when I started a long term sub position so that I could get to know the students quickly and easily. It asks them about themselves, what they like, don't like, and what they like and whats hard for them in the language. Here are both the English and the Spanish. For non Spanish/ESL teachers, feel free to change into your language.

- cartierm cartierm

M&M Activity

M&Ms - Scroll to the end of the page for the worksheets (Example of Scaffolding)

Name Chain

With students who have already been exposed to the language, I give them five minutes to think of a word in Spanish (or French or German or Russian, or Pig Latin) that either starts with the same letter of their first name or that describes them. Then we go around the room and each person says their name, their word, and all the people that went before them. This works better in a small class because in a large class this can get a little boring. - srtabainbridge srtabainbridge

Personalized Plates

This is more of a small getting to know you assignment than a quick icebreaker. Give each student a paper plate. On the front part of the plate
(side you would eat off of) students should draw pictures or paste pictures from magazines of things that they think people may know about them or that
may visibly, outwardly represent them (a basketball for b-ball players, a picture of the kind of car they drive) and on the back part of the plate,
attach or draw pictures of things that are personally important to them and what they think represent themselves. Students present their plates to the
class. After, you can hang the plates from the ceiling or display them. The same sort of thing can be done with a paper bag. Decorate the outside of the
bag and fill the inside with different things. - liederhosen36 liederhosen36


7 Easy Ice-breakers You Can Do with Post-Its

Pretend Teacher

Choose one or more student(s) to pretend to be you, the teacher. The class then asks questions that they want to know about you and the student answers
as they think you would, even though they may not know the right answer. (p.s. if anyone is brave enough to try this one, let me know how it goes...) - liederhosen36 liederhosen36

Round Robin Reporting

Divide students into small groups. Give each group member a color, number, or shape. The teacher calls a question and then draws a color/number/shape. The person whose corresponding color/number/shape was drawn must answer the question first, after which each of the other members of the group must respond. - chericem1 chericem1

Scavenger Hunt

Signature Search

The teacher makes up a generic list of questions in the target language in a bingo-like grid. Students circulate with copies of the worksheet, asking questions of their classmates in order to find people who meet the criteria. Sample questions might include "Do you have more than 3 siblings?" "Have you ever studied abroad?" etc.

Story Squares

- This activity works best with students who have had at least one year of language study. The teacher should remove the English labels for each box and replace them with labels in the target language before using this worksheet with students. This activity can be used multiple times (for example, the teacher can direct students to choose events from their childhood, from their summer vacation, from a holiday break, from Homecoming week at school, from their favorite television shows or movies, from a short story or novel that they are reading in class, etc.) - chericem1 chericem1

Team Building Activities (Parts of a Car) - Use to discuss the individual strengths that each team member brings to a group (via a car metaphor and drawing)

Teampedia - Free team-building and icebreaker activities, organized by category, group size, etc.

Tell Me About - Board game, students must discuss whatever topic they land on

(Another example)

Two Truths & A Lie

Students each write three sentences about themselves in the target language. Two must be true and one must be false. They then form small groups, read their sentences to their group members, and their group members have to guess which two sentences are true. Students can then write new sentences, form new groups, and play again. - chericem1 chericem1

Uncommon Commonalities

Uncommon Commonalities


Worksheet (especially for ESL) - a good starting point to get to know your students - lucasme2 lucasme2

Introductory Assignments

Powerpoint Self-Introduction Assignment

See also: Classroom Management, First Days of School, For Beginning Teachers, Instructional Strategies, Managing the Class Through Curriculum, Signals for Attention, Special Needs, Validation

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