In many schools and educational programs around the world, the end of summer is considered to be the beginning of a new academic year. For us, teachers, this period involves lots of preparation, including designing a course syllabus, developing lessons plans, and thinking about the ways we can engage and motivate our students from the very beginning of the semester. The first day of classes is particularly important, as it introduces students to the material yet to learn, introduces them to their teacher and the classmates, and sets the tone of the course.
Although the first couple of days may be considered introductory, we still should try to provide our students with the opportunity to learn English and use it in meaningful activities. Today I ‘d like to share a “getting-to-know-you” activity that we can use on the first day of classes.
1. Give each student a piece of paper and ask them to write their names on the paper vertically.
2. Ask students to add a suitable adjective that begins with each letter of their name. For example, I could come up with the following adjectives:
3. Students will present their names with the adjectives and explain why they selected these particular adjectives and how these adjectives describe their personality. Depending on the size of your class, you can either put students in small groups or have them present in front of the class.
4. After students are done with their presentations, you could also teach them more adjectives describing personality. Here you can find a list of personality adjectives organized in alphabetical order; there are two lists here, one containing positive and one containing negative personality traits.
This activity gives students a chance to memorize their classmates’ names in a fun way and perhaps to learn new adjectives.
I also suggest that you present your name first—as an example and also as a chance to learn more about you as their teacher. What “getting-to-know-you” writing activities have you used with success in your classroom?