First Meeting Activity: Two Questions

handshake-800x6001.jpgOne of my favorite first meeting, getting-to-know-you activities, this requires about two minutes prep time and paper and pencils for students. It can also come in handy if, say, you find out with five minutes’ notice that you prepared for the wrong class.

With a new group, first learn each others’ names. Then tell the students they need to write, at the top of a paper, two questions which they will ask everyone in the class. They will ask everyone the same two questions…so “Emir, why do you want to be a doctor?” is no good. They should try for interesting or probing or imaginative questions. Once you’ve told them they need to write questions, you can give them some examples adapted to their level. But make sure they know you want them to write their own questions, not answers to yours. (When was the last time you did something for the first time? What cartoon character are you most like? If your house was on fire and you could take only three items…?)

Under the questions, students write the names of each member of the class, stand up and (try to) speak to everyone. Tell them to make notes on each person’s answer, but not, of course, to write full sentences. When they are done (or the time is up), they sit down,draw names and then collect information on the person whose name they drew in order to present that person to the class. So, if Zeljko draws Maja’s name, he has to talk to everyone else AGAIN (except Maja herself) asking “What do you know about Maja?” and taking notes.

At the end, each student gets two minutes to speak about their subject.

This is good for speaking, listening, possibly grammar, getting to know each other…and it can take up to an hour and a half for a class of 12.