Do you struggle to learn your students’ names at the start of the school year? If so, this is an icebreaker activity you should try!
First, teachers create a Padlet wall, title it “Time to Take a Selfie,” and provide a prompt with questions for students to answer. Below is a list of questions I have used to encourage students to share something about themselves. Typically, I select three questions for them to answer in their post along with their names and photos.
- Where is your happy place?
- What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done?
- What is the furthest place you have traveled?
- What is something you like about yourself?
- What is your favorite story (book or movie)?
- Do you consider yourself an introvert, an extrovert, or a mix? Explain.
- What is one thing you wish you had more time for in your life?
- What do you do to relax?
- When you are not at school, what do you spend most of your time doing?
- What is your most prized possession? Where did it come from and why do you love it?
- If you could only listen to one genre/type of music for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- Think about the best class you’ve ever had. What made that class so special?
Once you’ve created your Padlet wall and decided on a question or multiple questions, post your photo and response to model what you want students to do.
My students LOVE this activity, and it makes it so much easier for me to learn their names. I keep the Padlet Wall with their names and photos pulled up on my phone (and a tab on my computer) the first week of school so I can reference it throughout the day as I’m interacting with kids.
I also project the photos if we have a whole group interaction at the start of the school year, so kids can look at the images and respond to each other by name. It’s important that our entire class community value learning each other’s names and making connections. This icebreaker is a fun way to do both!