There are so many things to think about on the first week of school that it can feel daunting to fit it all in! One thing that you don’t want to skip is the chance for you and your students to get to know each other. Get to know you activities for elementary students are more than just letting students share a couple of facts about themselves. These activities can be helpful tools for building classroom community, making connections, and creating an environment of trust.
7 Get to Know You Activities for Elementary Students
In this post, I wanted to share seven of my favorite activities that will hopefully give you some inspiration for back-to-school icebreakers. These activities will encourage your students to learn more about their new classmates.
All About Me Bag
The All About Me bag activity is a great way to help students introduce themselves to their classmates. Provide a paper bag for students to take home and fill with a few small objects that represent them. These items could include things like pictures, a small toy, or a favorite book. At school, students can take each item out of the bag, show it to the class, and speak about it.
Having the physical items to talk about is especially engaging, which means that students are much more likely to remember things about their classmates. This is a great way to build community and make connections!
Another fun activity to help students introduce themselves and get to know each other better is Favorites Bingo! First, students will fill out a chart of their favorite things in different categories (color, fruit, holiday, etc.).
This is a helpful icebreaker activity, but you can make it even more engaging by turning it into Favorites Bingo! After filling out their charts, students can walk around the room to find people with the same favorites. Once they do, they can color in that square. They will repeat this as they try to get a blackout!
Find a Friend Activity
In this activity, students use an activity sheet to find classmates who have something in common with them. For example, they might need to find someone who has the same number of siblings. Much like Favorites Bingo, this encourages students to talk to their classmates and learn more about them.
You can find the All About Me, Favorites, and Find a Friend printables in my teacher plans for the first week of school. This resource is available on Teachers Pay Teachers.
If you’re looking for a unique get to know you activity, you’ll love these back-to-school cootie catchers! Each cootie catcher comes with a large number of getting-to-know you questions that are centered around a theme. Some of the themes include: This or That, My Future, Would You Rather, and Dinner Time.
This activity is one of my favorite ways to encourage students to get to know each other. Since the results are different each time, students love to repeat this activity with many of their classmates!
Back to School Classmate Interviews
A great way to encourage students to get to know each other better is to have them interview classmates. This helps students learn more about each other, but it also helps them practice their speaking skills with this interview-style activity.
An important reason to build classroom community is to help students feel comfortable sharing with the class. These interviews are a great way to break the ice and get students to talk with each other! Students can ask one student all of the questions for a longer interview, or they can ask each question to a different classmate.
Get to Know You Dice Activity
Another way to bring some novelty to back-to-school icebreakers is with a getting-to-know-you dice activity! Students can sit in small groups and take turns rolling a die, then answering the corresponding question from the card. You can easily extend the activity by switching up the groups once they have answered most of the questions on their cards.
I have created a resource with a total of 180 questions on 30 printable cards (there is also a digital version with Powerpoint slides). The cards come in groups of three different types of questions. The first set of questions is easy to answer so that students can get to know each other better. They don’t require very much thought or reflection. The second set of questions will help students learn new things about their classmates and find common interests. The third set is great to use when students are ready to take more risks and be more vulnerable with their answers. All three question types can help build classroom community in different ways by helping students make connections and learn about their classmates.
Get to Know You Questions
As the first few weeks of school progress, there are often times when you have a few extra minutes to spare. These are great moments to break out a simple, whole-class get to know you activity. You could have a digital slide deck of engaging icebreaker questions to ask your students! These are low prep and ready to go at the click of the mouse. Plus, students love them!
Some questions can be answered poll-style, with students raising their hands for different options. Other questions can be answered through turn-and-talk or by calling on volunteers to share with the class. No matter how you choose to use the questions, students will love to answer them!
Get to Know You Activities Bundle
I have created a Get to Know You Activities Bundle for elementary students that will take the stress out of planning icebreakers for your class. It is full of questions that will help you learn more about your students as you build community, encourage classroom discussion, and establish connections in your classroom.
This bundled resource can be found on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Save These Getting to Know You Activities
I hope these get to know you activities have given you some ideas for back-to-school season! By taking the time for these activities, you are creating a positive and welcoming classroom where your students can thrive. Would you like to come back to these ideas later? Be sure to add this pin to your favorite teaching board on Pinterest!