For many, starting a new school year, be it primary school, secondary school or high school, means starting in a new class, with known and unknown classmates. Taking time as a class to get to know each other is very important for a good start to the school year.
This guide contains 19 fun get-to-know each other activities.
Overview of all get to know each other activities
- Draw your favorite activity
- Get to know each other - bingo
- Round of presentations
- The memory game
- What are you good at?
- The counting game
- Something is not quite right
- Treasure hunting
- Make a TikTok-style video
- Standing in line without speaking
- Unpopular opinion
- The Marshmallow Challenge
- Share a fun fact
- Get to know a new teacher
- Make a word out of bodies!
- Egg drop
- Get to know each other questions
Get to know each other activities for primary school
1. Draw your favorite activity
Let the students be creative and get to know each other at the same time by drawing their favorite activity/hobby. Everyone gets 5 minutes to draw, and then you can look at the drawings together as a class, and those who want to can tell everyone what they have drawn. Perfect if you have a class with several students who like to express themselves in other ways than just talking.
2. Get to know each other - bingo
Get to know each other bingo is a classic. It can be done with pen and paper, or it can be done digitally with the students using their pc or iPad. You can use the digital template here. Read out the statements below (which are also in the digital template), and have the students cross off when the statement applies to them. 4 in a row and they have to shout bingo! You can also create the bingo with your own statements.
- I like football
- I'm on TikTok
- I'm on Snap
- Tacos are the best
- I like music
3. Introduction round
Introducing yourself can be a bit scary for many. So why not let the students introduce each other? Put the students into pairs and have them sit together for 5 minutes. They ask each other questions and write down what the other person says about themselves. Finally, each student must briefly present to the class who the partner is.
This can also be done without notes, where the aim is to remember as much as possible of what the other person said. In this variant, it can be helpful if you are allowed to get a little help from your partner during the presentation.
4. The memory game
All students sit in a circle. A student starts by saying his name, e.g. "My name is Martin". Then the student on the left must first say the name of the first person, before she says her own name. E.g. "Martin", "Tina". Student number three must then say all three names, "Martin" "Tina" "Jack", etc. This continues until all the students have said their name.
A variation is that everyone also gets the opportunity to ask "a friend" if they are stuck, or that you have 1 or 2 times to ask the whole group. The most important thing is that it is experienced as safe and fun for everyone.
5. What are you good at?
Make a word cloud where students answer the question about what they are good at. Use the word cloud as a starting point for discussion. Are there more people who have written that they are good at the same thing? Let some of the students tell what they wrote, and perhaps share something about themselves and what they wrote to the rest of the class. You can of course replace the question with other questions such as:
- What makes you happy?
- If you could travel anywhere you want, where would you go?
- What do you do in your spare time?
- What do you eat every day?
- What are you looking forward to this year?
- Describe yourself in one word!
6. The counting game
Sit or stand in a circle with all the students. The goal is for the group to count from 1 to 20. Anyone can call out the next number, but if two people call out at the same time you have to start over.
It is not allowed to say anything else during the round!
7. Something is not quite right
This one is fun and a little different. Before school starts, create some intentional chaos in the classroom. E.g. turn the clock on the wall upside down, change the order of the number line you have on the wall, misspell a word on the blackboard or something else. When the students arrive, you can divide them into groups, and then each group must try to find what is wrong and write it on a sheet of paper. A super low-threshold way to get started doing something together.
8. Treasure hunting
Send the students on a treasure hunt. Divide the students into groups of 3-4. Then you call out a word, and then there is competition between the teams to be the first team to return with the thing. The students are also welcome to go out into the schoolyard. Examples of things that they can find:
- An eraser
- A ball
- A branch
- A stapler
- A cup of coffee
Get to know each other activities secondary school
Speed-date, or friend-date is perhaps a more correct name. Place desks in a row with chairs on either side, with an equal number of students in each row. Then everyone gets 2 minutes to talk together before everyone in one row moves a place to the left. To make it a little easier to start the conversations, it might be a good idea to have a presentation with questions you can ask each other if you feel like it. Some questions could be:
- What do you do in your spare time?
- Do you like pineapple on pizza? How about mango in taco?
- If you could meet anyone you want in the whole world, who would you choose?
- What music do you listen to?
- TikTok or Snapchat?
10. Make a video in TikTok style
Divide the class into groups of 4-5 students. All groups then get 30 minutes to make a 15-second video in TikTok style. Finally, all the videos are shown to the class. For privacy reasons, it is recommended not to use the TikTok app, but rather a normal mobile camera, and then download it and send it by e-mail/Teams to the teacher. You can also give the students some ideas for what they can do in their video
- Dance video with everyone
- Trick with football
- Make a rap
- Make a short sketch
- Create a video meme
- Is there anyone in the group who knows any tricks of any kind?
Get to know each other activities for high school
11. Standing in line without speaking
In this get-to-know each other game, the students are trained in cooperation and communication in a new way, in addition to getting to know each other! When you as the teacher say "Ready", the students must be completely quiet. They are then instructed to line up according to who is the oldest. It is therefore not allowed to speak or write anything, but everything else is allowed. Alternatively, you can try one of these challenges:
- Sort alphabetically by the first letter of the first name
- Line up according to height (Don't say anything about tall or short going first...)
One possibility to create a little extra dedication is to divide the group into two and make it a competition to see which group finishes first.
12. Unpopular opinion
Use Curipod to allow all students to share an unpopular opinion they have, e.g. "I don’t like pizza", "iPhone is overrated" etc. Then everyone gets to vote on which unpopular opinion they agree with the most. Guaranteed fun!
13. The marshmallow challenge
The marshmallow challenge is really suitable for both middle and high school. Divide the students into groups of 3-4 people. You need 20 pieces of spaghetti straw, a meter of tape and a marshmallow for each group. The competition is to build the tallest tower with a marshmallow on top within 15 minutes!
Get to know each other activities
14. Share a fun fact
Have all the students write a fun fact about themselves, and then vote for the fun fact they want to hear more about. This is a guaranteed fun way to learn a bit about the others in the class. It is also perceived as safe if there is someone who does not come up with a fun fact.
15. Get to know a new teacher
The students also need to get to know you as a teacher! Let the students guess your age, say something about what they want from you as a teacher, and ask you open-ended questions with this Curipod activity.
Get to know each other activities outside
16. Make a word out of bodies!
Find a large, unobstructed area outside the school yard. Divide the students into teams of 5-6 people. It is important that there are the same number of people on each team. Before the start, all teams choose a team leader. The game consists of several rounds. In each round, a word is read out that each team must write with their body.
Choose words that are the same length as the team size minus 1. For example, if the teams consist of 5 people, they must "write" words that are 4 letters long. This is so that the team leader can be the conductor and manage the rest of the team. The team that manages to make a word first (approved by you as the judge) wins the round.
A variant is to vary who is the team leader between each round to make it extra challenging.
17. Statue construction
Divide the students into groups/teams of 4-5 people. The group must together make a statue or a building with themselves as material. It could be that everyone is part of the statue, or that one or two make a statue of the others. When all the teams are ready, they are told which statue/building they will make. They get 5 minutes, and the winner is the team that has made the most similar to the task. Examples can be:
- Create the monolith
- Create the Eiffel Tower
- Make a pyramid
18. Egg drop
Divide the students into small groups of 3-5 participants. Each team is given an egg (uncooked), as well as some paper, tape, pens and cardboard. The competition consists of building a protection around the egg with the given materials (make sure that all teams get the same things to build with). After 20 minutes, it is ready for the actual egg drop, where each team releases its protected egg from e.g. the 2nd floor. The winner is the team that does not break their egg.
If several teams have an egg that survives the fall, you can take a decisive round where you go up one or two more floors before making another egg drop.
Extra inspiration to get to know each other
19. Get to know each other questions
Get to know each other questions can be used for many of the other games and activities on this list. Here is a list of 33 questions that can be used as inspiration if you want to vary some of the other activities.
- Who is your biggest hero?
- What is your biggest fear?
- If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
- What motivates you?
- What do you think is the worst thing about school?
- What do you think is the best thing about school?
- What is your favorite color?
- Do you collect anything?
- What is the most special thing you have eaten?
- If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
- Do you often listen to music?
- What annoys you the most?
- Who do you follow on TikTok?
- Do you like video games?
- Pineapple on pizza?
- Where would you like to work in the future?
- How many languages do you speak?
- Who is the smartest person you know?
- Which animal is most like you?
- What would you never do again?
- What hobbies do you have?
- What do you eat for breakfast?
- Which emoji do you use most often?
- Peace on earth, or get super rich?
- What is your favorite subject?
- Do you really like getting to know each other activities? Why, why not?
- Read a book or watch a series?
- Do you like working with school alone or in a group?
- Do you like summer or winter best?
- Would you rather be rich or famous? Or neither?
- Would you travel to the future or to the past if you could choose?
- If you had to choose, would you live without Netflix or YouTube?
- Go without your cell phone for a year or eat oatmeal for dinner every day?