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10-15 minutes






To help identify similarities with others and improve relationship building and group cohesion in the classroom

  • Lead students through a structured practice that first asks them to write down their answers to five easy, low-risk questions:
    • birthday month/day
    • favourite colour
    • favourite season
    • number of siblings
  • Students then circulate around the room and find someone with the same answer that they have to one of these questions.
  • Ask students to discuss “safe” personal questions like:
    • What is something that your friends would consider “so you”?
    • Where are you when you feel you’re happiest?
    • Name one thing you have on your “bucket list”.
    • Talk about someone you admire.
  • Students have a brief discussion (two to three minutes about the topic).
  • Ask students to find a different student who shares the same answer to the second question. Students then discuss another personal question from the list above. This pattern continues until students discuss all five questions.

Practice could be established at the start of each semester.

Research shows that students and staff benefit from being known. Activities focused on classroom introductions and getting to know others create a sense of belonging to school (Bergin & Bergin, 2009), confidence that one matters (Marshall, 2001), and foster the development of teacher-student and peer relationships (Verschueren & Koomen, 2012).

Bergin, C., & Bergin, D. (2009). Attachment in the classroom. Educational Psychology Review, 21(2), 141-170.

Brown, B.B., Larson, J. (2009). Peer Relationships in Adolescence. In Handbook of Adolescent Psychology (eds. Lerner, R.M., Steinberg, L.), 74-103.

Narr, R.K., Allen, J.P., Tan, J.S., Loeb, E.L. (2019). Close Friendship Strength and Broader Peer Group Desirability as Differential Predictors of Adult Mental Health. Child Development, 90(1), 298–313. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12905

Verschueren, K., & Koomen, H. M. (2012). Teacher–child relationships from an attachment perspective. Attachment & human development, 14(3), 205-211.

Romans 12:10 “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” When we take the time to build community and be in relationship with others we recognize and acknowledge the gifts of others and create positive relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

(2c) An effective communicator who presents information and ideas clearly and honestly and with sensitivity to others.