5 Top Ways to get to you your New Class (guest post)

Todays guest writer is Julie Meighan, it's her second time writing for us on Anseo A Mhuinteoir. Julie Meighan is a lecturer in Early Years Education at the Cork Institute  of Technology. She has over 15 years experience of teaching Drama to children. 

My Top Five Drama Games for “Getting To Know You”

Everyone should back at school now and teachers have to get know each other and some children maybe in new classes and have to get to know their classmates. What better way to do this than using drama games especially the getting to know you games which are very effective and fun way to remember children’s names. The following are my top five getting to know you games for primary school children however these games can also be used successfully with both teenagers and adults.

Game: Orders
Difficulty rating: **
Minimum number of participants: 6
Resources needed: Clear space
Instructions: This is a very good warm up game it is also very good for getting the children to work to gather as a team and for getting to know one another. The leader tells everyone to get into a straight line without talking, making a sound or moving their mouth. When this is done the leader asks the group to get them in a straight line but this time they must do by order of age - in most groups the children will all be around the same age so they have to find out what month they were born or if more than likely children have been born on the same month they must figure out what date they are born and put it in order that way. They can get in order according to height, alphabetically by the first names if they have the same first names they can be alphabetically by the surnames. They must remember they can't make any noise or move their mouths they must only uses non verbal body language.

Game: Pass the shake
Difficulty rating: **
Minimum number of participants: 4
Resources needed: Clear space
Instructions: All the children stand in a circle. One child volunteers to start and then he starts to shake a part of his body for example his hand, or leg, or head.  He calls the name of some else in the circle and he throws the shake to the child he made contact with. The other child catches the shake and changes it to shaking another part of his body he throws the shake to next child by calling his/her name. The game carries on until everyone in the circle has got a chance. Each child must shake a different part of their bodies so it gets more difficult as it comes to an end. This also an excellent activity for developing observation and co-operation skills.

Game: The name game
Difficulty rating: *
Minimum number of participants: 3
Resources needed: Clear space
Instructions: This is an excellent warm up game but it is also very useful if the class doesn't know each other very well. The class stands in a circle and the leader throws the ball to a child. The child must say introduce themselves to the rest of the group. However instead of just saying their names the must say a word that describes themselves before their name. The description word must start with the same letter as the child's name.
Hi I'm awesome Annie
Hi I'm beautiful Betty
Hi I'm careful Callum
And so on.

Game: Getting to know you
Difficulty rating: *
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: Clear space
Instructions: Divide the group into pairs. Each pair speaks to each other for five minutes. They must find out five things about their partner that they didn't know before the start of the conversation. When the five minutes is up they return to the group and they tell them the 5 things they have learned about their partner. This is a good getting to know activity for a group that don't already know each other. However this activity works quite effectively if the group is familiar with each other but they have to use their imagination a little more.

Game: Crossing the circle
Difficulty rating: *
Minimum number of participants: 6
Resources needed: Clear space
Instructions: Get all the children to stand in a circle. Go around the circle and  everyone says their name. Then the leader/teacher calls out two names and they cross the circle and so on. When they understand what to do the leader gives them different ways of walking across the circle:
  • Like a toddler
  • Like a frail old man
  • Like a lion
  • Like a mouse
  • Like a roller blade
  • Like a ballerina
  • Like Michael Jackson
  • Like a rock star
  • Like a princess
  • Like superman
  • Like a rally car.
For more ideas to use in the Drama class you can buy “Drama Start” by Julie Meighan in paperback here or you can buy the an ebook version here. Insert the following code ZJ49R to get 20% of the ebook price.

Or of course you can enter the competition to win a copy of Julie's book Drama Start simply by telling us your top ways to get to know your new class. All you have to do is leave a comment below to enter! Don't forget to leave your name and twitter handle (or facebook page) so you can be contacted if you win!!  You have a few days to enter so get your thinking caps on, the winners will be picked on Wednesday!!
Go on you know you want to!!

Wise words today? Try some of Julie's games and ideas, they really do work wonders when getting to know your pupils better!!


  1. This is a better-quality article as they all are. I make fun of been wonder wide this an eye to some beat now. Its great to receive this info. You are fair and balanced.

  2. Nice games. Well done Hellie on your first competition!

  3. I like "Pass The Squeeze" but it can be a difficult one to control/judge, particularly with a competitive class! Another good one is where children share 2 facts and 1 lie about themselves, and the rest have to pick out the lie.

  4. Our favourites group discussions followed by games of guess who made up by the children!

  5. I like using 'treasure hunt' ... Children are given a grid (3x3???) which has things such as - find someone who has been on a plane, someone who can roll their tongue, who has a pet, who can .... (you can add all sorts) They have to find someone in the class who can do one of thesev hings and get them to sign under the comment.

  6. I like a variation of the Name Game where children say their name and a food they like beginning with the first letter of their name. For example: Hi I'm Simon and I like sausages.

  7. I love the 2 facts and 1 lie game too. But also Catch a Story is a great way of finding out the imaginations that you have in the class, especially when the quiet kid always surprises you!

  8. Like your idea for a competition, Hellie!
    If you have a ball of wool, you can play the Wool Net Game:
    Good for groups already familiar with each other, helps the (new) teacher to get to know the group.
    First person says their name and a fact about themselves (I'm Sabine and I love Skulduggery Pleasant books), holds on to the thread and then throws the ball to another person, who holds on to the wool, says name and a fact about themselves, and so on, until everybody is connected with everybody else.
    Now it's time to undo the web and roll up the wool again: the last child throws the wool to the second-last, saying "You are .... and you..." (i.e. repeating the fact - class may help!), who rolls up the loose bit, throws it to the next etc.

  9. I know this may not be what you're looking for but we use icebreaker at 3rd level to get our students to mingle. We used these yesterday and they worked very well with our new first years.
    We assigned them to different teams. Their first task was to introduce themselves and then come up with a team name. Net they had to work through somepre prepared questions which were as follows:
    1. name some famous landmarks, people and some obscure coutry flags
    2. work out the keyword that joined a set of images
    3. work out the answers to some puxxles - next in series, maths type puzzles etc.
    4. tweet on some specific topics nd their thoughts on college life so far

    1. to 3. worked very well but unfortunatley 4. didnt work so well, but there's always net year.
    It was great to go into the canteen yesterday and today to see these students happily chatting away so mission accomplished :-)

  10. Competition is now closed BOO HOO!!

    And the Winners are....
    Sabine McKenna and Roy Mitchell Well Done and congrats guys!


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