When it comes to the first day of school, what you want is a rock solid activity you can enjoy from the background. Or is that just me? There’s enough stress around that first day already, no need to stand in the spotlight trying to hold everyone’s attention for forty-five minutes.
So today I have a quick and fun activity for you (apologies for the lack of a podcast this week, I’ve been really sick all week, so we’re going short and sweet today!).
Why not try hexagonal identity one-pagers? While I still love the name tent one-pagers I’ve always pushed for on day one, you can do a fun version of them by having kids share about themselves on a hexagon shaped one-pager instead. The extension here is that they can then connect their work to the work of the rest of the class in an epic web up on the wall.
I’ve been seeing lots of teachers experimenting with using hexagonal thinking to help kids get to know each other in different ways, with and without the graphic elements of the one-pager, and this is my twist!
Here’s how I see it:
First, give some time for students to create their own hexagon-shaped one-pagers. Invite them to put on their name, interests, favorite quote, favorite subject, favorite book, etc. (make a list that works for you). When they’re done, they should cut out their hexagon and come to you so you can snap a photo of them (such an easy way to memorize their names!).
Next, have them gather with a small group and start to make connections between their hexagons. Maybe they share a favorite book or hobby, play on a similar team, love the same quote, etc. Encourage them to talk to each other about their interests and see if there are connections underlying the words they have on the page. Maybe their quotes are different but get at the same concept. Or their favorite books are in the same genre or have the same theme.
Finally, if you wish, bring all the groups together and see if they can create one epic web of community connections on your wall. If you can, keep it up for a few weeks. If not, snap a photo and print it out to hang up as the year begins. It will be rich evidence of the growing community in your classroom.
OK, you’re ready! I hope you’ll enjoy this first day activity. I’d love to see what your class does with it, so please tag me @nowsparkcreativity on Instagram if you share a photo or make a post in my free Facebook group, Creative High School English, to let me know how it went.
Want my version? You’ll find it on TPT right here.
On the Hexagonal first day activity, what happens when these kids have known each other since kindergarten?They have classes together all day. I have them for 2 years in a row. I teach in a small, rural school district.
Hi Angela! Well, you might not need it! 🙂 Sounds like they have long since broken the ice, and maybe there would be a better way to kick off the year together.