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Back to school always means a few days of activities to help the teacher to gain knowledge about the students and also for the students to get to know each other and feel more relaxed in the classroom. A good way to do this is through interactive games. One of my favorites is a game called Famous Pairs. This game can be a great icebreaker for a new class.
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How to Play
You will need sticky notes to play this game most effectively.
First you will need to compile a list of Famous Pairs that your students will be able to identify with. Some examples are peanut butter and jelly, Homer and Marge Simpson, Bonnie and Clyde and others. I will give a more complete list at the end of the game directions.
You will write one half of each pair on each sticky note. So, peanut butter on one note, jelly on another. Homer Simpson on one note, Marge Simpson on another.
Explain to your students that the game will have two parts. They will first ask questions of other students to determine who they are. Examples are questions like:
- Am I a food?
- Am I a famous person?
- Am I a cartoon character?
- Am I a man or woman?
It is up to you to give guidelines for the questions. You can require that students strictly stick to yes/no questions or allow them to ask things like am I a man or a woman? The only question off limits is, who am I? That is up to the student to discover. Once they have an idea of who (or what) they might be they can ask the teacher, Am I peanut butter? etc.
When the rules have been explained have the students line up shoulder to shoulder (if space permits) and place a sticky note on the back of each student. Try not to place paired sticky notes on students who are side by side. When everyone has a sticky note, the questioning begins. It may be a good idea to place a time limit, as well as explain an acceptable noise level for the activity before beginning.
When the majority of the students have determined who or what they are they then can use their communication skills to find their Famous Pair. Peanut butter must find jelly, Homer must find Marge until all pairs are matched up. When a pair thinks they are correct they can come to the teacher to be checked.
This is a great game to get the students up and moving and thinking creatively as they try to come up with questions to determine their identity.
It can also be used to put students in sequence, to match things like synonyms and antonyms, put words with definitions or get students organized into any type of group.
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Here are some ideas for pairs you can use:
- Peanut butter and Jelly
- Romeo and Juliet
- Bonnie and Clyde
- Peas and Carrots
- Marge and Homer Simpson
- Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
- Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
- Sonny and Cher
- R2D2 and C3PO
- Adam and Eve
- Abercrombie and Fitch
- Antony and Cleopatra
- Spongebob and Patrick (or Sandy)
- Barbie and Ken
- Bacon and Eggs
- Dorothy and Toto
- Jack and Jill
- Kermit and Miss Piggy
If you try this game, let me know how it works and what your students think. Let me know what Famous Pairs you use so I can add them to the list!