As teachers, many teachable moments happen that aren’t on our lesson plans. Am I right, or am I right? Those teachable moments can be the BEST activities that we repeat year after year. My second year teaching, I had an observation on the first day of school in a new grade level. Yep, can you imagine the panic that caused? In my lesson plans, I had a ton of awesome “get to know you” activities planned, but an idea hit me as my assistant principal patted a student on their back and then gave a side hug to the next student. This is how “Give Me Five” was born!
Introduce Give Me Five
I started off by asking students, “How do you greet someone?” We created a jot list on the board about different ways that people greet one another based on how long they have known one another. We jotted down ideas such as…
When we had a good many ideas listed, I gave the students one minute on a timer to go around and introduce themselves to one another and shake hands, high five, fist bump or smile. Then we came back together and I circled the word high five.
My High Five
I then told the students that I was going to give them a “High Five” and offered them with five different facts about myself. I held up a finger for each fact that I gave and then went around the room when I had listed my five and gave each student a high five. At first they thought it was funny and then decided that they wanted to do their high five as well.
First Day Writing Sample
Here ya go friends! This right here was my first day of school writing sample! Students then had the opportunity to write down their high five to share with the class. I have used this activity in fourth and second grades. My fourth graders wrote a paragraph with five facts and my second graders just wrote five sentences. Nine years later, I now have fancy templates with cute graphics to make this activity a little more fun and engaging! You can download these templates by entering your email into the pop up window that appears on this page. Have you missed it? Refresh the page and try again 🙂
Give Me Five – Their Turn!
After students are finished, I took time throughout the first day to let students read their five and go around and give out high fives. It was a great way to get to know my students, collect a writing sample, and create a sense of community with the class. Now that is an awesome way to start the school year! For more ideas for Back to School or First Day activities, click here!