Finding a New Buddy

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Objective

SWBAT meet a new friend while telling about themselves.

Big Idea

Students discover their part in the classroom community as they introduce themselves and learn about others.

Unit Introduction

In the first week of school, it’s important for students to understand that they are an important part of the classroom community. In these five lessons, students introduce themselves to the class and learn about each other. The lessons contain teacher created resources using graphics from Handwriting Fonts by Kevin and Amanda, Melonheadz Illustrating,  and Creekside Teacher Tales

Setting a Purpose

5 minutes

I pass out the “Finding a Buddy” packet to each student and direct them to put their names and their partners’ names at the top. I explain the first task: completing the interview. I have found that modeling this first part makes the activity much more successful. I ask a student to be my partner and I go through the first few questions pretending to interview him/her. I ask students if they have any questions on how to complete this part, set a timer for 20 minutes, and tell them to begin.

As students are working, I walk the room with a class roster and clip board. I listen in on each “interview” and write down notes about the students. Typically these notes aren’t the answers they’re giving (I can read these later when they turn in their sheets). Instead, I typically write notes about students’ personalities, affinities, or other tidbits I’m able to pick up while there.

When the timer ends (or when I see several students begin to finish their interviews), I ask the class to stop and direct their attention back to me. I show them the next part, which is the Venn Diagram. I ask students if they remember completing a Venn in second grade. There are always some who do and others who don’t. I ask one of the students who raise their hand to explain it to the class. I stress that comparing is finding things that are the same and contrasting is finding things that are different. I have my “model” student from earlier come to the front to help me again. I take a response from their page that is similar to my own and write it in the middle of the diagram showing how we are alike. I then find an answer that is very different from mine and write our responses on the appropriate sides showing how we are different. I instruct students to return to their interview and when finished, complete the Venn Diagram. I continue walking the room as they work.

Working Together

25 minutes

I pass out the “Finding a Buddy” packet to each student and direct them to put their names and their partners’ names at the top. I explain the first task: completing the interview. I have found that modeling this first part makes the activity much more successful. I ask a student to be my partner and I go through the first few questions pretending to interview him/her. I ask students if they have any questions on how to complete this part, set a timer for 20 minutes, and tell them to begin.

As students are working, I walk the room with a class roster and clip board. I listen in on each “interview” and write down notes about the students. Typically these notes aren’t the answers they’re giving (I can read these later when they turn in their sheets). Instead, I typically write notes about students’ personalities, affinities, or other tidbits I’m able to pick up while there.

When the timer ends (or when I see several students begin to finish their interviews), I ask the class to stop and direct their attention back to me. I show them the next part, which is the Venn Diagram. I ask students if they remember completing a Venn in second grade. There are always some who do and others who don’t. I ask one of the students who raise their hand to explain it to the class. I stress that comparing is finding things that are the same and contrasting is finding things that are different. I have my “model” student from earlier come to the front to help me again. I take a response from their page that is similar to my own and write it in the middle of the diagram showing how we are alike. I then find an answer that is very different from mine and write our responses on the appropriate sides showing how we are different. I instruct students to return to their interview and when finished, complete the Venn Diagram. I continue walking the room as they work.

Partner Share

10 minutes

Part three of this activity is introducing your new buddy to the class. I instruct students to look at their interview sheet and circle the three most interesting facts about their new buddy. This will be what they share with the class when they speak about their friend. Then I have them work together to find one thing they have in common and one thing they found that was different to share. Once everyone has identified what they want to share, I ask for volunteers to begin sharing. One student introduces the other by giving his/her name and the three interesting facts, the other repeats the same, and then they both speak to share their findings about what they have in common and what is different.  

I typically allow four to five groups share that first day and then allow the same number to share every day that week. This way everyone gets a chance to share without students sitting for an extended period of time just waiting for their turn.