November 6, 2014

Getting to Know My Social Skills Group

For the past few weeks the students in my social skills groups and I have been doing activities to get to know each other better. There are tons of ice breaker activities out there, but one of my favorite ones is my "Jelly Bean Get-to-Know-You" game, which is also part of my Jelly Bean language activities on TPT.

The lesson / discussion itself revolves around the fact that we usually choose the people we want to be friends with based on their interests. We tend to choose people who are most similar to us. Since we don't know much information about an individual just by looking at them, we need to get to know them better by asking questions and sharing information about ourselves.

For the activity, I prepare a little snack baggy with about 10 different colored jelly beans (they have to be Jelly Belly) for each student -- I handpick the beans prior to the activity, so that there is equal color representation. Each student receives one of these baggies in addition to a Jelly Bean "Get-to-Know-You Chart". Each color jelly bean has a little cloze statement next to it, such as, "My favorite movie is ___." We go through the chart and for each color the students have to check their bags for a match. If they have the color in their bag, they get to share the little tidbit of information about themselves. At the end of the activity, you could ask the group questions like, "Who remembers something about (Student)?" You could even hand out bonus jelly beans to those students who were truly listening to their peers and remember the most information. You can also have students compare themselves to the other kids and ask questions such as, "Who in this group are you most similar too?"

The kids love this activity because it involves candy. Thankfully, Jelly Bellys are peanut free!

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