3 Fun Relationship-Building Activities for Older Students

3 Fun Relationship-Building Activities for Older Students

By Amy Nichols March 8, 2024


In an article for educators published on March 8, 2024, Amy Nichols highlights the significance of incorporating fun, relationship-building activities in the classroom to enhance student engagement and foster a sense of belonging. Nichols reflects on a conversation with her superintendent, who attributed the decline in students' affection for school post-second grade to the cessation of show-and-tell and the onset of high-stakes testing. She argues that the pressure to cover the curriculum at the expense of building relationships with students can exacerbate student anxiety and impede learning.

Nichols advocates for dedicating time throughout the school year to activities that build and maintain relationships, emphasizing that these efforts are instrumental in making students feel valued and open to learning. She shares three engaging activities that she employs to cultivate relational capacity within her classes, thus preparing students for academic rigor.

  1. Concentric Circles: This activity involves students forming two circles, one inside the other, and discussing various questions to get to know each other better. The rotation of students within the circles facilitates interactions among all class members, including the teacher, promoting familiarity and understanding.

  2. Spider Web: In this interactive exercise, students stand and use a ball of string or yarn to visually represent connections among them. A student holding the yarn shares something about themselves, and those who can relate to the statement in any way signal to receive the yarn next, forming a web-like pattern. This activity emphasizes the commonalities within the class, fostering a sense of unity and support.

  3. All My People Who: Similar to musical chairs, this dynamic game involves students sitting in a circle with one fewer chair than participants. The standing student makes a statement beginning with "All my people who...", prompting those who identify with the descriptor to find a new seat. This not only provides physical activity but also reveals shared interests and traits among students.

Nichols concludes that the time invested in these relationship-building activities is invaluable, leading to a more enjoyable and academically fruitful year. By building trust and relational capacity, students are more willing to engage in the challenging academic work that lies ahead. The article serves as a testament to the power of incorporating interactive and enjoyable practices into education to create a positive and inclusive learning environment.

Source: View Original Article

Original Article


Prepared with the assistance of AI software

OpenAI. (2024). ChatGPT (4) [Large language model]. https://chat.openai.com

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