One of my favorite activities to get to know students is with a signature grid “Bingo” icebreaker. They are fun for a few reasons… First, students get up and out of their seats on the first day, which usually has a lot of sitting and listening to the syllabus. How many of us lose our voice on our first day back?!
I distribute the grids and give students time to try and fill the grid with signatures without duplication. I require that students introduce themselves, not just swap grids and scribble. In the following week, I follow up by drawing a grid, saying the student’s name, and asking them a question about someone who signed their sheet.
Here are links to a few of my favorite signature grids
Teen Insights Our department’s required health-credit class covers some pretty personal topics. This icebreaker is nice for any group of students who will be working closely together with statements ranging from “I have a driver’s license” to “I have never seen The Notebook.”
Food and Nutrition With statements ranging from “I know someone who follows a vegan/vegetarian diet” to “I have a garden or compost bin,” this is a great icebreaker for any intro foods class. You can also use the questions as a pre-quiz of sorts.
Culinary Essentials This icebreaker gives students an opportunity to brag a bit by claiming that “I make the best chili in the world.” It also introduces students to food issues such as “I have seen the documentary Food, Inc.” and “I have butchered and processed my own meat.”
Signature grids can also be made to be a pre-assessment for your content. It is a great way to get issues out, like dietary needs or preferences. It also helps you determine whether most of your students have seen a documentary you plan on showing, or what kind of cooking (in my content area) experiences students have had.