Let students sit in a circle. Give one of them a wool ball. They must say their names and pass the ball to someone else. At the end they will have made a sort of web. When everybody has received the ball, the last one must give the ball back to the previous student and say (trying to remember it) his name. You can make the activity more complex by asking students to add an adjective which characterizes them (bold, cool, handsome, etc.) and it's useful for helping them learn everybody's names.

A special crossword:

Teacher stands near the blackboard. The first student goes to the blackboard and writes his name in big capital letters horizontally and then goes back to his seat. The next student who has at least one letter in his name in common with the first one goes to the blackboard and writes his name vertically taking care, (of course!) that a letter coincides with one of the first student's name. Students go on writing their names horizontally, vertically and if diagonally, if it's the case. When it's impossible to go on with the crossword the first group of students start socializing while the game goes on with the rest of the class until names are over.

Teacher photocopies the students’ name list and possibly also enlarges it, she cuts it in strips so that on each one there’s a student name, then gives each student a strip. Students are free to go around the classroom and look for the name owner by asking a simple question in English (if they already know it); for instance: “Are you Pippo Ciccio?” If a student happens to get the strip with his/her name, he/she just raises one hand and says: “I’m Pippo Ciccio!” When a kid finds the owner of the strip the latter raises his/her hand and says: “I’m Dodi Pappi!”, he takes the strip from the friend and gives his/her own and the latter goes on with the search until everyone has got the right strip and has risen the hand shouting his/her name, not too loud I hope!.

Each student makes a short presentation of him/herself to the class by saying name, hobbies, interests, favourite singer or football player or actor. This should be made in front of the class with teacher sitting or standing on the opposite side and students sitting in the middle as to prevent the presentation from becoming a conversation between teacher and pupil. The last activity is rather psychologically distressing and generally works better with grown ups.

Each student holds a ball in one hand and says: ”If I were a singer (or an actor, an athlete, or other) guess who I would be!” The other students try to guess and if they succeed the ball is launched to another pupil. In case of many failed attempts (no more than five) the student says the answer and throws the ball to another one. It’s good to get information on fellow students in a metaphorical indirect way.


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