George Lucas Educational Foundation
George Lucas Educational Foundation

5 Low-Stakes Activities to Help Teens Open Up

From sharing common interests to making connections through books and music, these engaging exercises provide stepping stones for teachers to build relationships in the classroom.

September 21, 2022

Getting to know your students is one of the most crucial parts of a new school year. Yet, as teens get older, it can become more difficult to get them to share about themselves. These five fresh but simple prompts make opening up easy and fun for middle and high school students. To learn more about these ideas, read ESL teacher Valentina Melnikova’s Edutopia article from June 2022, “6 Ways to Get to Know Your Students and Build a Classroom Community.” The research cited in the video is Garvin Brod, Markus Werkle-Bergner, and Yee Lee Shing’s 2013 article “The Influence of Prior Knowledge on Memory: A Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Perspective.”

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  • Classroom Management
  • Interest-Based Learning
  • Social & Emotional Learning (SEL)
  • Student Engagement
  • 6-8 Middle School
  • 9-12 High School

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