An extensive alphabetical list of positive adjectives for describing people. There are at least five adjectives for every letter of the alphabet, although the adjectives for the letter “x” all begin with “ex.”
I use this as a tool to help students with a getting-to-know-you exercise where they must think of an adjective that describes themselves in a positive way and that also starts with the first letter of their names.
If the students have trouble coming up with an adjective I may give them suggestions from this handout or pass out the handout.
Once the students have all found good adjectives, I start at one end of the classroom and have one student say his/her adjective and name. The next student must repeat the first student’s adjective and name and then add his/her own adjective and name. The third student must repeat the first two students’ information and then add his/her own.
By the end of the activity, the last student may have to recall up to 30 adjectives and names; but, amazingly, they can do this because of all the repetition and chunking of the student names with adjectives and student faces.
I strongly encourage the students to silently say everyone’s adjective and name while each of their peers is struggling to do this. I warn the students that I will randomly call on a few students at the end of the activity to say the adjectives and names of all the students so they all keep paying attention.
If a student is struggling to remember an adjective I allow the other students to give help in the way of synonyms or definitions that do not include a form of the adjective.
Do NOT let the students write down anything during the activity. It will strengthen their ability to memorize if they don’t create a written crutch during the activity. Having them write down all the names and adjectives at the end of the activity or on a subsequent day is not a bad idea. I’ve experimented with writing down the adjectives and names during the activity, and I have discovered that I remember more when I don’t write anything down until we’re all done.