Learn what holiday donations will be most appreciated for your needy students with this activity. They'll think you're just doing a "getting to know you" social skills lesson, but really, you'll end up with wish lists for the holidays.
As educators, during the holiday season our hearts always go out to the children in our class who don't have much even more so than the rest of the year. #ResourcesThatGive
Some schools have food, clothing, or toy drives to help out families in need. At our school, we try to personalize the holiday gifts as much as possible for children. But it can be tricky to know exactly what will make our students' eyes light up.
I created this survey to help teachers find out without making it obvious to students why we're asking. This "Getting to Know You Survey" looks more like an activity on making friends; a skill we elementary teachers are usually already teaching anyway. For teachers who already do Morning Meeting and use the Responsive Classroom, you will probably be familiar with this type of activity:
After the children mark their choices independently, have them gather together in a circle. The teacher will then say, "If you would rather have x, come on this side (indicate to the right) and if you would rather have y, go to that side (indicate to the left)."
Allow children time to discuss. Mingle if students are not used to asking each other appropriate questions and making appropriate comments.
For the Favorite Finale, post all 8 choices around the circle on index cards. Ask them to go to ONE of their favorites and find a partner who is over in that area. Have them write a SPECIFIC type of item that their partner likes. For example, if Kevin goes to the "ball" area, and partners with Kristine, he should ask "what kind of ball do you like to play the best?" If she answers, "Basketball," he should write on the back of his paper, "Kristine likes basketball." For older children learning compound sentences, you could have them write, "Kristine likes to play basketball but I prefer soccer." Or "Kristine and I both like basketball the best."
Do the Favorite Finale 3 times, so that the kids demonstrate different interests.
To sum up: The way you should debrief with the kids is to emphasize the fact that they;ve just found out more about their classmates, and maybe someone they've never played with before would be a great addition to their group next time.
Be SURE to COLLECT THE SURVEYS. Look for the names of those children who are identified as needing assistance for the holidays, and you will have a targeted wish list to shop for. Whether your school or PTO collects money or sends out requested donations, this will help you get the right gifts for your students.
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