Versatile activity for:
helping students get to know one another's names
quickly assigning partners for future pair activities
Students circulate the classroom introducing themselves in the target language (of course!) and fill in a classmate's name next to one of the countries indicated on the map. For example, after introducing themselves, Kate and Jon decide to form a partnership in Mexico, then Kate writes Jon's name on her map next to Mexico and Jon writes Kate's name on his map next to Mexico. Students circulate greeting one another and introducing themselves until everyone has completed their maps with names of classmates.
Throughout the next few weeks, use the map to randomly assign partners and to get students moving. For instance, for a think-pair-share activity, you might say, "Find your Chilean friend for this activity".
Hints: if a student is absent, write his or her name on a blank map and post it somewhere near the front of the room so students can sign up to work with him or her. If any student(s) are unable to complete their maps in the time alotted for the activity, the teacher may need to assist the completion in a whole class activity for a few minutes after the students return to their seats.