I love starting off the year with this activity! This quick worksheet is a great way to get students thinking about Biology. It gives students a quick idea of what they will learn in the course. Students will rack their brains to list words that are related to each topic in Biology. You can have students work individually or in pairs. I usually set a time limit of 15 minutes and tell them to complete as many as they can. Afterwards you can go over their answers as a class discussion and gauge their prior knowledge of course content.
Follow-up the activity with your course overview and syllabus.