The Name Chain

What's your favorite Back-to-School activity? Jodi over at Fun In First is gathering our BEST ideas -- click the graphic to link up!

When I taught high school Spanish class, this activity was especially challenging because the students not only had their given name, but they also chose a Spanish name. Sometimes it was close - Matthew would pick Mateo, for example. Other times it was nothing like their English name - Jackie would pick Mercedes or something like that. So we'd circle up and learn one another's Spanish-language names by looking at each other and saying their new names over and over again. 
Here's how The Name Chain works:

The student to my left says her name - say it's Spanish I class, and she's chosen Esperanza. Then the student to her left, Emilia, repeats Esperanza's name and adds her name: Esperanza, Emilia. The student to their left adds his name to the chain by saying Esperanza, Emilia, Diego. And so on and so on and so on. Everyone's engaged, because it'll soon be their turn to list the names in order. (Of course if someone gets stuck, the person whose name he's stuck on can repeat it.)

Spanish I  - 2nd period
When it comes back around to me, I say them all, ending with Maestra (Teacher), the name my students use to address me. If time permits, we swing back around the circle to the right and do it again. Adding last names or descriptive adjectives is good variation in the Name Chain game. To add movement, stay in that same circle, but stand up. Instead of going in order around the circle, toss a Koosh ball or Beanie baby to a random person, who has to say your name, then his before tossing it to someone else.

Students (yes, high schoolers!) would ask to play it again and again, so we'd also do it with new vocabulary as well. Studying animals? No worries - give them all an animal word and circle up!

For more Back-To-School activities, visit Apples 4 The Teacher {here}.


  1. What a great idea to play the name game! I bet they loved it and it would work great for vocabulary!! Thanks for linking up :)
    Fun In First

  2. What a fun idea! I teach at a small school so most everyone knows everyone else ... but you know what little kids are like ... they can forget the name of their best friend! Ha ha. I'm going to play this in first few days of school.
    Thank you!!

    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

  3. What a fun activity! With a little strategic seating, this could help new students learn the names of their classmates. But I also like the idea of using this strategy for reviewing social studies or science vocabulary. What a fun way to practice words!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade


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