Back to School Name Tag – A Day 1 Activity

Teacher standing with six smiling students in front of a chalkboard that says 'Back to School.

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Engage, Connect, and Problem-Solve: Day 1 of Back to School Name Tag Challenge!

As a teacher, one of my most important jobs is to make sure that every student feels welcome and respected in the classroom. This is especially important on the first day of school, when students meet their teachers and classmates for the first time. For a fun and interactive way to start the school year, we have come up with a unique name tag challenge that helps students remember each other’s names and improves their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. So, let’s get started with the Back to School Name Tag Challenge Day 1 lesson plan.


The primary objective of this lesson is to encourage students to connect with one another by learning and remembering each other’s names. Additionally, the STEM variation aims to foster critical thinking and problem-solving skills by designing and building a functional name tag.

Materials Needed:

– Index cards or sticky notes

– Markers, pens, or colored pencils

– Adhesive or any other method to attach name tags

– Optional: Additional materials for STEM variation (paper clips, rubber bands, tape, scissors, etc.)

Lesson Plan:

  1. Introduction (10 minutes):

    – Greet the students and introduce them to the Back to School Name Tag Challenge.

    – Explain the importance of getting to know their classmates’ names and creating a positive classroom environment.

    – Emphasize that this activity will also involve critical thinking and problem-solving skills, adding an exciting twist to the traditional name-tag activity.

  1. Name Tag Creation (20 minutes):

   – Distribute index cards or sticky notes to each student.

   – Instruct students to write their name legibly and creatively on their name tag using markers, pens, or colored pencils.

   – Encourage students to add any additional personal touches or decorations they’d like.

  1. Memory Game (15 minutes):

   – Once all the students have completed their name tags, collect them and shuffle them.

   – Randomly distribute the name tags among the students.

   – Instruct the students to walk around the classroom and, without speaking, find the person whose name matches the name tag they received.

   – This will challenge students to rely solely on visual cues and memory recall to make connections.

  1. Class Introductions (15 minutes):

   – After the name tags have been matched correctly, gather the students in a circle or a designated area.

   – Allow each student to introduce themselves. This could include sharing a fun fact about themselves or something they look forward to during the school year.

   – Encourage students to use the name tag of the person they matched with as a reference when introducing them.

   – This activity will help students practice speaking in front of the class and reinforce the connection between names and faces.

  1. STEM Variation: Building Functional Name Tags (30 minutes):

   – For this variation, provide students with additional materials such as paper clips, rubber bands, tape, and scissors.

   – Explain to students that they can take their name tags to the next level by making them functional and interactive.

   – Challenge students to design and build a name tag that can stand upright on a desk or be wearable.

   – Encourage students to think creatively and problem-solve while using the given materials.

   – Guide as needed and emphasize the importance of teamwork and collaboration.

  1. Sharing and Reflection (10 minutes):

   – Once students have completed their functional name tags, allow them to share their creations with the class.

   – This could include demonstrating how their name tags stand upright or describing the process they went through to build it.

   – Encourage students to provide positive feedback and ask questions about each other’s creations, fostering a supportive and collaborative environment.

   – Finally, facilitate a class discussion by asking students to reflect on the activity. Some guiding questions could be:

      – What did you enjoy about this name tag challenge?

      – How did this activity help you remember your classmates’ names?

      – What strategies did you use to problem-solve and build your functional name tag?

      – How did working together enhance your learning experience?


The Back to School Name Tag Challenge is a fun and interactive way to kick off the school year and create a positive classroom environment. By engaging in this activity, students learn and remember each other’s names and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The STEM variation adds an extra layer of creativity and teamwork, allowing students to design and build functional name tags. By incorporating this challenge on the first day of school, teachers can set the tone for a collaborative and inclusive classroom where students feel connected and valued. So, get ready to engage, connect, and problem-solve with your students on the exciting journey ahead!

Remember, fostering a positive and inclusive classroom environment is an ongoing process. It is crucial to continue implementing strategies and activities throughout the school year to ensure that students feel seen, heard, and respected.