Modeled after speed-dating, this exercise will encourage students to meet classmates that they've never talked to before. A person will ask questions and quickly get to know at least 10 other students, thus discouraging solid cliques and promoting understanding.
Gather your group. You need a random mix of students who don't necessarily know each other. Maybe choose to do the exercise in class or homeroom, during a lunch period, or at an all-school assembly.
Have everyone count off. This will separate people from their friends (who they'll be standing next to). Each group should have about 24 people. Depending on how many people you have, decide how many groups you need.
Each group should form two circles. 12 people will be on the inside circle, facing another twelve on the outer circle. Each person is facing someone across from himself or herself.
Review the questions. Each pair will have five minutes to ask each other questions. This conversation should include name, grade level, and three additional questions, like:
What is one thing that you like to do outside of class?
What is one way you like to express yourself?
What is your favorite holiday?
What is a tradition unique to your family?
What's one quality that you look for in a friend?
After five minutes, tell everyone to switch. The outer circle will move to one person clockwise while the inner circle stays put.
Continue the questioning process again.
Repeat until everyone has met everyone in the opposite circle. This should take about an hour.
Challenge your classmates. Conclude by telling them to say hello in the hallways or in classes to the new people they have met, even if they don't have anything in common.