Self-disclosure (i.e., sharing information about ourselves) can foster positive relationships and deeper connections; leading to more classroom engagement. However, sharing about ourselves can often be difficult. With our help, you can plan some class activities to help facilitate this. It’s also important to learn the appropriate context for self-disclosure as oversharing with others can have negative consequences. Here’s a list of 20 self-disclosure class activities that are perfect for introducing the concept!
1. Two Truths & A Lie
Here’s a classic icebreaker activity that I’ve played countless times! Your students can each prepare two truths and a lie to present to the class about themselves. The rest of the students can guess what the lie is.
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2. People Bingo
Another classic game, but with a twist! Your students can mark off their Bingo cards based on getting to know their classmates. Each space will correspond with a specific fact (e.g., Likes pizza). Whoever is first to get a line of signatures wins!
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3. “All About Me” Bag
If you could choose 3 items that represent you, what would they be? You can put these in your “All About Me” bag. This show-and-tell activity can include anything from a stuffed animal to a treasured photograph.
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4. What’s In A Name?
When people ask about my last name, there’s always a story I share. In short, my great-grandmother shortened it and changed the pronunciation from its Polish origin. Your students can share the origin, meaning, and pronunciation of their names in this self-disclosure activity.
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5. Step In The Circle
Activities that require no talking on your students’ behalves can be a great way to get them comfortable at first. Your students can form a circle and then you can say a statement (e.g., I play an instrument). If the statement is true, your students can step inside the circle.
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6. Spectrum Activity
Rather than yes/no statements, you can present statements with responses that lie on a spectrum (e.g., I have difficulty with math). You can mark lines on the floor from strongly disagree to strongly agree. Your students can move to the spot that corresponds with their agreement.
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7. Just By Looking At Me
This activity emphasizes that there is more to a person than what meets the eye. Each of your students can go around and share something about them that no one could tell by just looking at them.
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8. Identity Drawings
In this drawing activity, your students can draw a self-portrait. Half of the portrait can include visible characteristics and the other half invisible characteristics. This can be a good follow-up to the last activity.
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9. Forced Identities
You can post various identity signs (e.g., race, gender, first language) around the classroom. Then, you can announce identity-related statements (e.g., This is the identity I most like to share with others”). Your students can move to the identity category that they resonate most with.
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10. Write an Autobiography
Some of your students may find that expressing themselves through writing is easier than speaking. They can write an autobiography that discusses key information about their life. For example: where they were born, who is in their family, and important events.
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11. Share Hopes, Dreams, & Goals
What do your students hope for this school year? What is their dream career? These questions can dive deep into getting to know your students. You can consider running a class exercise where you chart everyone’s hopes, dreams, and goals.
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12. Share Feelings About A Friend
The next level of self-disclosure is sharing feelings about our friends and social life. You can have your students write down why they enjoy being friends with someone and their hopes for the friendship.
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13. Inappropriate Self-Disclosure Exercise
Your students can watch this video and note the inappropriate self-disclosures. After discussing these points, you can ask about how these disclosures may be more appropriate if they were a different recipient (e.g., family member, close friend).
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14. Scenario Task Cards
Task cards are such a versatile resource! You can write up some scenarios on these blank task card templates for your students to consider whether a context is appropriate to self-disclose specific information in. Your students can complete this activity in small groups.
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15. Disability Disclosure
It’s important that all of your students can get the support and accommodations that they need to succeed in school. Through these Boom Cards on disability disclosure, your students can learn the process and outcome of disclosing a disability at school.
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16. Kahoot Guessing Game
Getting to know the teacher can turn into a fun guessing game with Kahoot! You can set up a Kahoot game with various questions related to yourself. Then, your students can guess among the multiple-choice answers what is correct.
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17. Meet the Teacher Poster
These Meet the Teacher posters can be a great addition to the décor of your classroom. You can include your name, fun facts, and some pictures. Feel free to share more or less information, depending on your level of comfortability with self-disclosure.
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18. Self-Disclosure Assessment
You can complete this self-disclosure assessment which contains different examples of shareable personal information. After completion, you can discuss with other teachers what they think is appropriate to share. It can be good to contemplate these things before beginning class to avoid any inappropriate self-disclosures.
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19. Scenario Task Cards
Scenario task cards can be a great resource for adult learning too! Similar to the student version I introduced earlier, you can write up some scenarios where there is an opportunity to self-disclose to your students. Consider the potential benefits and risks of sharing this information.
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20. Watch the Video About Self-Disclosure
Here’s a short video explaining self-disclosure in relationships and how, when done appropriately, can have positive effects. You can watch this video to educate yourself or play it in class for your students to learn from it too!
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