‘Like You, Only Different’ Personality Quiz and Nameplates Icebreaker Activity

Picture this: It’s the first day of school, and although some of your new students are excited, others are a little nervous or shy. You know that in just a few weeks, everyone will be at ease, but for now, you’d like to break the ice and foster light yet meaningful conversations among students. This fun, informative personality quiz will help them get to know each other better while building empathy for animals.

After answering a few questions to determine which animals they’re most like, students will receive a nameplate featuring these things:

  • A picture of their animal to color in
  • Information about their animal
  • Space to write their name

‘Like You, Only Different’
Personality Quiz and Nameplates

Like You, Only Different

Begin by explaining to students that although some animals walk on four legs, live in trees, or otherwise seem different from humans, all animals—including humans—want to live free of suffering, and we’re alike in all the ways that matter most. Tell students that they’ll take a five-question personality quiz to determine which animal they’re most like (a rat, a dog, an elephant, a chicken, or a deer). Reassure them that there are no right or wrong answers and that all animals have special skills and attributes.

After they’ve completed the quiz, instruct students to remain seated as you read the descriptions of each animal aloud. Once all the students have been assigned their animals, tell the “rats” to “scurry” to a predetermined group of desks. Then have all the “dogs” “wag their tails” as they find their new seats, ask the “elephants” to “toot their trunks,” and so on. When the students are seated, have them introduce themselves to their new “colony,” “pack,” “herd,” or “flock.” Remind them that just as they live in families, so do animals.

Inspire Conversation and Compassion

All the nameplates include interesting facts about the animals, along with ways that students can help them. For example, the “chicken” nameplates encourage students to eat foods like spaghetti, bean tacos, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches instead of chicken or eggs. As you distribute the nameplates, ask questions like these in order to inspire conversation:

  • How would you feel if you were grounded for life? How do you think animals feel when they’re kept in cages every day?
  • Do you have any animal friends at home? How do you take care of them? How do you think they feel when you’re gone all day? Do you think they look forward to seeing you when you get home?
  • How do you think elephants feel when they’re taken away from their families?
  • What do you know about chickens?
  • Have you ever seen deer? Where were they? What were they doing? What problems do they have because of humans?

Allocate 15 to 20 minutes for students to color in the pictures of their animals and write their names while becoming acquainted with their new “families.” To facilitate further conversation, ask them to discuss the ways in which they’re similar to and different from the animals they were assigned. Have each group share one similarity and one difference with the class.

Additional Resources for Teachers

peta2’s ‘The Dream’ Video
A Rat’s Life
What Winter Is Like When You’re a ‘Backyard Dog’
An Elephant’s Life
A Chicken’s Life
7 Reasons Why Hunting Is Wrong

Like these ideas? Please share them to help inspire other teachers to incorporate compassion for animals into their lessons.

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