Editor’s Note: I think Donna’s activity is a great one to start the first day of school!  Using Kahoot can be fun, though the sentence starters and the idea of using them to write an essay about the class can be used with or without the game site.  I’m adding this post to Answers To “What Do You Do On The First Day Of School?”


Donna DeTommaso – Kleinert Ed.D. is a retired ESL teacher from the North Penn School District in Lansdale, PA.  Presently, she teaches as an adjunct professor for Rosemont College. She teaches all the online Pennsylvania ESL certification courses. 


During the summer, teachers often think about how to begin their school year. They know it is essential to develop a sense of community and pull students together as a group of engaged learners. Teachers of beginner English learners know they have to scaffold such learning activities and help their students break through culture shock.  Gamification is an engaging and motivating way to engage students.  Despite many English learners arriving in the classroom with little tech. literacy, games are a great motivator to engage and introduce technology skills.  


Kahoot is a favorite technology tool used by many teachers and enjoyed by students.  Kahoot is also a tool to build a sense of community and begin the school year.  

  1. The teacher creates a Kahoot about him or herself and has the students play along.  Students love to learn facts about their teachers such as whether they have pets, where they grew up, favorite colors, hobbies and goals.

  2. After playing the teacher made Kahoot, students will create their own (here are instructions).  For beginners, provide them with scaffolded sentence stems and a word bank of words such as:

    I am from _______________ country. 

    My favorite subject is _____________. 

    I love  to eat ____________________. 

    My favorite hobby is ______________.  

    My favorite color is _______________. 

    When I grow up, I want to be a ________________.  

    I am ___________________.

  3. Play each students’ Kahoot twice.  This way students get the repetition they may need to understand and learn about one another.  The students really enjoy and love to have the others learn about them. Playing several times also provides the time needed for all the learners to get the answers and information.

  4. After playing a students’ Kahoot, orally review what the class learned about their classmate. Again, use sentence frames to assist and scaffold responses.

  5. This is also a good time to implement getting students to request for help when they don’t understand.  “Could you please repeat, I did not understand.” Teachers should not repeat information, but encourage students to ask their classmates to please repeat, I did not understand. Also, encourage students to ask WHY questions.  Why do you like ____ color? Why do you want to be _____ when you grow up?  The Kahoots facilitate class discussion and students comfortably asking one another questions.

  6. After playing all the Kahoot’s at least twice and holding class discussions about what they learned about each student, with beginner students you can create a shared writing about the class. With intermediate and advanced students, they can do this in partners or individually.

  7. After editing essays, students can read essays aloud for the class, in partners or through Flipgrid.  


Using “All About Me” Kahoots at the beginning of the year is a fun and engaging way to create a class culture through gamification.