A few teachers contacted me over the summer and one asked about starting the year with a "Bang!" Here is a copy of the email plus some additions.
Here is a file that I just received from a friend in Arizona that he uses for intro to psych https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B28t_LsPkwHebTdhZW1MeUQxblV6RlZuaUVrSEcyZVhqQ3NN
You could do the birthday activity--have the kids arrange themselves in a line or circle (depending upon space) based on birthdays-Jan 1 on one end and Dec 31 on the other. Beforehand, you can make a bet with them about the likelihood of having any matching birthdays. The last time I did this last fall I had three sets of matching birthdays in a class of 35.
You could use the Riding Hood Revisited reading and activity (on the blog)
You could use an adapted version of perspective that I use when I put a stuffed animal (I used a stuffed moose that has hidden eyes, tongue, and scarf to add to the mystery and incomplete observations that they all have) in the middle of the room and I ask the students to either draw it or describe it. Inquire as to why no one is describing the same thing.
These are quizzes for understanding the culture of and understanding the knowledge of different social classes. Great stuff
So many possibilities with this one. For me, it depends upon what unit you are starting with, perspectives or culture. What do you think? If you have great ideas, please put them in the comment section.
The Teaching High School Sociology web site