Greeting Idea: Secret Handshake

Here’s a Morning Meeting greeting idea from 80 Morning Meeting Ideas for Grades 36, by Carol Davis:

Secret Handshake Greeting

Creating secret handshakes taps students’ creativity and builds community.

How to do it:
  1. Students pair up and take a few minutes to create and practice a secret handshake and a greeting that includes each other’s names.
  2. On your signal, all students begin doing their secret handshakes and greetings with their partners.
  3. On your signal, students find new partners and teach each other their handshakes.
  4. Repeat once or twice.

Tips for Success:

  • Brainstorm and model creating a safe and friendly handshake quickly and greeting a partner with it.
  • Reinforce positive behaviors. For example: “I saw and heard lots of cooperation as you worked with your partners to create secret handshakes.”

Skills: creative thinking, cooperation, sequencing


  • Invite partners to do their handshake in the center of the circle one pair at a time.
  • Challenge students to create their biggest, smallest, fastest, slowest, or most complicated handshake.


Tags: 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, Building Classroom Community