Who doesn’t love vacations where everything is super smooth? Students as well as teachers love the holiday time as both have ample time to prepare for the new academic year. As it gets to the time of getting back to school, it becomes significantly important for teachers to again get to the teaching zone.
The first week of school is expected to be crucial as students have to be made aware of rules, different procedures, and a clear idea of how the year looks like. If the school management has taken any important or made changes regarding the curriculum, that also has to be communicated in the first week.
However, being so direct doesn’t really work as it hampers the fresh environment. Using different back-to-school activities helps students collaborate with each other, understand teamwork and also get to know the year plans in a more creative way. The below-mentioned back-to-school activities are a helpful blend of learning and having fun as they are super easy to conduct. Check these activities to offer a diversified learning experience for high school students.
Back to school activities for high school students
1. Rhyme about Me
Getting to know each other is a crucial part when starting the year. This activity focuses on personal introductions in a creative way.
- To conduct this activity, distribute a sheet of paper to all students
- Now, ask them to write about themselves yet in a rhyming manner
- They can write about their hobbies, dislikes, and personal interests in a creative manner here
- Then, ask them to recite it in front of everyone
Students giving their personal information in a subtle way might not be very attractive for high school. This activity enhances communication and also helps students express themselves better.
2. Write me an Email
Getting to know students through email is a perfect idea to understand more about their writing style and personal interests. This activity is a secretive way of knowing them personally.
- To conduct this activity, give your professional email id to students
- Ask them to write about themselves, their personal interests, their responsibilities outside school, and future plans
- Now, you can choose to reply to them with positive words of affirmation or suggestions for the academic year
- If they are keen on exploring, a simple suggestion could be reading books in the library
Through emails, you can instantly understand their writing style and know if they use punctuation marks or not. This also enhances team building as the teacher personally is aware of all. Furthermore, this can also be a fun creative writing activity for high schoolers.
3. Group Assignment
High school students are sure to love something that helps them think out of the box. This assignment also helps with collaboration between students.
- To conduct this activity, make chits of different topics and put them in a bowl
- Make random groups of students and let one of them pick a chit
- Now, as per the topic, ask the groups to prepare their presentation
- They can talk about the topic, present a skit or present it in any other creative way
This activity helps students understand each other and their working styles. It also focuses on team building thereby enabling positive conversations within the class.
4. Ice Breakers
As the name suggests, this activity is all about breaking the initial friction between everyone.
- For this activity, prepare a set of questions and fold them into chits
- Put these chits into a bowl and let each student pick one
- As they pick any, ask them to answer the question in front of everyone
- The questions can be framed in the following way
- Who in the world would you go with for a world tour?
- If you could ask for one thing from a genie, what would it be?
As students get an opportunity to answer the abstract questions, they are more likely to open up about themselves. It also helps teachers understand their thought processes.
5. New Traditions
Schools are always about learning something different every day. This activity focuses on creating different traditions that are to be followed for the entire academic year.
- To conduct this activity, ask students how they want to start some new traditions for the academic year
- Now, let them put their suggestions in a chit and ask them to drop their chits in a box
- Open all of them and invite an open discussion as to which traditions are good ones
- One of the traditions can be about sharing an important piece of news every day in class to promote awareness
As the activity is about putting suggestions in a box, students get an opportunity to voice their opinions without feeling shy. They might also receive love and support from other students.
6. Truth or Lies
Sharing different stories about oneself is always a great idea to build new bonds. This activity involves sharing funny stories about oneself to create engagement with others.
- To conduct this activity, ask students to present 3 different statements about themselves
- Now, other students need to guess which statements are true and which 1 statements is a lie
- Encourage them to share funny stories so students can easily engage
This activity is all about laughing and having fun knowing funny things about each other. It also sets the base for new friendships as students find common interests with others.
7. Cross Interviews
Students might not know each other until they get into a deep conversation with one another. This activity focuses on real-time information sharing and knowing everyone better.
- To conduct this activity, divide students into teams of 2 each
- Give them 10 minutes where they strike up a conversation with their team member
- Now, they need to introduce their team member to the classroom
- They can ask many questions during this time
This activity is a helpful one to understand how some students overshare while others find it hard to share it. It also helps teachers analyze students as cross-interviews happen among them.
8. Find Someone Who Can
This is an interesting activity that focuses on analyzing students simply through their behavior and everyday conversations.
- To conduct this activity, make a list of statements that should be put in a bowl
- The statements should be in the following manner
- Find someone who can sing a song
- Find someone who can act
- Find someone who loves to paint
- Find someone who has the ability to bunk a class
- Now, ask students to stand in a circle and pick a chit one by one
- As they do, they should find someone they think is the perfect fit for it
The fun activity is all about going crazy with finding pairs and even stating why that particular student is a great fit. It brings enthusiasm and better team-building spirit among students.
9. Hunt for Rules
Classroom rules are an important aspect when high school begins. Without a proper code of conduct, students cannot function well.
- To conduct this activity, write different rules and spread them across the classroom
- Now, give them different hints to find these
- For example, a hint can be – This rule is where books are kept
- In this way, students can instantly run toward the locker/cupboard or the area dedicated to books
- As they find the rule, discuss it with the class and move on to the next one
This activity offers an innovative way to formulate rules and regulations in the classroom. Students are more likely to remember it because they have to hunt for it.
10. What I Love
Students do love to be creative and at times, this opportunity goes away with growing academic pressure. The best way to connect with them is to let their inner child out.
- To conduct this activity, give a canvas to all students
- Ask them to get their paints or clay or any art they wish to create
- Give them a good time to create their work and let them share their views about their creations
While most educators focus on the academic introduction, this activity sets the base for an open end conversation. Students also get a kick start through a healing activity.
As students get back to school, it is important to offer them the right kind of atmosphere to engage with them. This is a crucial time when students get an opportunity to express themselves and get to know each other. The stage sets the base for them thereby tapping into their interests and creative sides.
With the usage of different back-to-school activities, and virtual icebreakers, teachers and instructors can smoothly introduce the academic changes and expectations of work. It also enables teachers to create a good relationship with students thereby gaining more attention from them. Teachers must know that these activities are fun and should be conducted in a happy manner only to set the base effectively.
Having a 10+ years of experience in teaching little budding learners, I am now working as a soft skills and IELTS trainers. Having spent my share of time with high schoolers, I understand their fears about the future. At the same time, my experience has helped me foster plenty of strategies that can make their 4 years of high school blissful. Furthermore, I have worked intensely on helping these young adults bloom into successful adults by training them for their dream colleges. Through my blogs, I intend to help parents, educators and students in making these years joyful and prosperous.