Are you looking for a variety of meaningful and engaging back to school activities to kickstart the year? Look no further! In this blog post, we’ll explore a mix of quick and longer-form activities that will support you in building a strong classroom community. These activities are designed to help your students feel connected, express themselves, and set goals for the exciting year ahead.
1. Mystery Bag
Ask students to bring in an object that represents something important or interesting about themselves. This back to school activity not only encourages students to reflect on their personal identity, but it also provides an opportunity for them to practice public speaking skills as they present their items to the class. Be prepared for some fascinating stories and connections!
2. All About Me Collage
Give students the chance to showcase their interests, goals, and personality through an All About Me Collage. Provide magazines, pictures, and words for students to cut out and use to create their collages. I love back to school activities that allow students to express themselves creatively while sharing meaningful aspects of their lives with their classmates.
3. Vision Boards
Take the All About Me Collage activity a step further by having students create vision boards for the school year. Vision boards can include goals, aspirations, and visual representations of what students hope to achieve and experience. Encourage students to write a paragraph explaining their vision boards and invite them to present their boards to the class. This activity promotes reflection, goal-setting, and a positive mindset for the year ahead. I also ask students to ensure it represents their personality in some way, so they also include hobbies and things they love on them.
4. Two Truths and a Lie Kahoot
Games are always perfect back to school activities, especially if they help the kids get to know each other in a non-cringey way 😂. Add a technology twist to the classic icebreaker activity, Two Truths and a Lie. Have students fill out a quick Google Form that outlines two truths and a lie about themselves and turn it into a Kahoot game. This interactive activity not only engages students but also allows them to learn more about their classmates. Play the Kahoot game at the end of the week to see how well everyone has paid attention and gotten to know each other. Click here to make a copy of the form!
5. Back to School Stations
Create a set of Back to School Stations for your students to rotate through during the first day of school. Each station can serve a different purpose, such as a classroom scavenger hunt, student survey, inferring activity about the teacher, a get-to-know-you game (silly debates), and a station focused on discussing classroom expectations. This multi-station approach keeps students active and excited while getting acquainted with their new learning environment. It is also very low-risk for students who find get-to-know-you activities a bit anxiety-inducing since they are working in small-groups. You can find the back to school stations I use here.
6. Get to Know the Teacher Game
Your back to school activities should also include having the kids get to know YOU! Create a set of statements or facts about yourself and have the students match each statement with the correct fact. This activity provides an opportunity for students to learn more about you as their teacher and can spark interesting conversations and connections.
7. “What’s in a Name?” Activity
Invite students to explore the history and meaning behind their names. This can be done through creative activities like name art or sharing stories behind their names with the class. It encourages a sense of identity exploration and fosters appreciation for the diverse backgrounds and cultures within the classroom.
With these back-to-school activities, you can create a welcoming and engaging classroom environment for your students. Whether it’s through sharing personal objects, expressing themselves through collages and vision boards, or learning more about their classmates and teacher, these activities promote a sense of belonging and connection. Remember to adapt and customize these activities to suit the unique needs and interests of your students. Here’s to a successful and fulfilling school year!