Six Great Activities for the New School Year

Ideas for meeting your new class

Everyone is chilled, but the long summer break finally comes to an end all too quickly. For teachers, getting your new pupils settled into their new classroom, routines and (possibly) friendships needs to be done quickly, so the curriculum work can get underway.

Everyone needs time to settle in, and these six activity ideas are perfect for those first few days back to school, offering insights to the students you are about to embark the new school year with:

1. 30 Circles:

This is a great warm-up activity and also highlights the balance between fluency (the speed and quantity of ideas) and flexibility (how different or divergent they are). Give each pupil the resource sheet, and get them to draw (upt0) 30 distinct items for each circle. Click here for the full resource and further instructions.

2. Social Planes:

If you are determined that your students MUST write about their summer holidays, then let’s get a little more creative. I mean, after such a long break, should we really be expecting our students to write reams of stuff that, let’s be honest, you won’t get time to read through anyway (purpose)? This Social Planes activity is a great idea to gently embrace the briefness of social media postings, as well as sharing messages (via writing) on paper aeroplanes. You could use the planes to get your students to: write messages to themselves, to open at the end of the year; share one of their favourite activities during the break; send a message to a ‘new’ friend to tell everyone a little bit about themselves. There is no need to worry about e-safety with these planes, as they are totally analogue (unless you share them online), and can safely be kept within the classroom. Click here for the full resource and further ideas.

3. 3D Hands:

Here is a great personalised activity, that can create stunning results (and a wonderful display) allowing even the most non-arty students achieve something quite unique. There are quite a lot of creative ideas on how you could integrate this activity with target setting for all kinds of subjects. Some students will race through this activity, but the best results are created by taking time. Try it yourself before showing your students. Click here for the full resource and instructions.

4. Choices:

There is nothing more fulfilling, as a teacher, to see your students think about their choices, debating the pros and cons to various choices. This activity invites students to make choices, would they rather: Have the ability to fly or the ability to read minds? Become a ninja or become a pirate? Or, have the ability to talk to animals or the ability to speak any language fluently? Getting them to explain the thinking behind their choice can be fascinating. Click here for the full resource, and further ideas.

5. Name the Country:

Here’s a great activity nicely linked to Geography, and also could be used to help pupils get to know each other if you are faced with pupils who don’t really know their class mates yet. Using Tagxedo, add the pupil’s names to a map (The UK and Africa are templates within Tagxedo), print out, and ask various questions such as, “Whose name is in Essex?”, or “Whose name is in Nigeria?” (obviously depending on the map you chose), and get the students finding each other in the classroom to get them talking. Clearly, you may need ‘normal’ maps handy so they can work out the counties or countries. Click here to see the resource idea, and how other teachers have used this activity.

6. Lined Paper, with a Difference:

Writing should be fun, and offering pupils an alternative way to write is a priority for many teachers. We are not advocating that you spend any money on this activity, but getting pupils to write on normal lined paper can be taken to a new level with these ‘lined paper’ books, which have made their lines a little more…shall we say…quirky! The exercise books we early posted could easily be recreated, for educational purposes, to encourage pupils to write in a style that matches the lines they are writing on. Click here to see the resource the idea.

If you try any of the activities above, add a comment at the foot of this page, or tweet us an image of the activity results so we can share to the UKEdChat Communities.

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About UKEdChat Editorial 3188 Articles
The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

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