Community and relational capacity create the foundation upon which we build our classrooms. With that in mind, the days before and after a school break are great opportunities to reinforce these connections. Activities that build on existing relational capacity can serve to send students off to a break with a positive mindset, set them at ease, and welcome them back when school resumes.
- Round-Robin Sharing: Each student takes a turn sharing. Choose students at random, ask for volunteers, or have one speaker choose the next one. Repeat until everyone has shared.
- Mini-Speeches: Have each student respond to a quick prompt or sentence stem that allows them to share something about their plans for a break, a tradition, or a highlight of what they recently accomplished. It can often be good to offer at least one less personal option for students to select from with these.
- Class Guessing Game: Collect facts about each student. One at a time, read off the fact and see if the class can guess who it is.
- Class Scavenger Hunt: Give students a list of classmate connections to find (has a dog, loves to camp, listens to hip hop, etc.). Students then mingle and get signatures from classmates who match the description. One popular format is to create a BINGO board with AOA’s free template.
- Classroom Displays: Have students create something that represents themselves, and then display these on the wall. You can use AOA’s pennant, T-shirt, or locker templates as potential formats.
- Quizlet Live: Create a Quizlet Live activity using trivia about the students in your class. Students will have fun collaboratively figuring out which descriptions match each classmate. Be sure that all students are included in the questions.
- Kahoot!: Similar to Quizlet Live, this platform allows you to create a trivia quiz about students in your class.
- Share holiday plans or reflections.
- Share a holiday tradition.
- Share interests and hobbies.
- Share hopes and dreams.
- Celebrate a positive send-off to a break or holiday.
- Welcome students back to class after a break.
- Use as a brain break.
- Use as an activity to have fun, interact, and learn more about each other to build community.