Adapted from Classroom Warm-Ups In a Jar ®
As a new school year approaches, you might be looking for some quick and meaningful activities to get kids back into the classroom routine. Kick off the first few weeks of school with these classroom warm-ups. Perfect as icebreakers or for just getting to know your students and building relationships.
- Writing prompt: What are you afraid of? What are some fears that you have learned to get over? Why and how do you think fears change as you get older?
- Have students come up with a word, phrase, or sentence that describes their best qualities and then have them draw it on a sheet of paper. Have them decorate the page with drawings or more words that further show off these laudable qualities.
- Invite students to create a recipe for something they like to do or are good at. Each recipe should include ingredients and measurements as well as directions.
- Around the globe, humans greet each other with a bow, a curtsy, a handshake, a kiss on each cheek, and in many other ways. Have students pair up and invent a new form of greeting. Ask for volunteers to share their greeting. Why did they choose it?
- As a class, discuss the meaning of “value.” Ask: Do you think you value the same things that kids valued in the past? What might be the same? What might be different?
- Writing prompt: Write for five minutes about a person who is important to you. How would you be different if this person weren’t in your life? How can you be similarly important to others?
- Tell a story about a favorite memory: a great trip, a beloved friend, an important accomplishment, and so on. Then have students write or draw about a memory of their own and explain why it’s important.
- Students trace a hand on paper. In each finger, they write an adjective that describes them, a person who is important to them, or other influences or traits you choose. Older students write sentences. Have students cut out their traced hands, and display them on a string or bulletin board.
- As a class, brainstorm large and small ways kids can help others. Have students write about a time they helped someone succeed or feel better.
- Writing prompt: You are 100 years old and you’re writing highlights of your life’s story. By writing about major things you have done in your life, you’ll be telling about your goals and dreams. Optional: Have volunteers share their responses.
- Have students make a list of five things that are important to them. These could be physical things, personality traits, family members, and so on. Have them pair up and compare lists.
- Invite students to make a visual representation of their name by drawing letters and/or adding images they draw, cut from magazines, or print from the web. Can they make a name image that shows who they are?
- Have students write about what three items they would want with them if they were stranded on a desert island. Ask for volunteers to read their answers.
For more fun activities and writing prompts to break the ice and get students warmed up during the school year, check out Classroom Warm-Ups In a Jar®.
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