Whenever we teachers have a longer break (longer = more than 10 days), we sometimes feel like worlds have been in between, right?!
Not necessary because the students have forgotten many things, but because it just feels so long to not see kids, we usually meet regularly, for such a long time.
With ourselves maybe travelling or disconnected from work as well during that period (or even longer), it can really feel 'weird' to start~'where are we, what do we do?'
So, today I have my top 3 activities for you. Not ice breakers. Those are necessary as well, but I am sure you get enough of those.
No, I mean 'real main activities'.
1st breakfast together
If you teach a second language it is very easy, just set it up as a restaurant and tell them to preview the language 'What would you like for breakfast"
"I'd like" and different names of foods and drinks. (You can easily do so with Genki English volume 7, or create a 'flipped classroom video' on flipgrid and have them prepare the topic.
My kids came today and without me teaching ANYTHING of this language, BEFORE or TODAY, they were fluent, and could just do it. They were soooo exited for the event today, they really got prepared.
Then we also always add some fun group games. Today we played 'Mafia'. It is great because you can easily make up a story after you haven't seen each other for such a long time.
Find the lie!
Prepare the paper and write 6 questions which confer to their vacation activities.
When the kids arrive, give each of them a marker right away and tell them to write down one answer to each question, including ONE lie.
Once they are finished, everyone sits down and can investigate:
ask each other questions:
e.g. "Why did you go to Kumamoto?" "Where did you meet your grandma?" etc.
When everyone seems happy , or you decide time is over, have them make their guess:
"Margit, I think you didn't go to Antarktika, ...(and you can add any kind of language you want to practice here 'because' ...)"
I played this yesterday with my 7th graders, and it lasted for 90 minutes, with no break. They were so involved and engaged! Try it, it is great fun.
This is something your kids (and adults) will love you for and want you to repeat as often as you can.
Unfortunately, it is pretty much brainwork to create this from scratch, so I am stuck with one 'real breakout' per year (and a few digital ones).
It is different from anything, and the goals of this game might be, (I'd like to say 'for sure are') very different from your usual classroom goals. I think they are essential!
So, why do I do it after school break?
Again, because it is so easy to create a story. Usually I have a little present for them (candy or so), and I put it in a box. I lock the box with a 3 or 4 digit keylock, because I have kids on my own who LOVE candies and I want to make sure these kids stay save for my students. (that is my story, always)...
And of course, I forget the number to the key lock.
Then the game begins, and it is up to them to find the clues hidden around the room, in shapes of a puzzle or QR code, coincidently showing up on the PC screen...
This is one I did a couple of years ago:
I think you know this game:
You have playing cards as many as players, all black, and one red. You hand out the cards and secretly everyone looks what color he has.
The kid with the red cards must answer your questions with a lie, the others must tell the truth.
This is a game even KG kids love.
You can make it easy, just with asking:
'What's your name?' Or 'How are you?'
You can quickly and easily review so much language with it and the kids will beg you for more.
Always on my list recently if I need to review something many times (vocab, etc).
After vacation, I make a Kahoot that includes something where I can include photos of my holidays. Questions about certain museums I have been to, or foods I have eaten, etc. This way they will learn some culture and learn about me at the same time, and forget that they also are learning a language.
What are your favorite Back to school activities?
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