Back-to-school season is here, and as a middle school teacher, you want to establish good vibes with students from the first day back.
One way to do this is by incorporating some engaging first-day-of-school activities for middle school students.
Here you will find some of the best middle school first-day-of-school activities that motivate students to put their best foot forward.
What’s more, students will be eager to embrace the academic adventures that lie ahead because they will feel comfortable being with classmates who they know, like, and trust.
Why Use First-Day-of-School Activities for Middle School Students?
First-day-of-school activities are important to use with middle schoolers for several reasons.
- Ease the transition from summer break to the school environment, reducing anxiety and nervousness.
- Provide an opportunity for students to connect with their peers, encouraging interaction and the building of friendships.
- Help you gauge students’ interests, learning styles, and personalities, enabling you to tailor lessons to meet individual needs.
- Set a positive tone for the rest of the academic year, promoting enthusiasm, active participation, and a willingness to learn.
First-Day-of-School Activities for Middle School
If you’re trying to figure out what to do with students on the first day of class in middle school, try a few of these entertaining and helpful ideas.
1. Do a 3-2-1 Activity.
For this activity, students take turns stating…
- Three facts about themselves
- Two of their favorite hobbies
- One thing they like to do on the weekend
Feel free to substitute any subjects you like for the ‘three,’ ‘two,’ and ‘one.’
2. Play Icebreaker Games.
A fun first-day-of-school activity for middle school students is to play icebreaker games.
These games help students become acquainted with each other, reducing the nervous tension that often occurs on the first day of school.
Popular icebreaker games include…
- Two Truths and a Lie – Students take turns sharing two true facts and one false fact about themselves, while others guess which one is the lie.
- The Toilet Paper Game – Students tear off as much toilet paper as they want and then have to share one interesting fact about themselves for each square they took.
- Getting to Know You Bingo
3. Tour the Classroom and Campus.
Some students may be new to the school, while others might be returning but unfamiliar with certain changes.
Even for those familiar with the school, each classroom is different, making it feel new and unfamiliar to them.
Taking the time to guide them through the classroom/school, showing where materials are located, explaining different areas for seating and work, and highlighting any essential places will help them become familiar with their new environment.
4. Respond to First-Day-of-School Writing Prompts.
First-day-of-school writing prompts offer an opportunity for students to express themselves and share their thoughts, emotions, and goals.
Plus, the responses you receive provide valuable insight into their personalities and interests.
5. Fill in an “I Love” Heart.
Provide students with a heart-shaped template that is divided into sections. Prepare the templates in advance, or have students draw the hearts themselves.
In each part of the heart, students will write something that they love.
This can be left open-ended, allowing students to write about anything they are passionate about.
Alternatively, you could provide a theme or prompt, such as “All the Things I Love About My Family,” “Things I Loved About This Summer,” or “Things I Love About School.”
After writing in the hearts, students decorate them with colors, patterns, or drawings that reflect their personalities and the things they love.
For those who are willing, students may take turns sharing their “I Love Hearts” with the rest of the class.
This activity serves as a great icebreaker activity at the beginning of the school year.
6. Decorate Classroom With Inspirational Quotes.
One of the most powerful first-day-of-school activities for middle school students that you can do is a growth mindset exercise.
Support the social-emotional growth of your middle schoolers by asking them to decorate the classroom with inspirational quotes related to growth mindset, perseverance, and learning.
Afterward, discuss the quotes with them to set a positive tone for the school year.
See inspirational back-to-school quotes for students.
7. Answer Icebreaker Questions.
Icebreaker questions are a fantastic way to engage middle school students on the first day of school.
Prepare a list of icebreaker questions in advance or come up with them on the spot.
These questions may cover a wide range of topics, such as favorite hobbies, dream travel destinations, favorite books or movies, or memorable experiences.
Arrange the students in a circle or let them sit at their desks.
Now, you can either have every student answer the same icebreaker question or pose different questions to various students.
As students share their responses, they may discover shared interests or experiences with their classmates. This discovery can lead to new friendships and a sense of belonging within the class.
Final Thoughts On Middle School First Day of Class Activities
The first day of school is a pivotal moment because it sets the tone for the rest of the school year.
So use these first-day-of-school activities for middle schoolers to create a positive classroom climate where students are eager to learn, collaborate, and grow.