7 Great First Week of School Activities for Middle School Students

You’ve just found the best first week of school activities for middle school students.

The first day of school sets the tone for an entire academic year, especially for middle school students who find themselves navigating new challenges and forging new friendships.

Preparing well-planned activities for the first week of middle school will help alleviate student and teacher anxieties.

Also, these activities serve as get-to-know-you exercises for students, sparking their interest in each other, and prompting the beginning of a welcoming plus inclusive classroom community.

So use the following middle school first week of school activities to create opportunities for students to interact, share experiences, and discover common interests.

Afterward, your middle schoolers will feel at ease and optimistic about the new school year.

First Week of School Activities for Middle School

1. Take a Classroom Quiz.

A highly engaging activity for the first day of school with middle schoolers is to surprise them with a fun quiz.

While initially taken aback, once they realize it’s about classroom rules, procedures, and expectations, they’ll be more receptive.

This light-hearted quiz serves to familiarize them with the do’s and don’ts of the classroom.

After the quiz, do a review of all the answers which revolve around things that students will need to know for the school year.

2. Go On a Treasure Hunt.

A fun activity for the first week of school in middle school is organizing a treasure hunt within the classroom.

To get started, hide objects related to the subject you teach.

For instance, if you teach science, include items like thermometers or rulers.

Give students clues to work in pairs or small groups, leading them on the treasure hunt to find these items.

At the end of the hunt, offer a small prize as a reward.

Not only does this activity help students familiarize themselves with the classroom and its contents, but it also promotes movement, interaction, and team building.

3. Play Four Corners.

This icebreaker activity is a fun way to assess prior knowledge plus learn about students’ preferences, interests, and summer experiences.

Begin by labeling four corners of the classroom with different categories.

Then call out a category, and have students move to the corresponding corner that represents their choice, just like a multiple-choice format with ABCD options.

If applicable, have a discussion about students’ answer choices. Doing so helps students get to learn more about each other.

4. Complete an Interest Inventory.

Middle school students often have well-formed likes and dislikes, and as the teacher, leveraging their interests may significantly enhance engagement and focus during lessons.

What’s more, incorporating their preferences into your teaching can make learning more enjoyable for you and them.

To gather this valuable information, distribute interest inventories during the first week of school.

On these worksheets, students will list their hobbies, favorite books, movies, and activities.

You will now have data to help you create a high-interest learning environment that keeps your middle schoolers motivated and eager to participate throughout the school year.

See an example of an interest inventory for students.

5. Do a KWL Carousel.

The KWL carousel serves as a gentle way to introduce students to procedures, rules, and new subjects during the first week of school.

To implement it, create four KWL charts and display them on each of the four walls of the classroom.

Each chart represents a different topic, such as rules and procedures or upcoming subjects in your curriculum.

Divide the students into groups of four and have them rotate among the charts.

During the carousel, the students discuss the topic listed on the chart and write down what they already know (K) about it.

Along with the “K” section, they also fill in the “W” section, expressing what they want to know about each topic.

After a minute or so, they rotate to the next chart and repeat the process, noting what they know and what to know about the new subject.

This rotation continues until each group has visited all the charts.

This activity allows you to gauge students’ existing knowledge plus it prompts discussion and teamwork among classmates, helping to build a warm classroom community.

6. Write a Letter Introducing Yourself.

If you desire simple yet powerful middle school first week of school activities, this one is for you.

Encouraging students to write a letter to their teacher is a wonderful way to establish a strong teacher-student connection and allows the teacher to learn more about each student.

In this letter, students freely express themselves, sharing their interests, hobbies, favorite subjects, and summer experiences.

They may also want to share books they enjoy reading and express their goals plus aspirations for both the school year and the future.

7. Assign Bell Ringers.

Bell ringers are short tasks assigned to students as soon as they arrive in class.

By incorporating these exercises, teachers optimize class time, create a smooth transition into the lesson, and set a productive tone for the rest of the class.

Though there are various types of middle school bell ringers that you can use, bell ringer writing prompts are low-prep and engaging.

Final Thoughts On Activities for the First Week of Middle School

By incorporating purposeful and enjoyable first week of school activities for middle school students, educators ensure that students feel welcomed, supported, and motivated to excel throughout the year.

What’s more, building a sense of community and nurturing the beginning of new friendships set the stage for a fulfilling and enriching middle school experience.

Students will be ready to reach success.