My Top 5 MINDFUL Welcome Back to School Activities
Although I have been teaching online for a few years, I still feel excited when a new school year approaches. Being my own boss gives me the freedom to tailor-make each class according to my student’s needs and desires and also “run away” from old-fashioned course books and standardised tests.
Still, I know a lot of you are anticipating the beginning of the school year so I have decided to put together my favourite WELCOME BACK TO SCHOOL activities.
Use a Visualisation and Then Let The Student’s Mind Wander Off
For those of you who live in the northern hemisphere and enjoying the last summer sunny days, take the opportunity to take your students to the beach with this creative visualisation.
After you play the visualisation, ask the students to prepare a story about a fond memory they have from being on a beach with their family or friends. Explain that they need to express their feelings clearly and also describe what they heard, smelled, tasted and saw there.
If you teach young learners, I´ve got something for them as well. This is my special BUTTERFLY VISUALISATION which my students love.
You can find the lesson plan for this visualisation here.
Those teachers who live in the southern hemisphere may want to explore these two winter visualisations:
For young learners:
For teens and adults:
You can find the lesson plans for these visualisations here.
Play a Board Game
Who doesn’t like board games? You need a dice and some counters and of course a board game. You could either prepare the questions yourself or ask the students to write down their own. The questions could refer to their sensory experiences during their summer/winter break or a way in which to get to know each other.
You can find a template for the board game in MY FREE PRINTABLES PAGE.
There you´ll also find:
* My Amazing Summer Sketchbook
* How to create a Vision Board
* A template for MINGO
And lots more
Tell a sensory summer/winter story
Ask the students to create a story about their summer/winter holiday which involves the five senses. They need to include 3 FALSE facts. Put the learners to work in small groups and tell each other their stories. You could turn this activity into a game. The student who’s guessed the most FALSE facts will be the winner.
Create a sensory chain story
Before the lesson put up some summer/winter pictures on the wall. The activity works best if the number of pictures corresponds to the number of students. When the lesson starts play a piece of music and ask the pupils to walk around. I would choose some soothing music to put everybody into the mood. Stop the music in a couple of minutes and each student needs to stand by the closest picture. Then they create a chain story using the pictures and making sure that they describe what they can hear/see/smell/touch/taste. You could start with the student who’s closest to the door, for instance.
Create a vision board
I love vision boards and I believe that they are a great way to manifest our dreams. But how about if we create a board which shows our goals for the coming school year and also the projects we would like to involve our students in. You will need a large notice board or a piece of cardboard, some paper and crayons/pencils, etc. First, discuss with your students what you intend to achieve by the end of the school year and also what local and/or international projects you could work on and then get creative. I would do some research on some exciting national and international school projects first and prepare a list of the most appropriate ones before the lesson.
Finally, I would like to announce that I offer online training sessions for teachers who are eager to utilise mindfulness techniques in their English lessons. You can find more information here.
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Have an inspiring new school year!