The first day of school causes both excitement and a little anxiety for most students. Developing first day activities at the beginning of the school year for your sixth grade pupils will help to make the transition back to school and to the challenges they will face a bit more manageable.

Introductory Activities

Devise activities that allow you and your sixth grade students to know one another as well as to know each other. Activities for your students to get better acquainted could include dividing students into groups to work on an art project. Another assignment might require them to work together to find a solution to a set of questions that you have posed.

Setting Parameters

It important that you start off the new school year by setting specific parameters for students. You need to ensure that students fully understand what is expected of them, as well as your commitment to help each one do well. One activity that you could develop is a student--teacher contract whereas both parities agree to do certain things. Within this contract you should clearly lay out what you expect in terms of students completing academic requirements as well as behavioral standards toward you and fellow students.

A Surprise Guest or Announcement

Another first day activity for your sixth grade class is to invite a special guest to talk to students. For instance, you could ask the director of a local community theater to your class to talk to students about putting on a play or other production. You could then announce that at some point later in the school year, students will get the chance to audition for parts in a school play, as well as work on the production by helping to make props and background designs.

Artistic Assignment

Ask students to choose an artistic approach to an assignment that asks students to share something about themselves. It might be what they want to be when they grow up, something that concerns them about the world or what their favorite things to do are. Tailor the assignment to meet your specific objectives; for example, you may want to ask students to write an essay so that you can learn a bit about each student, as well as access their writing skills.