First Day of High School Activities

Plan creative activities for the first day of school.

Preparing first day of high school activities encourages students to get to know one another and puts their minds at ease about the upcoming school year. In planning activities, mention topics to be covered during the year and your expectations as a teacher. Give students the chance to get to know you as the teacher and start building a relationship with them. Take note of any information they share about themselves and keep it in a file for reference during the year.

1 KWL Chart

Complete a KWL chart with you, the teacher, being the subject. This activity provides students with a chance to get to know you and makes a good class activity for the first day. Encourage students to complete the "K" or know column together. Some ideas might be what type of car you drive, how many children you have or that you coach the speech team. Ask the students to fill-in the "W" or want to know column on their own. If students are stumped, prompt them with ideas like the type of music you listen to, some of your hobbies or your favorite sport. Finally, the lesson about yourself. Create a list of interesting facts such as where your were born, summer vacations, the college you attended or your favorite movie. Place these in a jar. Ask one student to select a fact from the jar and illustrate it for the class, the student who successfully guesses the fact gets to illustrate the next fact. Students keep track of these under the "L" or learned column.

2 Get to Know you Activities

Plan a get to know you activity for your high school students. Prepare an activity so students can get to know one other and you can get to know them. Try the pair interview. Think of matching pairs high school students can relate to, such as Beyoncé and Jay Z, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, or Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. Write these on separate cards and pass out to the students. Students will hold up their cards and walk around looking for their match. When they have found their match, students conduct a short interview asking about hobbies, likes and dislikes, and extracurricular actives. Each student introduces their match to the class and shares the information they learned. Another get to know you activity is to create a list of "I'm Searching for Someone" items, such as someone with a pet dog, someone who has birthday in August or someone who traveled out of state over the summer. Students walk around the room mingling with classmates until they complete all the questions.

3 Rules and Procedures

Establish rules and procedures. Every good teacher makes this a first day priority. It's important to cover these on the first day so students know what to expect and understand your expectations of them. Handing high school students a list of rules and procedures is fine, but they'll never read it. Take the time to go over the list and point out important locations in the classroom such as where to turn in papers. Consider playing a game to review the procedures. Divide the class into teams and have one team member draw or act out the procedure while the others guess. Another idea is to review the rules and procedures as a Jeopardy game.

Erica Green has been a freelance journalist since 2008. She has contributed to the Atlantic Publishing Company, Texas Sports, Confessions of a Homeowner and more. Green is currently pursuing a degree in Spanish, and she tutors English Language Learner students. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas and is a certified middle school teacher.