After the Christmas holidays are over, you will need some warm up activities to get your students back into their routine of learning. Activities for the first day back to school after Christmas should serve as a launching pad to prepare the students for future lessons.
New Year, New Calendar
Have the students create a calendar as an art activity for the remaining months left in the school year. For instance, if the last day of school is June 3rd, make a calendar starting with the day after Christmas holidays and going through June 3rd. They can decorate it as desired using a different picture for each month. Tell the students where to mark down school holidays on the calendar. Have the students hang their calendars in a spot in your room, preferably near where they keep their backpacks, coats or school books. The students then write down their homework on their calendar on each night. Since the calendar is near their backpacks, they will see the calendar as they are preparing to go home from school. This last glance at their homework assignments might prevent them from forgetting about the work.
Holiday Discussion or Essay
Have older students write an essay about what they did over the Christmas holiday. Younger children can draw pictures and present the picture in front of the class. Be aware that since not all children celebrate Christmas, not all of the students received presents over the holidays. Downplay the gift-getting over Christmas and increase the attention paid by the students to their experiences.
To burn off excess energy from the holidays, have the class start out with a game of charades on the first day back to school. Each student acts out an activity she did, place he went, person she saw or present he got over the holidays. The rest of the class must guess. The student in the class who correctly guesses the charade gets to act out his own next.
Have students write down their New Year’s resolutions for the upcoming school term on a slip of paper. Encourage creativity in the responses instead of everyone putting, “I will do my homework.” Prompt them with ideas about goals for specific classes, topics they want to learn, books they want to read or projects they want to do. Put all of the papers together in a bowl and read each one aloud, without reading the student’s name. Have the class guess who made that resolution and continue until you’ve read all of the papers.