First Day of School Activities

Welcome back!

I really hope you had a great summer break, lots of fun and happy moments and now you are ready for a new school year full of new ideas and activities! Keep Calm and Teach English will try to keep you company throughout the year!

Coming back to school can be challenging for some students and teachers so this is a good opportunity to make our first days enjoyable. To this end I've collected some back to school activities that I have already used with success and some (like the self-portrait project) I would like to try this year.


Icebreakers are essential for building relationships and creating a positive classroom culture. A simple Google or Pinterest search of icebreakers will yield tons of fun results. Larry Ferlazzo offers 7 easy icebreakers you can do with post-it notes, all in one neat inforgraphic. 


Students use social media extensively while schools on the other hand are not always tech friendly. Why not bring Facebook on a piece of paper then? It can be much more motivating than having students answer the usual "Tell me about yourself" questions. If you get them to bring their photos, the printables can make beautiful front pages for their portfolios.

You can find the printable Facebook profiles I have adapted from Charly Baker's printables, here.


An activity that can be used with teenagers you are already familiar with from previous years is Melchor Bernardo's self-portrait project. It generates three different products in one activity: a mind map, a self-portrait and an essay. The project needs a fair amount of preparation and some materials to use but the output can be very rewarding for the students.

Read all about this project, and many more, in Melchor's site.


This is a "getting to know you" activity where students answer the all too familiar questions about them orally, and proceed to convert their answers into fingerprint profiles. As coloured pens are essential for the profiles be sure to have some to spare. Fingerprint profiles are fun to make and they make nice art for the classroom walls.

Download the worksheets here.

I would be really interested to learn about your favourite first day activities so don't forget to leave a comment and share your ideas!