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Just hired...school starts tomorrow!!!!

Social Studies 


Hi all,
I'm wondering if anyone has some ideas on some fun things they do first day of class...

I just got hired to teach 1 (or 2...not sure) periods of 7th....or 8th....grade social studies. Out here in oil country they don't really get complete numbers of students until just before school starts, and they knew I had taught before. I jumped at the offer, but I don't think I'll be able to make up any syllabus until after the first day tomorrow--considering I STILL don't know what I'm teaching.

I guess tomorrow I'm looking for something to kill time while we're getting to know each other, and I'm getting to know the school. I just moved here to a small town, so I don't really know the school, students, town, or system yet.

Just looking for feedback, thanks!


Senior Member
Social Studies...

I teach 7th grade US history, but this could be easily adapted:

1, My first activity with my 7th graders is to have them choose a word (either America or History)
2. They have 5 minutes to individually write down as many words as they can think of that relate to the word they chose.
3. Then, I put them in groups of 3-4, matching them with other people who chose the same word as them.
4. As a group, they then have to a make a "concept poster" with their word as the main focus, and all of the words related to it surroudning it, ullustatrions, etc. They have to chosoe their "top three" words and write about why those are the top three on the back.
5. If there is time, I have them share their poster and report out about their "top three".

Instant classroom decor (I hang them all up ) and also it gives them a chance to get to know people in the class, gives me a chance to see who my real history buffs are, and gives us a starting place for our first min-unit: What is Social Studies?

Hope that helped!


I like Mrs.B's idea, sounds like fun!

One of the things I have done is to play an icebreaker game. I write a name of a famous American (or if it is World History, something from that) on slips of post its. Each student gets one, and the kids are broken into groups of 5 or 6.

The idea is to figure out who is on your back. They are only permitted to ask yes or no questions, for instance, "Is my person male?" Each person is allowed two questions per turn. Try to use fairly well known individuals with this age level. George Washington would be good, but not Rutherford B. Hayes. It's a nice way to start the year.



Just read over my post and I realized that I didn't mention that each student will have a post it attached to their back.