Back to School-Winter Style

Coming back to school after winter break is always tough, for the teacher and for the kids. After the long break, a lot of the time kids seem to have forgotten all the rules and procedures. On the first day back, I don't like to jump right back into the strict curriculum. I think it is good to slowly transition back and have a few fun activities too. One thing I like to do is a winter break writing activity.

I created this fun project for kids to do on the first day back after break. They can write about 5 different things they did during break, then draw a picture and put together their Christmas tree. Here it is below on Teachers Pay Teachers:

I like to have the kids complete these projects and then either share with the class, or partner up and share with other kids what they did over the break. 


I love doing fun, hands-on activities with my students, so I made a fun game to play as an end-of-unit game/assessment. I remember loving the game Twister when I was young, so I decided to make Around the World Twister. The kids loved it!

All you need to make it are the following:

Permanent Markers
World Map
Elmo Projector/Overhead Projector/Smart Board
Painter's Plastic (used to cover the floors when you paint)

A few years ago we had insulation put into our house, and they put down this plastic to cover the floors. I asked if I could keep it, and it turned out to be perfect for this activity. I believe you can buy it in the paint section of hardware stores.

All  you need to do is cut an oval out of the plastic and tape it to a wall where you can project the image of the world. Then you can trace the world onto the plastic and color it different colors. Don't forget Antarctica, like I did! : )

I made about 6 of these to use with my class.

To play the game, we moved all the desks to the side of the room and sat the chairs in a big circle. The world  mats were laid on the floor in the middle of the circle. I put the students in groups of 4 and gave each student a number 1-4. To play the game, the 4 students stand around their mat.

The teacher then spins the spinner and calls out "Player number 1, left foot Australia," or whatever the spinner lands on. You continue to do this for each player, and each group follows along together at the same time. When someone falls, they are out.

You can either play this purely as a game, or you can use it as an assessment by walking around to observe and see if the students know their continents.

Here is the spinner I created to use. Just click on the image below to access it.

To make the spinner, print and laminate the paper. Then place a paperclip on the center and stick a brad through it. You can then flick the paperclip around and you have a spinner!

***Helpful Hint*** Don't let the kids take off their shoes. I made this mistake and had students gagging because of the smell!

If you do this activity, let me know how it goes! I would love to hear from you!

Yay! This is my first post. I am excited to start writing about teaching tips and fun activities to do with your classes. I don't teach anymore, but this will be a good way for me to keep from getting rusty and remember the tricks and methods I liked when I taught. Someday I will teach again, and it will be nice to not have to start all over. I have been working on a fun geography unit to put on Teachers Pay Teachers. It won't be ready for a bit, but I would like to share a freebie that will be part of the unit. It is called "Pin the Continent on the Map." It is like Pin the Tail on the Donkey, only in this game, the goal is to get North America as close to its correct position on the map as possible. Here it is:

I hope it is a fun activity for you to do with your students. Check out my other geography activities on TpT, and watch for my unit in the near future!