I participated in the planning and decorating a “Back To School” activity for the youth. We started with a “High School” theme and planned out subjects and proper high school decor from there. Take the tour:
We started with Homeroom. Here the teens had a lesson about things you pack in your backpack for school- and then the spiritual tools you pack for life.
The tools used in our lesson were:
Text Book – scriptures
Paper & Pencil – Journal
Notebook with dividers – Reference materials like Strength of Youth pamphlet, New Era Magazine, True to the Faith booklet, etc
#2 pencil – Life’s test, and eraser (repentance)
Lunch – Spiritually fed by attending church meetings
Letterman Jacket – Representing a team, the Lord’s team…. Modesty tied in.
Locker – Keeping your tools safe and secure locked in your heart.
Cellphone – Prayer
*** Just to note: All banners and signs were made out of colored butcher papers and construction paper letters. The locker was made of an empty diaper box and construction paper, with print out decal from google images***
After Homeroom for the lesson, the teens split into “classes”… we had about 35 youth show up so our class sizes were 8-9 teens per class. We let them decide who was in what class because we wanted them to be with friends and have fun. We pulled it off by assigned Adult Leaders as “Guidance Counselors” for classes and gave them a master schedule for their class. We told the kids to line up with which ever guidance counselor they wanted. Then the Guidance Counselors followed the schedule we provided. We did a generic schedule just so that we didn’t have too many classes trying to attend one subject,we needed organized rotation. It will make sense as I explain.
One of our school subjects was Art Class. Here the student’s played the game pictionary for a class period. All words drawn were school related- here they are drawing school buses.
In another corner, we had Social Studies class. We twisted the meaning a bit in order to have a game out of it- they played “Do You Love Your Neighbor” here. A social game where the teens sat in a circle with one teen in the middle. The middle teen approached someone in the circle and asked ‘Do you love your neighbor’ at which point the person either answered “yes” and his neighbors (teens sitting on either side) were safe or he answered “Always, especially when…” and named something like “when they are wearing blue jeans” and everyone with blue jeans had to jump up and find a new seat. The teen in the middle had to hurry and sit down, and the last person with no seat was the new person in the middle.
Another subject we held was P.E. Class … where the youth played Dodge Ball.
This one is obviously self explanatory and highly popular for the boys. Our “Truancy Officers” caught some of them ditching other subjects to stay in P.E. (having worked in a school before, it’s quite humorous and true in real school).
The last subject was “Cheer Squad”. Each class had to learn a cheer to compete with in the Pep Rally at the end. Some of the classes got into it, others didn’t like the attention… but they all had fun goofing off in any form.
We recruited my cousin Stephanie (somewhatsimple.com) who has done Cheer her whole life and is VERY coordinated and creative to be our Cheer Instructor. She taught each class a different cheer and prepped them for the pep rally to come.
(Just as a side note… my cousin Stephanie just had a baby in July and this woman is SKINNY and doing cartwheels… WHAT?! she be craazy)
After each class met with each subject for 15 minute periods, it was time to gather back as homeroom for the Pep Rally.
Each class got up and performed their cheer. It was so fun to watch everyone. The teens cheered and rooted friends and then it would be their turn to get up and they’d get embarrassed and shy away.
Following the last cheer, it was time to head over to the cafeteria for refreshments.
We served cookies, apples and water bottles… our original idea was cookies and carton milk but we could not find carton milk in bulk for within our price range.
Our lovely leaders also joined in the fun and were willing to wear hair nets and gloves to be our “lunch ladies”. Good sports.
The whole night was a success and everyone from leaders to youth enjoyed it thoroughly.