Attention-Catching Activities to Team Build in a New School Term

"Welcome everyone! We're going to have a great school year! Let's play a game to help us all get acquainted."

“Welcome everyone! We’re going to have a great school year! Let’s play a game to help us all get acquainted.”

Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!

A great way to gear up at the start of a new school year or term is to plan catchy and fun activities to help students get acquainted with their new class “team.”

Children who are new not only to your class, but also to your school, will especially appreciate the “welcome wagon” of fun.

Choose what you like from this selection of easy-to-implement activities. All are adaptable to K – 5 kids.

Schedule some during the first month and a half of class…


Lead your class in a “round robin” game that models courtesy, curiosity, and the importance of getting to know each other.

Here’s how to play:

  • Gather everyone together at desks or tables so that there’s room between students.
  • Start the play saying, “Hi, I’m Ms./Mr. ______________ (your name). How do you do! I’m from ______________ (your hometown). What about you?”
  • Point to a student who then repeats the play with the same phrases and then points to another student. Go all around the room.
  • Depending on the time you have for this game, invite students to say something special about themselves after they announce their names and hometowns.
  • Optional: Place name tags for all of your students in a decorative box or bag. After you play the How Do You Do! game, ask each student to pull out a name tag and give it to the child it matches for the child to stick on her/his shirt. NOTE: This option encourages good listening skills and observation!



This “recipe” for team-building fun needs a little bit of advance preparation on your part. Collect color photos ahead that students can cut up of a whole variety of foods and

"Our team cooked up a SPINACH CAKE!" one pair of students announces.

“Our team cooked up a SPINACH CAKE!” one pair of students announces with giggles.

animals. Glossy magazines are a great source of photos.

On “Team Chef Day:”

1) Announce that it’s time for “Team Chefs” to cook up crazy word picture recipes.

2) Pair up your students. This can be by their choices or you can assign teams to pair up kids who a) don’t know each other yet b) make a strong team because one will serve as a “buddy” to a classmate in need, such as a special needs student c) have argued in the past and will benefit from opportunities to share fun experiences.

3) Ask the teams to sit next to each other.

4) Go around the room and drop a handful of photos of foods and animals at each team table.

5) Announce the Team Chef challenge…cook up two word picture recipes by pairing up foods that make crazy combinations, like SPINACH CAKE, or a food with an animal, like CROCODILE CUPCAKES, or HAIRY APE PANCAKES!  Kids love this creative activity!

6) Ring a bell or announce in some other attention-getting way, “It’s time for Team Chefs to Cook up Crazy Word Picture Recipes!”

7) After a set time, go around the room and have each “team” of chefs hold up the pictures they used to cook and say aloud their crazy word picture recipes.

Optional: Pair up the same team chefs again and ask them to draw and color pictures of their crazy recipes.

"We work as a team. Let's make a class pizza with our names and goals as toppings. We'll post them on a Pizza Palooza Bulletin Board for all to see!"

“We work as a team. Let’s make a class pizza with our names and goals as toppings. We’ll post them on a Pizza Palooza Bulletin Board for all to see!”


This is an easy, eye-catching bulletin board that your students will love to help you make.

♦ Cut a large circle of craft paper, as close to the color of pizza crust as possible, and post it on a wall or bulletin board space.

♦ Post a sign above the pie – Pizza Palooza – A Pie Full of Our Goals.  NOTE: Explain to your class that Our is underlined because “we work together as a team.”

♦ Distribute paper pizza slices (pre-cut or printed on sheets that students can cut out) to the class.

♦ Instruct students to write their NAMES and short-term GOALS on their pizza slices.

♦ Post the students’ cut out pizza slices around the pie circle on the bulletin board.

♦ When the Pizza Palooza Bulletin Board is complete, engage the class in a review of the posted goals.

Optional: Invite students up one at a time to point to their pizza pieces and read aloud their goals.


Team-building at the start of school helps all students feel that they are important members of your class. Activities that promote inclusion help motivate kids to participate in school and do good work.

What attention-catching activities do you use to team build at school start time? Please send comments.

Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!

Talk with you again soon,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet





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Posted in Attentionology for K-5 Teachers
Barbara Cleary has been serving as a resource to hundreds of educators for more than 25 years. An award-winning writer, producer, teacher, and trainer, Barbara’s focus is on offering easy, fun tools and tricks that support K-5 curricula and assist teachers with classroom management.
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