From Spooky to Spring: Fun Seasonal Activities for Middle School
When I first started my middle school teaching journey, I wanted something fun to do with my students around the holidays that wasn’t so elementary. So, I dove right into Pinterest and got started!
This is the list I have used for a few years now, and each year, I change a little bit to each lesson.
Again, these are meant to be fun, educational, and engaging. Each project I would only take a day or two on. I personally loved doing these right after a big project or in the middle of a big project to give the students a break.
*These should be easily adaptable for most upper grades as well!*
For October, I love diving into Edgar Allan Poe. The Tell-Tale Heart is my favorite short story of his to share. To make his writing come more alive, I give the students a copy of the short story, and then we listen to it in the dark. My favorite dramatic reading can be found here! While we are listening to the stories, I have the students create Emojis from the perspective of a character in the story (typically the narrator). If you want the directions for the Emoji Character Perspective activity, click Here.
** If this seems a little spooky for the students, I like to lighten it up with a clip from “The Simpsons” which shows a shortened comical adaptation. “The Simpsons” have many adapted scary stories so be sure to check them out but PLEASE watch them before hand to determine if this is a good fit with your students*
The name lends itself pretty well, but this season is all about giving thanks. I have the students write two thank you cards to two adults of their choice who work in our building. Then, they can hand deliver them. This is always a hit with the staff! Now, for a more engaging and fun activity for the students, they all draw a piece of paper out of a bag that has an animate object on it. Their job is to write a thankful letter to said object and tell how their life would be so different without it.
One of my favorite traditions to do around the holidays is to send greeting cards to my friends and family. I love sharing new pictures and sending short updates about my family. So I figured some of my students would love this too, but how to do it and now completely skyrocket the color printing bill? CANVA! I have the students creating holiday cards on Canva, and then they can email them to themselves to print later, or they can email their cards to loved ones directly.
New Year, New Me all starts with letting go of the past. That is why I have the students write the Ultimate Break Up Letter to something they are leaving behind this year. HERE are the directions and hilarious examples!
Ahh, the love day! Love can be so tricky, though, so I share The Chaser by John Collier with the students. I love a story that makes you think and understand things not being said. For 7th grade, I typically have to really talk about what is going on for the students to grasp what the old man is doing. After listening to The Chaser, I have the students create their own potion to sell that sounds (& is) too good to be true! The Chaser Activity directions can be found HERE.
St. Patrick’s Day:
This day is all about the luck of the draw! The students randomly selected a picture of a house that was gifted to them by a leprechaun. The catch— the students MUST move into it. Their objective is to write a letter to the teacher all about their new house and the experience of living there. Lucky House Activity is HERE.
Crumpled Writing is another favorite of mine. This can be easily adapted for any holiday or season. The overall objective is for the students to write a story based on the picture for a short amount of time. Crumple the paper. Throw the paper. Grab someone else’s and then continue writing. It is so fun to read these stories— some many start as love stories and quickly turn to an alien abduction. For the full set of directions, click HERE.
I hope you enjoy some of these seasonal activities! Which one are you going to try out this year?