2 Sep 2022

Quick Ideas for Back to School

Isn’t it incredible how another school year is about to begin? (Or perhaps you’re already back to school or even in the middle of your school year!)

I wrote about Beginning a new school year just over a year ago, so you’ll find more ideas in that post too.

In this post, I thought I’d share some of the activities that I’ve used at the start of a new school year over the years. I’ve divided them into different sections, although some can be used in all situations.

A new class

Tell me something about each of your classmates!

Tell students that you’d like to know a few things about them all. Ask them to write down one thing they know and like about each of their classmates. * In large classes, it’s better to divide them into groups of around 12 students for this.

Give them 5 minutes to write a sentence about each student. (It doesn’t matter if they don’t manage to write something about every student in this time limit.)

In the next stage, students could read out one of their sentences and the others listen and say who they think the sentence is about. Anyone who wrote a similar sentence could tell the class and they can see if the sentences are about the same student!

Or, you could stick each student’s sentences on the walls, or they can put them on a table/their desk and everyone moves round the room to read the sentences and see what people wrote about them.

IMPORTANT: Tell students that they can only write POSITIVE things about their classmates. Things they like about them.


I have written and shared several choiceboards on this website. Here are some that would be suitable for the start of year.

A2 About me choiceboard

A1 Movers About me choiceboard

Acrostic name poems

Read the post on Acrostic poems to find out how to write acrostic name poems with students to share things about themselves.

Spin and speak

I really like this Spin and speak game for talking about likes and dislikes. Great for working on a range of language and once you’ve made it, you have it to use over and over again.

Introducing the course book

Coursebook quizzes

If you are using either Fun for Movers or Fun for Flyers, I have written coursebook quizzes to help learners to get familiar with their coursebooks. These could be adapated for other books too.

And in this post, I suggest some more activities, more suitable for B2 level, but they could also be simplified or made higher level quite easily.

Starting a B2/C1/C2 exam class

Exam Board Games

I created this board game to use at levels B2 -C2 with a group of students who are starting preparation for an exam.

I hope you like and use these activities. Please send any activities you like to use so that you can share them with other teachers!

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