Reaffirming Community after a Vacation

Photograph by Jeff Woodward.Students are often a bit out of the routine of the classroom after a vacation, making this a good time to do activities that reaffirm the group’s sense of community.

Plan post-vacation activities with three main goals in mind:
  1. Give children a chance to catch up and share. For instance, you might do Morning Meeting sharing about vacation. Beware of potential pitfalls, however, such asĀ  “luxury vacation” sharing, in which some children tell of expensive trips to Disney World or the Colorado ski slopes, followed by other children telling of spending their vacation at home watching younger siblings or going to the local YMCA. To avoid such unintentional cruelty, be specific about what aspect of vacations are to be shared. For instance, you might ask students to share about a person they spent time with during vacation.
  2. Return to academic content. Read-alouds followed by group discussion often work particularly well after a vacation. Not only do they zoom right in on academics, but they allow everyone to hear the same story, pulling students back to shared content and a common focus after their time apart. A whole-group read-aloud and discussion also lets you gather all students around so you can observe and keep track of them more easily.
  3. Create opportunities for children to play together. Cooperative, active, safe games are great community-builders at any time of year.

Good luck!


Roxann Kriete has been involved with CRS since 1985, and was executive director from 2001 to 2011. She is the author of The Morning Meeting Book and co-author of The First Six Weeks of School.

Tags: Celebrations and Holidays, School Breaks

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