End-of-term activities for secondary school teachers

Content Team
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Concentration levels start to flag in the run-up to the Christmas break and it can be hard to keep students focused. We’ve come up with some end-of-term activities that will keep learners engaged and inspired during the last few weeks of term. Explore our brand new storyworld, ‘Hanukkah in LA’ and find out why many Jewish families in the USA eat Chinese food at Christmas. Take a virtual visit to a theatre, explore some exciting careers like volcanology and marine biology, have a charity collection, play gobingo, learn a new way to run a secret santa, or take part in some alternative new year's resolution planning. Read on for seven fun and impactful end-of-term activities for secondary schools. All the ideas can be adapted for different age ranges and abilities.
Mackie and her family in 'Hanukkah in LA'
1. Explore our new storyworld, ‘Hanukkah in LA’

Step inside the home of Mackie where she and her family are enjoying Hanukkah celebrations. Find out about the traditions associated with this special time of year and how food, games, gift-giving and the lighting of the Menorah are important parts of a Hanukkah celebration. Every year during Hanukkah and the festive season, thousands of Jewish people across America eat Chinese food. This is a tradition that began over 100 years ago in New York City when Chinese restaurants were some of the few places open at Christmas. Find out more in our storyworld,

Hanukkah in LA.

Secrets of the Opera storyworld
2. Take a trip to the Finnish National Opera and Ballet 

Take students on a virtual trip to the theatre this Christmas. Visit the Finnish Opera House and explore the main stage, the backstage area, the orchestra pit, the workshops and the dance studios.

Secrets of the Opera is a series of eight storyworlds that share stories from the Finnish National Opera and Ballet. By exploring interactive 360° spaces, children can visit different parts of the theatre and meet the extraordinary people who work there. 

Students can visit the Orchestra pit and listen to the instruments and watch the musicians as they practise. They can learn about the many jobs that people do behind the scenes to make sure that a production runs smoothly. 

3. Career Surgery

Instead of dreaming about gifts, invite students to dream about their perfect future career! Lyfta is a wonderful way to introduce students to a range of different kinds of jobs and careers that they may never have even considered and to raise aspirations. 

For example, students can meet marine biologist Paula, researching ocean bird populations off the coast of Galicia, northern Spain. In this storyworld, 'The Island Biologist' students will experience the sights and sounds of this remote island in 360° and learn about the amazing Shearwater bird species who live there. Or explore our ‘Catching Babies’ storyworld series where we meet three midwives who are delivering babies in different and highly challenging situations. Or explore our storyworld 'We Live Among Volcanoes' about a volcanologist working on a live volcano in the Canary Islands or meet two female space scientists from our 'Space Mission Lucy' storyworld who are working on the NASA Lucy mission in the USA. Using Lyfta, students can also find out about the work of an entrepreneurial beekeeper in Berlin, a fashion photographer in Nairobi, a baker in Afghanistan and much more.

Andrea's Yard storyworld
4. Secret Santa with a difference

Kids love a Secret Santa game but this is a Secret Santa game that is kinder to the planet. Each child has to bring in one gift to give to another classmate but instead of purchasing something new, they must bring in something that they have either made themselves or that they already own and no longer want. It could be some cookies, a picture, or a handmade decoration. Perhaps it’s an item of clothing that they’ve hardly worn or a gift they received that they no longer or never wanted. Invite them to be as creative as possible and think about re-using the items that they already have.

This brings up the important topic of waste and sustainability at school. Check out our blogs on Exploring Sustainability in the Classroom and Zero Waste Week.

Lyfta users can explore Andrea’s Yard storyworld and meet Andrea from Argentina who has a backyard full of treasures she has collected from a local landfill site. Students will see Andrea create a chair from recycled items and learn about how much waste goes to landfill in the UK each year.

5. Play Globingo

This is a fun getting-to-know-you game that helps children understand our global connections and interconnectedness. Also known as 'Find someone who' this game is a great way for children to explore some of the ways in which we are connected to people all over the world without even realising it!

For example, children will ask their classmates questions such as 'Who has a relative living in another country?', 'Who can speak two or more languages?' Once they have completed all the questions they can shout 'Globingo!'

Download the Globingo sheet here and get started.

Anni's Home storyworld
6. New Year resolution setting

We all try to make some and usually, we break them pretty quickly but it’s still good practice to set out some good intentions for the new year. Ask students to write down some New Year's resolutions for 2024. Perhaps ask them to think of resolutions that will help them:

  • look after themselves better (such as trying a new sport, eating more fruit, switching off devices for a day)
  • look after other people better (doing something for an elderly relative, raising money for charity)

look after the planet better (buying fewer clothes, using less plastic, eating less meat, turning off gadgets to save electricity)

7. Charity begins at school

The festive season is a time to think about those less well-off than us and it's important to remind students of this. Christmas will be an expensive and difficult time for many families this year.

Ask children to think about how they might be able to help those in need. Perhaps they could do some research into local children's charities.

They could organise a collection and bring in unwanted toys or clothes for donation.

Ask them to think about how the holidays might be for those who are hard up and unable to spend a lot on gifts and food.

Showing compassion for others can have a very positive effect on mental health and it's an important thing for children to learn, especially at this time of year.

Read more in our blogs: Mental Health and Wellbeing and The importance of empathy

Sign up for a free Lyfta Starter account for trial access and explore all the resources referenced in this blog.

Human Stories
Immersive Learning
Character Education
Character & Values