Whether it falls in the autumn or spring, spirit week is one of the biggest events on most school calendars. Chances are you attended a few high school spirit weeks yourself!
As a teacher or school administrator, if you’re looking for school spirit week ideas, packing those days with fun and games for the students can be intimidating. If you find yourself in need of some inspiration, even if it’s just for spirit shirt ideas, you can rely on this list. It’s got themes and suggestions for promotional items you can use to spread the word and get students – and faculty – excited.
1. Green revolution
Environmental awareness is one of the biggest movements in the U.S., and chances are your school already has a green team of some sort, whether it’s a recycling club or environmental safety class. Enlist their help and come up with five days of eco-friendly activities. You can also take the opportunity to hand out reusable school water bottles.
Of course, the great thing about an eco-friendly campaign is that it can adapt itself to any other theme. Prefer something else? Just include eco-friendly supplies and use green promotion to get the word out.
2. A week in history
If you’re in need of an entertaining theme, all you’ve got to do is look backwards. Whether you decide to start your school’s week in history with the 1500s or the 1960s, the kids are sure to have a blast. Nothing’s more fun than dressing up in passé or so-old-it’s-hip-again styles, for teachers and students alike.
You can include special lessons about these time periods in classes. Covering Elizabethan England? Have students perform a scene from Shakespeare. They can wear custom-made spirit week T-shirts on stage. Need some ’50s-style James Dean shades for a class? Have some specially designed just for spirit week.
3. College week
This one’s ideal for high school students especially, since many of them will be heading off to higher education in the blink of an eye. Have seniors wear college shirts for the schools they’ve been enrolled at or are applying to. Juniors, sophomores and freshmen can design their own spirit shirts for their aspiring schools.
4. Beach week
This is a great theme for late spring and early summer spirit weeks. When the weather’s blisteringly hot, sandals, sunglasses and shorts are a great way to stay cool while celebrating spirit week. Put up beach themed banners, offer popsicles in the lunchroom and hold a volleyball tournament with a custom made spirit week ball that the winning team can keep as a prize.
5. Game shows
Everyone loves games, and there are enough variations on Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud and others to get your school through the week with tons of trivia. Students can test their academic and pop cultural knowledge as they go head-to-head quiz bowl-style in the classroom and after school. Need to make teams? Get special spirit week hats made in a variety of colors, or go with shirts instead.
Consider picking a new region of the U.S. for every school day in the week. Then students come dressed representing a chosen state in that region. Of course, you can open this up to include the entire world. Perhaps each day is a new continent, and students pick a chosen nation. It’s a big world, so there’s lots of ways to get creative.
7. The cosmos
Just in case you want to think outside the globe, there’s always the whole of space to explore. Everyone loves cosmology, the study of planets and the outer limits of human exploration. Devote days to planets in our solar system, or include activities revolving around theoretical science and imagining alien life.
6. The Internet
If there’s one thing kids know, it’s the internet. Have students come in dressed creatively as their favorite website or search engine. Have them imagine what Wikipedia or Google might look like personified. You can celebrate with contests and games themed around the Internet – like online scavenger hunts! You can hand out tech-themed prizes, like personalized flash drives, to winners.
And if there’s one thing kids know at least as well as the internet, it’s athletics. Take the week to celebrate sports and talk about the importance of physical exercise. Host a faculty vs. students kickball game on the baseball diamond and hand out fun spirit items like foam hands, megaphones and other goodies so students and teachers can cheer on their peers.
Students excel at charity. Just browse the activities and schedules of any school club and you’ll find plenty of volunteer work as well as fundraising events and charity drives. Celebrate this ethos of giving by making your spirit week a 5-day charity event. Pick a local charity for each day, have students plan their own pledge drives or host an event like the Relay For Life.
These themes are just the beginning. There are an endless number of ways to celebrate school spirit week, so you can pack your schooldays full of invigorating activities for the body and brain.