The Freshman Transition Network

Working together to transition freshmen & transform schools from the bottom up!

Hello, Esteemed Colleagues,

Our building typically offers a Freshmen Orientation the week before school starts, which 95% of our students attend.  This year the two high schools in my district are facilitating their programs for the same length of time (3 hours), in which students will have a brief assembly, being welcomed by our mentors, introduced to key personnel and typically, we have given out schedules, walking those schedules and doing some "get to know you" and "team building" type activities with our freshmen mentors.

I'm posting this to solicit feedback on some large group team-building activities we can do with our students since we will have about 45 extra minutes this year.  The one idea I had was the "rubber ducky" game where a group of 10 or so students would have a large bucket of water, a piece of PVC pipe with holes in it with the goal of pour water in to make the rubber ducky rise to the top and out of the pipe. However, facilitating this with 300 students is challenging since we don't have all of the materials readily available.

So, does anyone have any ideas or insight about some possible "LARGE GROUP" team building games we can facilitate with our entire freshmen class, preferably outdoors?  I'm open to your suggestions. Thanks so much!


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Hi Micheal,

       One option would be to have a 45 minute TV Game Show style program during the assembly time.  Click here for a booklet describing one of these programs titled I'm Awesome, But I Have My Limitations.  Since I'm not too far away from you, I could help by leading the program for you, if you would like. 

       Once the students are in the school yard you could also have them complete a networking bingo activity to encourage them to meet other students.   In networking bingo everyone receives a sheet of paper with a 5 by 5 bingo style grid on it.  Each cell contains a brief description such as:

  • "has only 3 brothers, no sisters"
  • "lived in Pittsburgh"
  • "likes math"

Everyone needs to find someone who matches that characteristic and get them to sign the cell.   After getting their 25 signatures students trade in their signed card for a small gift.

Let me know how i can be of support.


I like Ron's idea.  I know he's helped people do this around the country.

Do you have a local 4H camp or perhaps a local Young Life?  Inviting some of those folks in to lead some games or team-building initiatives might go over well.

How about a Scavenger Hunt around the school or around the property?

What about an activity that requires the students to work as a team to support a teacher?  For example, they could have to get the Teacher from Point A to Point B using certain blocks but not being allowed to talk.  The idea is team work but also elevating the teacher as someone they want to work to support.

Let us hear how things go/went!


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