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Ideas to help ensure that your Seminar time is Pandemic-Proof!


2. Virtual Pen Pals

SRHS Pandemic-Proof

Seminar Ideas!

1. Setting Norms

3. Stress Management

6. Digital Socials

4. Family Time

5. Big/Little Mentoring

7. Goal Getters

8. Current Events

Seminar Genial.ly Microsite

1. Video


Introduce your students to new teachers, administrators, spaces, and places with a narrated video tour!

  • Freshman Seminars: Narrate yourself walking with a camera (or your phone) pointing out important areas of SR, people, etc. Upload it to Canvas & hold a quick quiz, game, or other formative assessment to see what you'll need to go over again!
  • Upperclass Seminars: Instead of a full tour, consider a quick tour of spaces that have been changed or new staff members. At the end play a game OR have students submit one question for a new staff member. Then, follow up by filming the answers to their questions and sharing it during your next block together!

1. Setting Norms

2. Discussion Circle

Arrange chairs (six feet away) around the perimeter of the room. Have students take a moment to reflect on what did/did not work for your class (or if they are freshman, in middle school) last year. Encourage them to come up with three things/norms/expectations they'd want your Seminar to uphold. Each student should share without comment from others as the teacher writes each suggestion down. Facilitate discussion, revisions, and ultimately student voting to narrow down your class list to no more than 5-8 agreed upon norms.

5. Bluff


Make it a stretch break and a game all at once! Quiz your class with a good ol' fashioned game of "Bluff!"

  • Compile 10-20 questions around the norms your group has set as well as important SRHS norms.
    • Scenarios, True/False, Multiple Choice, etc.
  • Split students into two teams.
  • Pose a question to Team 1. Any student who believes they know the correct answer stands up.
  • Team B selects one of those standing to answer.
  • If Team A is correct they get a point, if not Team B receives the point.
  • Review misunderstandings and in a few days play again!

6. App Smash

Digital Norms are important too! Discuss what does/does not work well in the classroom. Make two lists on the board, one for the positives and negatives. For each positive, have the student who suggested it explain the 5W's to their digital hack for success. Challenge students to find a tool, setting, app, or other solution to each problem your class identified. Share out, and facilitate discussion. Before they leave have students demonstrate one new "hack" they'll use this year!

3. Viral Videos

The more senses involved in learning, the more likely students are to remember a concept or expectation. Practice modeling your classroom as well as SRHS norms!

  • All classes-
    • Assign students a norm from your class list.
    • Ask them to use an app (Clips, iMovie, FlipGrid) or social media platform (Tik Tok, Instagram, Twitter) to literally model or illustrate the do's and don'ts of the assigned norm.
    • Post the videos on Padlet, Canvas Media Albums, Dotstorming, or another platform for everyone to watch/comment/vote for their favorites.
  • Upperclassmen-
    • Discuss/decide what the cultural norms of SRHS are that freshman need to know ASAP!
    • Assign students a norm from your class list.
    • Ask them to use an app (Clips, iMovie, FlipGrid) or social media platform (Tik Tok, Instagram, Twitter) to literally model or illustrate the do's and don'ts of the assigned norm.
    • Post the videos on Padlet, Canvas Media Albums, Dotstorming, or another platform for a freshman class to watch/comment/vote for their favorites.

4. Ask a Raider

The best way to learn is to ask!

  • Freshman: Write down one question/rumor/tradition that you've heard about but haven't yet seen. Send your questions to an upperclass seminar to find out the answers!
  • Upperclassmen: Video yourself answering the questions OR Zoom chat with the class that sent each question--read them aloud, answer, and ask for followup questions!

1. A & B Day Groups

2. Virtual Pen Pals

2. Global Pals

3. ElementaryPals

Encourage your Seminar family to exchange short videos or schedule a Zoom call with another school in a different country. Learn about their culture, school day, and how they are responding to the Pandemic. Theme the Zoom call w/cultural foods specific to America and ask them to do the same, etc. Have fun!

While we are meeting on separate days or if we go to Plan C, consider beginning A/B Pen Pals in your group! Pen Pals within your group will help Freshman get to know each other and help maintain bonds between older Seminars. This is also a great chance for two kids who haven't bonded in an older seminar to work on that now!

  • Students can create a Google document shared between themselves and their Seminar Teacher.
  • They can write a short paragraph to each other each week
  • They can share links to fun (appropriate) videos online, memes, or music, or other things their pal may appreciate.
  • Teacher can monitor the edit history to make sure everyone is participating appropriately.

Maybe your class would enjoy connecting with a class from an elementary school or middle school? They could film themselves reading stories, answering questions from the elementary students, conducting a fun experiment like making slime to see which age group does better ;), etc. Contact a local teacher that you're friends with or use our email database! Reach out and help make connections across the county!

1. Coloring

This is a perfect activity for a virtual learning day since we can't share markers at school!

  • Print a few PDFs of inspirational coloring pages (positive quotes, designs, etc.)
  • Make copies and distribute on the last day that pod meets for the week.
  • When they feel stressed from virtual learning, instead of reaching for their phones, ask them to complete the coloring page.
  • They can upload a picture of the finished product to you via Canvas as a learning evidence!
  • Be sure to ask if anyone needs coloring materials before they leave for the week, and remember to sanitize the returned materials!

3. Stress Management

2. Meditation

Encourage students to download the Calm App for virtual learning days or over the weekends. In person, begin or end class with a five minute guided meditation. Students can also download the "Breathe" app for personalized meditations. Model a positive coping mechanism for students when they need a mental break or reset to their day!

3. Walk around Campus

Screens can make stress worse! Make sure your kids know the calming effects of a little fresh air by scheduling regular walks outside.

  • Double check with your administrator that there are no other scheduled classes outside that day or fire drills planned.
  • Leave the phones and other possessions locked up in the classroom and go for a walk outside!
  • Consider doing three minutes in silence and then including a little scavenger/gratitude hunt to help ground any anxiety they may be feeling.
    • You could ask what is something beautiful you notice? What is something you can smell? What is something new you see that you've never noticed before? (Clearly, this depends on the maturity and mood of your group)

4. Laugh!

Is everyone stressed? Anxious? In a general grumpy mood? Laughing is a great way to reset the day!

  • Challenge everyone in class to find three funny jokes.
    • Write them on a sticky note and put them in a jar. You could also submit these through a Google Form.
    • Whenever your class needs a pick me up, randomly select one and read it to the class.
    • Laugh, even if it's not funny--they can laugh at you! ;)

  • Bookmark or download a couple appropriate funny/fail videos or Tik Toks. Sometimes it's nice to know someone else is on the struggle bus too!
    • Cat/Dog Fails
    • Sports Fails
    • Funny Baby Clips
    • Funny Dance Videos

  • Challenge them to turn their stress into a funny and appropriate Tik Tok! Share it via your Seminar Social Media Platforms!

8. Just Dance

Search YouTube or download a few "Just Dance" videos. When everyone needs to get up, move, and recharge let them pick a dance. You HAVE to do it with them. Again, it matters less how well you dance and more that you're willing to be silly alongside them. Physically moving is a reset too!

9. Mood Playlists

Create a Google Document or Google Form or students to suggest their favorite (appropriate) music!

  • Whole Group:
    • Create a Google Document or Form. Include questions like those below and you can easily create/sort these suggestions into the perfect playlist to match your student's moods/needs everyday!
      • Name of Song
      • Artist Name
      • Genre
      • This song is perfect when I"m feeling (happy, sad, unmotivated, anxious, excited, etc.)
  • Individual Student:
    • Have students create 3-5 playlists of at least an hour each that they can use when they are at home or working to improve their focus and/or mood. They can screenshot the completed playlists and upload to Canvas as a learning evidence.

1. "On Wednesdays we...."

Channel "Mean Girls" and start a "On Wednesdays we _______," tradition.

  • Everyone will be digital on Wednesdays so you could start a "Seminar Family Mealtime." You'll eat together every other day of the week and this is a way to have your whole group together at once! 15-20 minute mental health check-in and chat/catch-up between A/B pods!
  • You could schedule a "Wednesday Gimkit," to review important topics, norms, current events, trivia, or fun facts about your Seminar family! Everyone signs in, plays, chats and enjoys a little time together!

4. Digital Socials

2. Grade Level Socials

Humans are social creatures and chatting with new people helps us learn the value of diversity! Plus, it's nice to hang out with different classes even if it's virtually!

  • Ask your students which grade level Seminar classes they'd like to hang out with one day via Zoom.
    • The two classes can play a Gimkit, Sporcle, or other online game.
    • Create a list of challenges and play room vs. room (riddles, cup stacking, etc.)
    • Sing Karaoke together!
    • Host a talent show!
  • OR schedule one-on-one Zoom rooms for kids from different Seminar classes during lunch. Let them eat with a friend in another class!

3. Guess Who?

Create a digital game of "Guess Who" with another seminar or staff member on campus. This could be a great way to review resources available on campus, who does what, where people are located, or just fun facts to help make staff seem more "human."

  • Invite staff or classes to participate via Zoom.
  • Have the person being "guessed," turn off their camera and in some way disguise their voice. Make sure you rename them on Zoom too so it's not given away!
  • Students ask them questions related to their job, likes, dislikes and tries to guess the guest's identity.
  • Once they've solved the mystery, the guest or other class gets to ask them questions to get to know them better too!

1. This or That

This makes for a great brain break or when you have 10 minutes at the end of a block!

  • Google a list of school-appropriate "This or that" style questions. Upload them into a digital presentation (slides, powerpoint, keynote)
  • Arrange students so that they are spaced but able to see each other's faces.
  • As you click through each question, point to each student and ask them to answer. Go all the way around the room before moving to the next question.
  • At the end note if anyone was surprised by the results/ask for explanations/etc.
  • The more questions you have in your presentation the more times you can grab this activity when you have time to fill or need a quick break!

5. Family Time

2. Digital Uno

Encourage the kids to download a digital game that everyone can play on their phones or iPads like Uno or Monopoly. It's contactless and still interactive! You can even involve kids who are in other pods to participate too! Remember, its more fun if the teacher plays too!

3. Highs & Lows

Make time at least once a week to ask students for their lowlights and highlights. It could be anything they feel comfortable sharing as long as it is appropriate. The only caveat is that they cannot respond with "nothing," or "idk." If they don't know, tell them you'll come back to them at the end. Make sure you check in with that student individually before they leave to let them know you care and ask again for their low/high for the week!

4. Guest Speakers

Coordinate with a local business owner, artist, musician, government official, veteran, or other person of interest to Zoom with your class and speak to them about life lessons/experiences.

  • Invite an athlete or sports figure to come speak about the greatest lessons they've learned on the path to success.
  • Interview a veteran about their experiences on D-Day, in Iraq, or on 9/11.
  • Invite an artist or musician to discuss how they turned their passion into profit.
  • Interview a government official about current events or how to help the community.

5. Take a trip

Since field trips are on pause--take a virtual one! There are lots of pre-made virtual trips below! Survey the class or provide choice. Have students complete a reflection as a learning evidence. Get out for a bit and see the world!

6. Help others

Encourage SEL and empower students to be the change they wish to see in our world. The links below have amazing resources where:

  • Kids can play online games with seniors who are isolated in living centers!
  • Use their bilingual skills to help translate historical documents so that history is preserved!
  • Volunteer to help those who are blind/vision impaired to check expiration dates, distinguishing colors, etc.
  • Become a pen pal for someone younger or those with a disability!
  • Start a petition or fundraiser!
  • https://www.dosomething.org/us/campaigns
  • https://www.weareteachers.com/national-volunteer-week-teens/

7. 21 Socially distanced icebreakers

Get to know your kids and build relationships with these fun, quick, and socially distanced icebreakers!


Encourage the kids to download a digital game that everyone can play on their phones or iPads like Uno or Monopoly. It's contactless and still interactive! You can even involve kids who are in other pods to participate too! Remember, its more fun if the teacher plays too!

Encourage the kids to download a digital game that everyone can play on their phones or iPads like Uno or Monopoly. It's contactless and still interactive! You can even involve kids who are in other pods to participate too! Remember, its more fun if the teacher plays too!

1. Ask a Raider!

Pair up with another Seminar (Freshman/Junior or Sophomore/Senior) as Big/Littles and help each other navigate this new learning experience!

  • Create a Google Document for questions or concerns from the younger group.
  • The older group can answer the questions and encourage the younger group to meet goals.
  • The older group can also post recommendations for fun classes, clubs, and other activities at SRHS!

6. Big/Little Mentoring

2. Virtual Tutoring

Set up tutoring amongst your students and your paired Big/Little Seminar Group! Can't help with Pre-Calculus? Cue a Senior to the rescue! Confused about poetry or computer coding? No worries, a Junior can lead you through it step-by-step!

This is also a great way to encourage both classes set academic goals and hold each other accountable! Positive peer pressure!

3. Pen Pals

Pair students between the two classes and have them create a Google document where they can write and respond to each other at least once a week. Make sure they add you as well so you can monitor their correspondence!

4. Virtual Gifts

Secret Santa may be on hold this year and you may think COVID truly is the Nightmare Before Christmas BUT don't let it steal the joy from Seminar Celebrations!

Have kids virtually "shop" for their pen pals, Big/Littles, or friends in Seminar! No spending limits, just the most meaningful gift you can find! Screenshot the gift, upload it to a digital card, and let them know that if you had all the money in the world you know they'd love to have _____! Encourage silly, fun, and meaningful gifts. Remember it's the thought that counts!

7. Goal Getters

1. Social & Emotional

Explore resources like the one linked below and look for ways to not only explain but encourage students to set a social or emotional goal to work towards.

2. Physical & Mental

Explore resources like the one linked below and look for ways to not only explain but encourage students to set a mental or physical goal to work towards.

3. Academic

Help students track their mood, set goals, and become self-reflective with the files below! Load them into Canvas an have students submit their work once a month; you could also use this to drive your discussions during individual student check-ins!

Monthly Mood Tracker & Journals

Click here for free links to socially distant yet active ideas for youth!


Probably the easiest of any of the goals on this page for a teacher to help a student set; you may ideas of what students need to work on but remember they are more likely to achieve the goal if they take ownership of the process! Don't do for them, what they can do for themselves!

  • Set up a video clip, article, or quiz, or other resource for students to evaluate what skills they still need to develop.
  • Create a Google Form to track all their goals for the semester.
  • Have them enter one for academics using a SMART goal format.
  • Check-in with them at least once a month on their progress.

8. Current Events

1. CNN in Ten

2. What's Going on in This Picture?

3. NPR Podcasts

4. BBC News in Pictures