Morning Meeting Activities
Ideas For Morning Meeting Activities
Those of us who haven't been in grade school for many years may not be familiar with the term morning meeting activities. In fact, we might not even be familiar with what morning meetings are or what the purpose of them is.
Before giving a few examples of morning meeting activities, as would be experienced by those in Kindergarten up through about Grade 6, let's take a look at what the objectives of the morning meeting are, and for must of us what we've been missing.
The purpose of the morning meeting is to help students get to think of their class as being a community, and to feel that they the individual students, are a part of that community. Morning meetings and morning meeting activities are essentially team building exercises for the very young.
In the lower grades, students still normally have the same teacher and are in the same classroom for the entire school day, so it's easier for them to act and think as a cohesive unit. The morning meeting is held daily, and is the first student activity of the day, which makes sense as, like adults, youngsters are often at their sharpest at the beginning of the day and less liable to distractions. Once morning meetings have been experienced a few times, the students begin to feel a duty and even a desire to anticipate, whereas at first many may be reluctant to do so.
Learning To Say Hello - Initially, morning meeting activities tend to focus on greetings and getting acquainted. Students learn how to greet one another properly and politely. Rather than greeting all the other students in one sitting, the students are asked to sit in a circle, sitting by a different person each day, and thereby becoming acquainted with a different person each day.
Songs, Chants, And Sharing - Morning meetings will typically last for about half an hour, the actual duration usually being set by the teacher. Morning meeting activities can include anything from songs, to chants, to presentations, or whatever the teacher thinks will encourage participation by each and every student. Some songs or chants may become a regular feature of the morning meeting.
Another of the morning meeting activities is called Sharing, which many of us remember as "Show and Tell". Students may be assigned a topic, or may be allowed to choose their own, the topic being something to share with everyone else, which may be a hobby, a vacation, or an interesting experience. The students not giving the presentation are encouraged to make comments or ask questions. Politeness is expected as is staying on topic. The speaker is encouraged to make eye contact with others in the class, particularly with those having comments or questions.
Another of the morning meeting activities, involves the teacher giving what is called the Message of The Day, which can be anything, but very often is a summary of what material is to be covered or what activities the students may be involved in through the rest of the day.
Will We Ever Learn? - It seems a bit of a shame that morning meetings haven't always caught on in the workplace, and when they have, it's usually the boss talking for 10 or 15 minutes after which everyone goes to his or her workstation, forgetting what the boss had to say before they get there. Others hold a weekly staff meeting, usually just after lunch when everyone is a bit sleepy, or late on a Friday afternoon, after the week's damage has already been done. Hopefully, a number of today's 4th graders will someday become corporate leaders, will remember what morning meetings are all about, team building, and will share what they've learned with those who report to them.