We got spirit, yes we do! We got spirit, how about you?
Find tips and tricks for school pep rallies right here!
Guest Post by Katie Lyon from Teaching: The Art of Possibility
Creating school spirit is often one of the most undervalued uses of teachers’ time. However, for those who do take the time to do it, the results can be worth every minute. Last year at our PreK – 8th grade school, myself and two other teachers decided it was time we invested the energy into bringing our entire school together monthly for a pep rally. The pep rally, which is 30 minutes long, consists of some fun and of course…..school spirit!
Before embarking upon this idea, we first created an outline of how each pep rally would flow and created a theme for each month rally (i.e. September: Back to School theme, October: Halloween theme, November: Thanksgiving Theme, etc). Below is the outline we follow each month and what it consists of.
- Entrance Song
- Dance Off
This is what we have playing when the students are entering the gymnasium. The song picked is used to get the students PUMPED up and ready for the next 30 minutes. This is your first opportunity to create the atmosphere of what they can expect to encounter during the rest of the pep rally.
Some examples of entrance songs that we have done include videos created from JibJab. A fun website in which you can upload pictures of teachers heads and input them into catchy music videos. The students LOVE this! They get a kick out of spotting their teacher’s face. There is a small fee for this website (about $1.50 per month) but for the amount of times we used it, it was well worth it.
If we don’t use JibJab, we often turn to YouTube to find some fun videos to place. Some past ones we’ve used are:
- “In Summer” from Frozen (we played this during our last pep rally right before….summer! 😉
- “The Sid Shuffle” – Continental Drift
- “Happy” featuring Minions
Sometimes it’s not a video at all but just music playing. For example, during the month of October, we used a Halloween CD. Whatever you use, the idea is to get the students attention.
The next part of our pep rally is our trivia portion. A week prior to the pep rally, the team creates a survey of about 3-5 questions, which are then distributed to the faculty. We use Google Drive and create a form so the results are listed nicely on a spreadsheet for easy access. Typically these questions go along with the theme of the pep rally. So for example, in our October pep rally the question may have been “What is your favorite candy?” We give the students the answer and ask which teacher did they think said that. The student who gives the correct name of the teacher, gets a prize. Prizes are purchased from the Dollar Store each month and usually tie into the theme too.
After trivia is our game portion of our pep rally and is probably the most anticipated part of each one. They love to see what game is going to be played and who will be playing it. Since we are a small school, we usually have at least one staff member play who represents a specific grade level. Prior to starting the game, we announce who is representing each grade so students know who to cheer on. Since our students wear uniforms, the team or individual who wins the game actually wins “free dress” for that particular class on our next pep rally date. Sometimes we will play a game where it is teachers against students. In cases like that, if the students win, the entire school will get free dress.
Some examples of past games we have played are:
- Make a Snowman: Grab a roll of toilet paper, construction paper carrot nose, 3 coal buttons, a winter hat and gloves. One person uses the toilet paper to wrap up the other person to make them in a snowman. After they have emptied the entire roll, they use tap to put on the carrot nose, buttons and other objects.
The final aspect of our pep rally is the dance off. This is typically where we play a video from Go Noodle. ALL the students stand up and participate. Teachers are given a prize from the Dollar Store to give to one student in their class that is putting forth the most effort into the dance. We were a bit nervous about this part, worried that the older kids (our 8th graders) would be too cool for school but even they get into it and join in on the fun. Once the dance off is done, we dismiss the students for the day typically.
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Now, you may be asking yourself what do you need to begin implementing this at your school. Well look no further! Just head on over and download the freebie for planning your own pep rally at your school. Enjoy!
Katie Lyon is an eleven-year veteran and Vice Principal at a small private school in West Los Angeles. She also blogs at Teaching: The Art of Possibility and can be found on Facebook and Teachers Pay Teachers.