We want our kids to be courageous and empathetic. We want them to be self-aware, respectful, upright, and grateful. We want them to develop critical thinking when managing personal matters or when working on a team project. We want them to be able to spot strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and to figure out solutions to overcome difficult situations.
In other words, we want a generation of leaders. All the characteristics that we’ve just listed are part of a good leader. And all these characteristics should be taught in school. Kids, teens, and high school students can learn and improve their leadership skills, and that will secure significant benefits for them, at all life levels.
Stick with us to discover some of the best leadership activities for students! It involves tips and tricks on classroom management and organization, but also fun group games that help enhance their leadership skills.
Leadership Lessons For High School Students
The focus of a student government should be on the collaboration of students within the school to promote team spirit and engagement. This is a fundamental practice and a key component in establishing an inclusive school culture that values the entire student body.
Consider establishing a student government that works alongside adult sponsors in various activities and after-school programs. Leaders could be in charge of icebreakers for youth, team-building activities for high school students, and other student special interests.
Independent Learning Opportunities
Yes, leaders’ behavior can sometimes start from within! Another leadership lesson for high school could tackle independent project-based learning opportunities. These are a chance to develop valuable skills in internal leadership and integrity. This leadership activity for high school students is an example that people can find the internal motivation to complete an assignment and to do a pretty good job as well. These independent projects can be formative or summative. Either way, they’re an excellent way to develop leadership skills.
If I regret lacking one thing in high school, this is it. Indeed, tutoring programs are a great way of enhancing one’s leadership skills, but there’s so much more. Some students might discover that they could be amazing teachers, while some might learn that French grammar is not that horrible after all. This could also be a great ‘get to know each other’ activity that turns into a long-lasting friendship and a powerful bond. Allowing high school students to tutor other high school or middle school students is a big opportunity to add valuable tools to their leadership abilities. Plus, this is an excellent shot to boost a college application with leadership experience. Tutoring encourages leaders to establish their leadership styles on top of a leadership philosophy that suits their personalities the best.
Teen Advocacy Campaigns
- Homecoming prom?
- Mental health awareness month?
- Pride parade?
- Teacher appreciation week?
Campaign opportunities abound during high school years. Look out for different observed holidays and awareness dates and turn them into great leadership activities for high school students! They will definitely go for it, as long as it’s something that sparks their interest. You could even let them come up with suggestions. This will tackle their teamwork and competitive spirit, and it will also open up new learning possibilities, since the causes they will be advocating for might require some research beforehand.
Knowledge is power. Have students keep other students informed. Yes, announcements may appear to take time away from the actual learning lesson, but they are critical for fostering a sense of community in the school. Students who participate in, or even run, the announcements have a greater sense of ownership over the messages that are shared. Thought-provoking questions can be distributed throughout the school, hence this becomes another great leadership activity for high school students.
Leadership Activities For Middle School Students
Small Group Feedback
Feedback is essential. It doesn’t matter if children are looking forward to becoming doctors, lawyers, or farmers; feedback is an important aspect of our personal and professional lives. Small group feedback is a proper leadership activity for middle school students. The sooner people learn how to tackle this matter, the better.
Creating a classroom that is centered on providing positive and consistent feedback allows students to practice giving and receiving feedback in a safe and constructive environment.
All you have to do is allow students to take a piece of paper and provide feedback to their classmates during class projects. Giving constructive feedback is a simple activity that promotes leadership qualities. Furthermore, successful leaders consider feedback and weigh viable options to improve their work!
After School Programs
After-school programs could include book clubs, creative writing gatherings, board game clubs, gay-straight alliances, Portuguese clubs, and much more. Encourage students who have a particular interest in a topic or hobby to run activities for students in an after school program who may also have an interest in that topic. This leadership activity for middle school students is as simple as an announcement over the intercom and a paper sign-up sheet for those who are interested.
Planning a scavenger hunt is a great way to mix up instruction and give middle school students the chance to develop leadership skills! However, this is an excellent choice for all ages and content, since it can be organized as an indoor game, or as a camping activity.
- Divide your students into heterogeneous small groups and send them outside with a shopping bag and a blank sheet of paper.
- Make sure to go over the activity’s defined boundaries with the students.
- Give them 5 minutes to come up with a list of 10 items that are easily found (nobody’s personal property, to fit inside the provided bags, and to be accessible within the established boundaries).
- Once the lists have been created, collect them and randomly distribute them to groups.
- They must complete a scavenger hunt to find these items.
- Declare how much time students have to find and return all of their belongings.
The most important point to emphasize is that the entire group must remain together throughout! When all of the teams have returned, ask them to share any interesting stories about how they obtained their items.
No more corridor monitors. Safety patrols are now made up of children striving to be admirable leaders. This leadership activity for middle school students can help reduce misbehavior and bullying in the hallways, as well as assist lost new students in finding their way. Safety Patrol students serve as role models for expectations and are assigned to situational leadership roles.
Leadership Activities For Kids
Leaders In Charge Of Materials
This is a good leadership activity for kids because it challenges their sharpness and responsibility. If you have a lot of handouts or materials for an activity, assign a student or two to distribute them to everyone. This is also a great trick for your students who are always on the go! Allowing them a brief moment to stand and move around the room before the next section of the lesson clears their minds and provides an opportunity for leadership.
The Tower Challenge
This is a fun ‘minute to win’ game for kids that also addresses leadership skills. Encourage students to work in teams and communicate efficiently. Set a time limit of 60 seconds. Next, divide the students into groups and give each 50 spaghetti noodles and 25 marshmallows. The team that builds the tallest tower wins.
Indoor team building games for kids are the real deal when it comes to leadership activities for them. ‘Minefield’ is an obstacle course that requires an autocratic leader who needs assistance. One of the partners is blindfolded, and the other is responsible for guiding the blindfolded student through the obstacle course while providing clear and specific directions. Discuss what worked, what didn’t, and how they could do better in the future. ‘Ships And Sailors’ is another team building activity that would also work out tremendously.
Group Directed Drawing
Because kids love drawing. Form groups of students and distribute pieces of paper to them. One partner will draw a simple image on a blank piece of paper and then give their partner instructions. Finally, the partners will compare their results. This leadership activity for kids helps them improve their communication skills while also allowing them to work collaboratively.
The Student Timer
This is another easy way to give a student ownership and leadership opportunities. Time is valuable in the classroom, and most lessons have a time limit between transitions. Choose a student to serve as the ‘timer’ for the day. They will be in charge of communicating effectively about the amount of time remaining on a task. Hence, if you’ve set a time limit of 15 minutes for completing a task, your ‘timer’ is in charge of keeping the class informed of how much time is left and when that time is up.