Transition to Middle School: Opening Lockers

Moving up to Middle School from Elementary School is an exciting time of transition that sometimes leaves students feeling a little anxious and worried.

They may be nervous about making new friends and have questions about the mechanics of locker combinations, block scheduling, or the difference in the workload.

To help we’ve created a resource bundle to help prepare students to round the final corner of elementary school as they get ready to step their best foot forward into Middle School. 

Transition to Middle School Lesson

Recommended Grade Level: Upper Elementary and Beginning Middle School

SEL Skill(s): Emotion Regulation

Duration: 30 – 45 minutes

Materials: Transition to Middle School Pack

Reflecting On Strengths

First up is a lesson that engages a positive mindset for facing the new beginnings of Middle School life by helping students recognize that they bring many strengths with them into their next chapter.

Begin by having students spend a few quiet moments reflecting as they complete the journal page from the packet. Invite them to share their answers with a partner or a group. 

Next, explain to students that while Middle School is a new adventure that comes with wonders and worries; however, they have many strengths they bring with them to face any challenges.

  • Show students the Super Strengths poster and have them share what they think are the traits of someone who has one of the strengths or a time they had/used one of the Super Strengths.
  • Have students identify what they believe to be their own top Super Strengths and complete the Super Strengths page, generating ideas about how to use strengths to face new challenges. 

By adopting a mindset that recognizes existing strengths while valuing resilience over worry, students prepare themselves to take on the many new adventures of Middle School with a positive perspective.

A Lesson On Opening Lockers

While mindset plays a large role in students feeling successful in the transition to Middle School, there are still certain skills that will require more support and even direct instruction. Opening lockers is one of them.

Many students this age have little experience with combination locks, and the fear of being unable to open them is a common one. Here’s an illustrated printable with step-by-step directions that can help students understand how to open their lockers without worry. 

Consider bringing in a few locks for students to practice this skill while using the handout, which can also be sent home or tucked into binder covers for students to keep handy for quick reference!

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