Morning meetings are an excellent way to help students transition from home to school and help them get ready to learn. And just like the benefits from greeting your students as they enter your classroom, these meetings can help you connect with your students, help students build relationships with each other, and promote an overall sense of community in the classroom.
To get a better idea of what morning meetings are about, please watch the short the video produced by Edutopia:
How do you structure a Morning Meeting?
A morning meeting may look a little different from one classroom to the next, and can include a range of activities from getting to know you conversations to themed prompts focused on a specific content area. Consider including these four components in Morning Meetings: Greetings, Sharing, Activity, and Housekeeping.
There are many fun ways to invite students to say hello to each other including handshakes, fist bumps, songs, and chants. The key to greetings is ensuring that every student feels recognized and seen when the day begins in the classroom.·
“Sharing” may include a round-robin style morning meeting question of the day, a partner turn and talk, or an opportunity for volunteers to speak what’s on their mind.
But what should students talk about? If you need a few ideas for prompts, we’ve curated a list of morning meeting questions and grouped them for students in elementary and middle school.
Morning Meeting Questions for Students in Elementary School
- What do you like most about school and why?
- What are you the most proud of?
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
- What do you think about when you want to cheer yourself up?
- What is your least favorite rule at school?
- What is your favorite season?
- Who is someone you admire?
- What is your favorite book? TV show?
- What do you like to do the most when you are not at school?
- What is your favorite [pick a color] object?
- What superpower would you like to have?
- Is your room at home messy or clean?
- If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?
- What is your least favorite food?
Morning Meeting Questions for Students in Middle School
- What is one thing that you wish had never been invented?
- If you could design a new app, what would it do?
- If you were in charge, and could make one rule, what would it be?
- If you wrote a novel, what would the title be?
- What is your favorite present of all time?
- What is a book you read for fun?
- If you were to create a meme about yourself, what would it be?
- If you could be someone else, who would you choose to be?
- What is something you are really good at that people at school don’t know about?
- What do you want to do as a career when you grow up?
- What is your favorite movie of all time?
- If your friend were assigning an emoji to represent you, what would it be?
- Do you think it would be more fun to visit the past or the future?
- Of everything you want to achieve, what do you think will be the hardest?
We created a PDF with the questions above, and you can download it here.
In addition, we have another lesson with a long list of Would You Rather questions for kids.
The activity is the most open-ended element of the Morning Meeting and can be anything from playing a game to singing a song or doing dance together. Activities can be directly related to content or purely for fun, and can also be an opportunity to explore general or emerging social-emotional challenges in the classroom.
Often, a guiding question can prompt reflection or conversation, and this can be related to content in a way that sparks deeper personal or social connection to the curriculum. For example, if your students are using our online SEL Interventions, you could ask them about a specific scene or scenario. If you’re not already using the online curriculum, you can request a free trial here.
Whatever the focus, the idea is to allow students to engage in an active manner before settling in for the day. If you need ideas for short activities and group lessons, please check our SEL resources page.
Many children thrive on predictability, and wrapping up with a review of the day’s upcoming schedule is a helpful practice. This is especially true when flow varies based on enrichment class rotations, or when special events and assemblies occur, or announcements need to be made.
In addition to reading the schedule out loud, consider posting a visual schedule for students to track throughout the day. This can include subject or period words, subject area icons, or pictures of the instructors they will see throughout the day. In addition to these basic components, you may also choose to close out the Morning Meeting with a ritual, such as a class chant or cheer to underscore the sense of community and develop class pride.
What are the teacher’s responsibilities for a Morning Meeting?
Depending on the grade level, many activities can be led by students, allowing for a greater sense of agency and investment in classroom function and community. As is often a best practice, the teacher’s role in a Morning Meeting is largely that of the facilitator, but, be sure to answer questions and play the games as an active participant.
You may choose to rotate a student of the day to select the specifics of which greeting will be used, or to read off the schedule to peers. Still, having a template for a general plan of how the meeting will flow from day to day is helpful. We’ve created this simple outline to help set up each week of community-building fun!
Setting the stage for Morning Meetings
Making the time and space for class gatherings pays off in the long run when students feel safe and connected as a community of learners. Whether you adopt the practice of Morning Meetings from day one or integrate them later in the school year, remember to set the stage with patience and intention. It will take time for students to settle into the routine and to get used to the rhythm and flow. Have clear expectations for learning and teamwork, and consider posting classroom agreements near the meeting space.
When possible, conduct meetings in a designated space where students may leave their desks to sit together as a group while also having space to move about as necessary during activities.