How to keep students engaged before spring break (The Ultimate Guide)

When the question comes up every year, “how to keep students engaged before spring break,” there are numerous methods we can use. Some great examples are going outside for nature walks, having brain breaks to help with cognitive overload, and game-based learning to get students’ competitiveness ramped up.

These methods can engage students and keep their heads in the game before heading off for spring fun times!

How To Keep Students Engaged Before Spring Break (The Ultimate Guide)As the weather is getting warmer and days are getting longer, the season is changing, and we all know what is coming up… Spring Break! These two words mean something different to everyone. Students are excited for the long-awaited break from the norm of school; the idea of no homework, no getting up early, and no “required learning” is exciting and can bring a lot of anxious energy into the classroom. 


Parents are now faced with a period where they must know what to do to keep their children entertained and cared for. As for teachers, they have the joy of finding a way to keep students engaged and focused on learning while the energy level in the classroom is the complete opposite. 

How to keep students engaged before spring break

Top Tips

Top tips for how to engage students before spring break
Photo by Canva Studio from Pexels

To help educators, below we have created a list of how to keep students engaged before spring break. The ideas are meant to help educators plan how to continue education when students are full of energy and distractions for anything but learning. 

How to keep students engaged before spring break

Out-of-the-box learning approaches

Out-of-the-box learning approaches

The first Pro-tip is to incorporate learning in “out of the norm” learning approaches. The idea that a teacher can lead a typical lecture and students will take notes, retain the information, and be engaged are long gone.

Any typical read and/or listen and retain kind of learning will not work. Instead, their minds are quick to wonder, and they will not be paying attention. Instead, they will need something more hands-on, options that allow them to do what they want and not in a traditional learning method. 

We have listed some examples of out-of-the-norm styles below.  

Hands-on Learning

As it’s spring, use this time to teach real-life skills. 

Related: Top 6 benefits of a hands-on learning approach

A project like a classroom garden allows students to be involved, educated, and see real-life examples of how hard work and dedication will allow them to reap the benefits. It gives each student responsibility and can educate them on healthy eating as well. The actual day to day hands-on work of maintaining a garden will make retaining the knowledge real and something they can experience  

Free Learning

Set out the parameters for the students but allow them to choose their own topic. If it’s a research project where they are interested in the topic, they will have more interest in completing the task. Once the research is complete, get them to share their findings with classmates and let them be the subject matter expert in their topic. Learning from each other can allow students to get a different perspective, making the information easier to take in or retain. Giving them the power to choose their subject and teach it to others puts their responsibility. 

Spring Break Writing

As spring break is the topic on their mind, get them to write about it. It doesn’t have to be an essay or anything extremely structured, but it’s a way to keep them engaging their minds. Whether they decided to detail their upcoming spring break plans, retell the best spring break they have experienced in the past, or even dream of their own ideal spring break adventure. Get them to express it on paper and get their creativity out.

Group / Team Learning

The last entry in our list of, “how to keep students engaged before spring break” is all about learning in teams and groups.  Working in teams is an excellent way to connect with their peers but still get the task completed. Some students may understand without school, they may not see their friends or classmates for a reasonable amount of time, so allowing them to work in pairs or teams may motivate them to work together. Group work is also an excellent way for them to understand what a natural work environment may feel like in the future; everyone has to work together to get things done, and sometimes you don’t get to pick your teammates.

How to keep students engaged before spring break

How to break up the learning

Father and child going for a nature walk - how to keep students engaged before spring break

As educators may notice, learning may not be the top priority for students right before a break. Thus, breaking up the learning day with another non-traditional task may be necessary. 

Some examples of these could include:

Spring Break Classroom clean up

Ask the students to clear out their personal spaces, desks, cubbies, books, etc. But also get them to help with other classroom tidying. Simple tasks such as sweeping, wiping down surfaces, or dusting can be the change of pace they need to keep their day moving. It may not teach them the traditional learning material, but they can learn teamwork while giving them an outlet for all their energy

Go outside for nature walks

Being outside as the weather is warming up can be the change of pace the students need, and is a great addition to our list of, “how to keep students engaged before spring break”. Once outside, topics that can lead to discussions are endless. Allowing them to be out in nature to explore and identify things in real life can be way more interesting than looking at books. 

Brain Breaks

Learning may take shape in various ways for students, and sometimes it’s not all about the intense subjects like math or history. Give students brain breaks with other less taxing activities on the mind. Singing songs, dancing, painting, coloring at any age can help relax the mind and encourage more creative thinking.  

How to keep students engaged before spring break

How to keep it fun

Keeping learning fun - how to keep students engaged before spring break
Photo by Park Troopers on Unsplash

Finally, the last tip that we can share is to keep it fun. As the energy is positive as they are nearing their anticipated break, it will be a lot easier to keep the energy high if the tasks and learning goals are also positive. 

Below are some suggestions that can help with keeping the learning entertaining

Spring-Related Learning

If spring break is on the mind, make it the topic of discussion. What happens to trees when spring takes over from winter? What happens when bears wake up? 

All of these can be discussed and researched in detail to see what spring means to others as well, not just excited students ready for a break.

Game-Based Learning

Sometimes a bit of competitive spirit is all it takes to get students excited about a topic again. A game of jeopardy never fails, but it doesn’t have to stop at trivia; there are plenty of math-based games spelling games that can be used to fill out the daily curriculum. Get students involved and help create the game, prepare, and run the games. Or better yet, come up with new games that the class can try out

Include technology

Most children are exposed to technology at a very young age, so they will know how to use it let it work its magic in the classroom. There are many fun ways to incorporate, including games, polling, interactive learning, and even using social media to relate to the students.  

Final Thoughts

Any educator will know keeping students focused can be difficult; throw in tons of energy, excitement, and the anticipation of not having to go to school; you better pull out all the tricks to keep students focused and engaged. Hopefully, the list above on how to keep students engaged before spring break, provides ideas that can help maintain some structure in the classroom.

Just remember these three critical things for keeping students engaged before spring break:

Learning may come in many forms, but it doesn’t have to be the same old structured lessons and testing to teach. Find out-of-the-norm learning techniques that give them more of a hands-on experience. If they can experience and do the tasks, it makes it more accurate and should help them retain the knowledge.

When there is that much energy and excitement, give them a break from the traditional learning, instead use this time to let the creative side go wild; a good break from mental work will allow them to get some energy out. This is definitely the time to maximize on the arts.

Keep it fun, if they enjoy it, they will want to do it. Learning in teams, games, or competitive natures may be the edge you need to keep the students engaged. Get them involved in creating the games and playing the games, so there is learning on both ends. 

We hope this ultimate guide helps you maintain peace in the classroom before spring break, but note that these tips will also help when it’s back to school after spring break. Once they return after their time off, the energy and focus of the students will still be different, so using these learning styles will ease them back into the norms of in-class learning again. Remember, you get spring break to recharge as well, so there is a mutual benefit.

Good luck educators!

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