It’s a good idea to start your school year by having your students talk about their summer holidays. This helps you create a smooth transition between your first lesson and the students’ long vacation. However, repeating the same topic, or raising the monotonous question like “how was your summer holiday” over and over will definitely bore your students to death, and make you sound as  that “Lifeless teacher again”  . To avoid this, it’s time to look for some alternative topics and activities. After I have searched on this topic, I have compiled a set of interesting ideas which I hope you will find useful. Also, I kindly invite you share your own ideas on the comments section below.


Alternative Back-to-School Discussion Topics:

  1. What I wanted to do but I didn’t this summer
  2. A special  person I met this summer
  3. My most unforgettable  moment of the summer
  4. One thing I learned this summer
  5. The person I spent the most time with this summer
  6. If I could change one thing about my summer, what I would change and why
  7. Who I spoke English with this summer
  8. The best meal I ate this summer
  9. A day that I wish didn’t happen this summer
  10. Something educational I did this summer
  11. Something I bought this summer

Alternative Back-to-School Classroom Activities:

1- Summer Category Game :

A fun game you can use with your students using “summer things” only such as: Things I did; Things I ate; Things I saw; Things I should have done; and so on …

  • When the game starts, give each student a chance to share a word or phrase about their summer.
  • Change the topic whenever a student hesitates for too long (5 seconds or so). If you have advanced students, ask them to create their own “summer thing” categories. Teacher can suggest the category for lower level students.

2- Change the verb:

Instead of asking your class, “What did you do this summer?” have each student take a turn and change the verb “do” to another verb (e.g. eat, sing, play, find). Try to engage every student in this activity without forgetting to support the low achievers.

3- Story of  My Summer – Truth  or Lie:

  • Have students tell three things that happened this summer, but one of them is a lie.
  • Ask the class to guess which story is made up.
  • The student wins when their class mates guess wrong.

4- Class Interview:

  • Have students interview each other about their summer holidays. The interviewer can report  to the class in brief their partner’s answers.

5- Find Someone Who .. this Summer:

First have students do the survey in pairs, then with the class.


  • Find someone who never went to the beach .
  • Find someone who traveled abroad.
  • Find someone who often wake up before 9h.
  • and so on …

 After that, each student report their outcomes.

6- Write postcards to summer

Ask your students to imagine they’re writing a postcard to summer. They can talk about their memories of it, how exciting/boring summer was, if they are going to miss it, and what they’re looking forward to doing next year. Encourage them  to make creative post cards.

Then have your students stick all their works on a poster  under a good title such as :  Bye bye Summer; See you my summer;  Miss you summer;


Have you a wonderful new school year.

If you have anymore ideas, please share them below.







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