School assemblies can be a terrific way to foster a sense of community and school pride. But if your students are going to miss class, you want to make sure the experience is worth it. These school assembly ideas will engage everyone, from kindergarten through high school!
1. Alumni Visit
Invite former students to come back and share their achievements or favorite school memories. This is especially fun during spirit week, when older alumni can share their experiences from their own time at your school.
2. Animal Visit
Local zoos often offer school assembly ideas, and they’ll bring animals for kids to see. You can also work with an animal shelter—ask them to bring some of their adoptable pets and share what the shelter does to help find their forever homes.
3. Anti-Bullying Assembly
Fight bullying behavior with a school assembly dedicated to the topic. Bring in a special speaker, show anti-bullying videos, or teach kids how to be upstanders in their school community.
4. Art Show
Put together a curated collection of your students’ artwork, whether it’s been created at school or at home. Give everyone time during the school day to visit the “exhibits,” and let the artists stand by to answer questions about their work. (Consider adding a section for teacher-created artwork too!)
Raise money or awareness for your school or a favorite cause with a walk-athon, bike-athon, dance-athon, read-athon, math-athon, or other fun ongoing activity. The bigger the school, the longer you can keep the “athon” going!
6. Author or Artist Visit
Many authors are available for in-person or virtual school visits. Look for their websites or contact their publishers to find out more. Local artists also make terrific presenters at school assemblies, where they can lead students in creating their own masterpieces.
7. Awards Assembly
Don’t wait until the end of the year to celebrate success! Consider holding monthly, quarterly, or semester-end awards assemblies. Be creative in your awards and look for ways to recognize students who often fly under the radar.
8. Break a Record
What can your school set a record for? Longest paper chain? Most students jumping rope at once? Biggest ice cream sundae? Nothing brings kids together like a giant cooperative project for the record books!
9. Career Day
Ask for community volunteers to come share their jobs with students. Set up booths around the gym and let kids go around to meet the visitors in person, or invite people to speak to the school as a whole.
10. Celebrate Special Months
Start Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Women’s History Month, Poetry Month, or other special months with a school assembly. Invite speakers to inspire your students as they get ready to celebrate that month’s topic or honorees.
11. Community Service
Service learning projects can be excellent school assembly ideas. Find lots of terrific student service ideas here, like setting up a school or community garden and working on a collaborative art project.
Whether it’s a chance for kids to hear their peers perform, or a special performance from a local orchestra, choir, or other group, concerts make terrific school assembly ideas. Use the opportunity to introduce kids to kinds of music they might otherwise not listen to.
13. Field Day
Get the whole school together for a day of friendly competitions! Check out our list of inclusive field day games and activities for all ages here.
14. Fundraiser Kickoff
Like it or not, fundraisers tend to be part of school life these days. Help yours succeed with a kickoff assembly that shows kids what you’re raising money for. When they know what they’re working toward, they’ll be more likely to participate. Find 40+ unique and effective fundraising ideas for schools here.
15. Kindness Week Kickoff
Kindness Week takes place each February, but you don’t need to wait until then to kick-start kindness at your school! Hold a school-wide assembly using some of these ideas for teaching kids to show kindness and gratitude every day.
16. Lip-Sync Battle
Challenge each class or homeroom to create their own lip-sync battle routine. Then, battle it out in a school-wide assembly to find the ultimate winners.
17. Morning Assembly
Traditional morning assemblies have fallen by the wayside in most schools, but some administrators find they’re a terrific way to build school community. Learn how one principal starts each day with a 10-minute purposeful assembly that makes a real difference.
18. Outdoor Learning Day
Set aside a day that’s all about outside learning! Give teachers plenty of advance notice so they can plan activities that take advantage of time outside. (Be sure to set a rain date in case the weather doesn’t cooperate, and have plenty of sunscreen on hand if it does!)
19. Pep Rally
This is one of those traditional school assembly ideas that kids continue to enjoy. Bring some fresh spirit to yours with one of these 30+ pep rally ideas for kids of all ages.
20. Picnic Lunch
For one day only, have everyone eat lunch outside—at the same time! It will be crazy chaos, but students can mix and mingle, getting to know each other outside of the classroom. This is especially important for kids who don’t get to participate in after-school activities on a regular basis.
21. Poetry Slam
Show kids the magic of written verse with a school-wide poetry slam. It takes some preparation in advance, but the results can be incredible. Learn how to hold your own poetry slam here.
22. Post-Testing Party
Everyone breathes a sigh of relief when testing weeks are finally over. Get the whole school in on the celebration. Even kids who weren’t taking tests deserve props for being quiet and respectful of those who were. Hold a dance party, ice cream sundae bar, or glow-up day to blow off some steam!
23. Principal Stunts
Surprise gestures and a willingness to step outside of the comfort zone can help administrators connect with their students, energize their staff, and even raise money for school fundraisers. Check out 10 of the best principal stunts from administrators who proved they can take one for the team.
24. Recycling Kickoff
Many schools are committing to going green by starting a recycling program (or enhancing their existing one). A kickoff assembly is a great time to get everyone on board with the new habits. Show everyone when, where, how, and why they should recycle—consider holding a contest to see who can contribute the most!
25. Red Ribbon Week Kickoff
Red Ribbon Week is held each year from October 23 to October 31. It’s the largest drug-abuse prevention campaign in the country, targeting K-12 students. Try these Red Ribbon Week ideas to encourage students to make smart choices and live drug-free every day!
26. School Birthday Party
Hold a birthday party to celebrate your school’s founding! Decorate the halls or classrooms, give out balloons or party hats, and hand out cake (or healthy snacks). Gather everyone together to sing “Happy Birthday,” then share a video on social media of your celebration.
27. Spelling Bee
Here’s another school assembly idea that’s been around for decades. Host a school-wide spelling bee, then send your winners on to regional competitions. You could even see one of your students compete at the Scripps National Spelling Bee!
28. Spirit Fashion Show
Dress up and show off your moves on the catwalk! Students and teachers can vote for their favorite displays of school pride. This one is a fun way to start or wrap up a school spirit week.
29. STEM Demos
Contact your local science center to see if they do school STEM assemblies. Or ask your own science teachers to plan spectacular demos to get kids excited about science. Everyone loves a big elephant toothpaste display!
30. Students vs. Faculty Competition
It’s always fun to watch students try to beat faculty at pretty much anything. Make it a kickball game, relay race, or even a trivia contest.
31. Talent Show
Put together a school talent show, and encourage both students and faculty to participate. You can make it a competition, or simply use the time to recognize some of the amazing abilities found around your school.
32. Trivia Contest
Create your own school trivia quiz on Kahoot!, then hold a school-wide trivia competition to see who really knows their school!