Activity ideas for 12-17 years old

Vision boards: Visualize your success!

A vision board is a powerful tool for personal development that helps us to prioritize our goals, values, and intentions. Persevering, investing yourself fully in your studies, succeeding in math, enjoying school… Encourage your youth to visualize their success and create their own vision board!

activity sheet

School perseverance sticky notes

On a piece of cardboard hung on the wall, write, “School perseverance is…”. Encourage young people to answer the question on a sticky note (Post-it brand or other). Stick the notes around the cardboard to create a mural.

activity sheet

Take on the HSD Challenge and build the tallest pyramid!

Take on the HSD Challenge with your young people and build the pyramid of their dreams! Download the activity sheet to participate and have a chance to win great participation prizes!

activity sheet

Inspirational quotes

Find inspirational quotes linked to motivation, perseverance, and engagement, and share them with your young people or discuss them as a group. In the Materials section on the HSD site, several quotes are available for download. You can even invite your youth to create their very own inspirational quotes!


My good deeds of the week

Every day during Hooked on School Days, encourage your young people to mark down their good deed for the day on the calendar. A positive gesture, a success, something they are proud of… It will make for something beautiful to reflect on and share!

Think with youth about the actions or people representing a +

Think with youth about the actions or people representing a + in their perseverance! What helps them to enjoy school persevere, from chilhood to adulthood? Their best friend, sport in their community, an accommodating employer, an employer, discussion with their parents, etc. Invite youth to give their + to the person of their choice.

Cartboard +

Collectively write a song!

There’s nothing like a good group song to motivate the troops! Start by finding the right words, then craft sentences linked to motivation, engagement, and perseverance with your young people, and finally compose it all into a catchy song! Your song might be based on more famous melodies: If You’re Happy and You Know It, We Will Rock You, etc. … Let your creativity flow!

Recognize young people as a + of their success

As a teacher, professional, parent, name a quality or achievement of the child that makes him a + for their perseverance or success. You can give a certificate of school perseverance or an encouragement card to the youth.

Certificate of school perseverance

encouragement card 

Tree of perseverance: Have the students identify the challenges they face at school

Draw a large tree on the board with three branches but no leaves. Introduce it as the tree of perseverance. Explain that the leaves grow when they, the students, make an effort to succeed, with the help of their friends and family.

activity sheet

Talk about school-work balance!

Balancing school and work is a daily reality for the majority of students in Estrie. In fact, managing one's time and paid work hours well is recognized as an important factor in educational success. Take advantage of HSD to talk about school-work balance with young people and organize an awareness activity. Download out activity sheet (20 min.)!

Activity sheet

Letter to myself

Grab your pencils and paper! Invite your young people to write a letter to themselves, which they will open at the end of the school year. Here are some ideas for questions they can answer: What are your talents? What are the challenges you face? What are your goals between now and the end of the year? What helps you persevere in pursuing them? What is the achievement you are most proud of? Don’t forget to write the date and sign it!

Supper together

Plan theme suppers as a family or group; prepare and cook the meal together, and encourage lively discussions. When supper’s over, ask for suggestions for the theme of the next supper. Hooked on School Days can be the starting point for a series of captivating theme suppers.

Self-expression through “improve”

Explore various aspects of staying in school and above all… have fun!

Staying in school is contagious! 
Improv presentation type: Mixed tea
Style: Singing, hip hop
Number of players: 2 players per team
Team consultation: 15 seconds
Length: 1 min. 30 seconds

Educational success is everyone’s business! 
Improv presentation type: Mixed team
Style: Singing
Number of players: 3 players per team
Team consultation: 30 seconds
Length: 3 min.

When it gets difficult, I persevere!
Improv presentation type: Mixed team
Style: Like a child
Number of players: Unlimited
Team consultation: 15 seconds
Length: 2 min.

Source: Réussite Montérégie

Art-therapy workshop

The mental health of our young people is a factor that has been heavily affected by the ongoing pandemic. Art in all its forms is an activity perfectly suited for helping our youth relax, practice mindfulness, and develop self-compassion. More specifically, drawing and painting allow us to externalize our emotions, with the resulting images acting as vehicles for thought. Create a communal or individual work of art with the young people in your life. Invite them to express how they feel about themselves and their educational perseverance on paper. And why not also organize a little gallery show where they can reflect on their creations? Have fun and be creative!

Personal accounts

People (youth, teachers, parents, employers, public figures and other significant people) talk about their work, career paths, the difficulties they overcame, and their successes. Foster discussions with youth about their specific situations. Broadcast personal accounts on student radio, the school’s intercom system, or community radio, or have young people introduce someone who inspires school perseverance.

Perseverance Cafe

Transform public space or the student lounge into the “Perseverance Cafe.” Place Hooked on School postcards on the tables (10 factors of perseverance) and spontaneously invite the people present to relate short personal accounts, ask them to talk about “tricks” they have developed to stay motivated, tools they use to manage their budgets, agendas, and note-taking, etc.

Perseverance cookies

Put messages of encouragement, congratulations, and pride inside fortune cookies to tell youth that they are not alone in their pursuit of success. Give them to all students in the school during an activity, recess, or at lunch time.

Send love to your young people!

Because to encourage a young person is to love them, we suggest the Heart + which connects HSD with Valentine’s Day. 

Heart +