The term “school spirit” is typically described as the emotional support that students’ parents, teachers, instructors and members of the community show to local institutions of education. Many schools have days of spirit in the days before homecoming football games. But, it’s not the only time that schools can organize the school’s spirit week. There are various spirit week options for students in high school to demonstrate how proud they feel about their school throughout the entire year.
Purpose of School Spirit
Knowing what school spirit is and the importance of hosting week-long school spirit events and activities is just the beginning of successfully planning a spirit week. The primary purpose of spirit week is to get students and faculty excited about their school and show their support for the school, groups and sports programs. Spirit weeks also encourage students to work together toward a united and common goal–promoting and supporting the school.
What Is Spirit Week?
Spirit week is the time when students bond together to show off their school spirit. Many different spirit week ideas include promoting a single spirit week theme or hosting different, unique school spirit days. A week-long theme makes it possible for students to be creative and develop different ideas based on a single theme. Themed school spirit week ideas include:
- Theme based on school colors and mascot
- Outer space
- Under the sea
- On the farm
- Scottish Highlands
- Homeroom Wars
Proteacher.net offers different theme ideas for schools looking to host spirit days throughout the school year. School spirit day ideas include:
- Crazy hat day
- Backwards day
- Football jersey day
- Career day
- Mismatched Monday
- Crazy hair day
- Dress like a book character
- Beach day
- Dress like a teacher
- Mustache day
- Animal day
- Twinsie Thursday (Dress like a friend or a group of friends)
- Formal Friday
- Taco Tuesday
- 80’s day
School spirit themes help set the tone for the week by suggesting that students dress a certain way or participate in themed activities. The crazier the Theme, the more excited students will become.
Promote the week by making a list of the different spirit week ideas planned for the week, including what to wear and what activities will be available. Just make sure that all students know what is allowed to be worn at the school and what types of items, logos and designs will be prohibited. Here is a sample suggestion of events and spirit days:
- Monday – Crazy Hat Day: Encourage students to wear the craziest hat they can find.
- Tuesday – Crazy T-shirt Day: Encourage students to wear the craziest and most unique T-shirt they can find.
- Wednesday – Pajama Day: Let everyone come to school in their PJs.
- Thursday – Hawaiian Dress Day: Encourage students to wear the craziest Hawaiian shirts they can find. Grass skirts are always welcome on Hawaiian Dress Day.
- Friday – School Colors Day: Encourage students to show their school spirit by wearing the school’s colors.
Hold a contest daily for the craziest and most unique attire and ideas. Students can vote on their favourite, and special prizes will be awarded to the daily winners.
Spirit week ideas include crafts, T-shirt painting, face painting and school-themed games. Students can get together to decorate the school’s halls with banners, streamers and other decorative items. Pep rallies and assemblies are a great way to promote school spirit. Other great activities include school dances, community projects, bake sales, car washes, volunteering activities and unique student projects.
Many schools have put together a list of items available for sale, keeping with the different theme ideas. Some schools purchase school spirit items, such as buttons, pins, signs, pens/pencils, hats, scarves and folders. The money sold from these items is then donated to a local charity, used to help fund school programs or the Student Council.
Other sale ideas include picking a specific item to sell each day of the week. Different items to sell can include muffins, candies, toys, school supplies and drinks.
School spirit week ideas can also include a series of events throughout the week. These events can be held during the school day, after school or during evening programs where the local community is invited. School event ideas include:
- Arm wrestling competition
- Basketball tournament
- Car smash
- Coffee house with open mic night and poetry reading
- Costume contests
- Cow pie bingo
- Line dancing/square dancing night
- Karaoke night
- Chili cook-off
- Lost and found fashion show
- Talent shows
- Amazing Race
- Sidewalk chalk paintings
- Paint school and community business windows
When to Have Spirit Days
According to Midwestern State University, there are no specific times throughout the year when schools have to host their spirit weeks. One suggestion is to host spirit-themed events during the summer months. Summer events offer a unique orientation opportunity to welcome freshman students to the school. Plus, they keep students excited about their school spirit and prepare them for the upcoming school year.
Fall events offer the perfect opportunity to celebrate returning to school and homecoming. There are many opportunities for themed spirit weeks, especially with Halloween just around the corner.
Who can use spring spirit weeks to celebrate the end of the school year and keep students motivated to finish the year strong? Spirit week activities in the spring help prevent students from getting distracted as they anticipate their summer vacations.
Spirit Week Items
Many different items can be purchased and made to help promote school spirit. These items include banners, noisemakers, spirit sticks, sports signs, yard signs, pom-poms, cheer megaphones and beads.
Fans, players and cheerleaders use spirit sticks for schools during rallies and games. Spirit sticks can be purchased or made and is a meaningful way to express one’s support for the football team (or other sports teams). Spirit sticks are designed using the school’s colors and mascot to theme the stick.
Banners and signs should include various school spirit quotes to help promote positive school images and spirit week activities. Suggested quotes for signs, cheers and even bumper stickers include:
- “Catch the spirit.”
- “Proud to be a Warrior.”
- “We’ve got spirit.”
- “Hoop it up.”
- “Go Warriors.”
- “Running for success.”
- “Roaring with pride.”
As you can see, there are many different ways to show off and promote school spirit. When planning these events and activities, keep in mind that all activities should be easy for everyone in the school to enjoy and have a chance to participate in. When planning school spirit week themes, it is essential to have input from faculty members and students. Together you will be able to create the best possible spirit week for your school.