AVID mentors and students can look here to find activities planned for your virtual match meetings. No need to prepare—just click on the date to see what's planned. We encourage matches to use these plans as a starting point and to move in your own direction as needed.

CHECK-IN

REMINDER: It's always good to start your match meeting with a quick "how's it going?" Here are some questions that can help you get the conversation started.

  • What was your high and low since we last met?
  • How has school been going? What are you liking? What's challenging?
  • How are things going with your family and friends?
  • What did you do during your last AVID class?

8th GRADE - ACTIVITIES

Week 1   |   Treasure Hunt, Show, and Tell

Your first meeting will begin with your Match Introduction with a Match Support Specialist. The following activity is a great way to continue getting to know each other for the rest of your half hour together.

TREASURE HUNT, SHOW, AND TELL

1. Spend 2 minutes hunting in your space for 2-3 objects that mean something important to you. Bigs will hunt in their own office/house while students hunt in their own backpack/desk/classroom. The objects could have a special memory, something you use everyday, something you think looks cool or pretty, etc.

2. After finding your treasures, take turns showing your object, explaining why you chose it, and what it means to you. Don't be afraid to ask each other questions as you share!

Extra time? Talk about your most prized possession. If you could have one materialistic item for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Week 2   |   Screen-to-Screen Drawing

This is a BBBS staff favorite activity. You'll have fun, laugh, AND develop communication and listening skills without even realizing.

BACK-TO-BACK  SCREEN-TO-SCREEN DRAWING

Materials needed: Each person needs a couple sheets of paper and a pencil/pen

1. The first player starts by thinking of a simple object that can be drawn. Some ideas: butterfly, snowman, pizza, tree, etc. Click here for more ideas. Keep it a secret!

2. You will have 3 minutes to describe how to draw the object while the other player draws. Sample instructions: "draw a straight line", "add a circle on the left side", etc. Those who are drawing - don't show your paper and try not to ask questions or speak, just do your best! While explaining, both players should draw on their own sheet of paper. That way you can compare "answers" when finished.

3. After the 3 minutes are up, compare drawings. How did you do? Do the drawings look similar at all?

4. Switch roles and try again!

Discussion:
- What was challenging about being the person describing the picture?
- What was challenging about being the person drawing the picture?
- What does this activity tell you about communicating with others?
- What did you learn about communicating effectively?

Extra time? Using what you've learned about effective communication from the activity, try it again. See if you can more successfully explain your drawings! 

Week 3   |   How Do You Stay Organized?

Tired of forgetting homework assignments? Or last-minute late night study sessions for a big test? Talk to your mentor about how they stay organized at work or in their home life.

Ideas:

- Utilize a physical planner
This is a great tool for visual learners and those who like to see the “bigger picture”.

- Utilize the calendar app on your phone
Great for those who are always on the go – you will never be without your schedule.

- Use a “reminders” app on your phone
Forgetful? Say no more. Do not underestimate this lifesaving resource.

- Try using a notebook or binder with multiple segments.
This allows for your work to stay together and makes it easy to reference your notes or homework quickly.

Which of the organization methods you discussed, if any, have you tried in the past and how did it go? Do you use any of these methods currently or how could you implement one this week?

Extra time? Chat about your the best piece of advice you remember receiving. What was it and why does it stick with you? 

Week 4   |   Let's Talk Time Management

Finding a way to best manage your time can be a tricky task. Before you talk about the tools you can use for time management, take a moment to discuss the questions below:

- What are your top three priorities on a day-to-day basis? How do you decide this?

- How much time do you spend “giving back” to others (including your family, school, or community)?  Do you think you spend too much, too little or just the right amount of time caring for others? If you don’t feel like you spend enough time caring for others, how might you spend more time?

- When/how do you practice self-care? Is this enough time? Too little? Too much?

- If you could do anything with your time, what would it be?

 

Now that you’ve thought a little more about your own life, check out the suggestions below and think about which of these time management tools may be a good resource for you.

-  Eisenhower Box - Click here to learn more.

- Check your devices settings to see what apps or websites you spend the most time on. Being aware of your usage is the first step in deciding what or if anything needs to change! Click here to visit a website that will explain how to find this info.

- Think ahead. If you have some spare time at the end of the day and you know you have a crazy schedule ahead of you tomorrow, try and make life a little easier for yourself. Do you need to pack a lunch? Do you know what you’re going to wear? Brainstorm tomorrow’s top priorities.

- Eliminate distractions.

- Silence your phone and find a quiet space to work!

- Set goals for yourself throughout the day and write them down.

No matter how big or small, accomplishing goals and checking things off the list can be incredibly motivating!

Week 5   |   Growth Mindset & Positivity

Don’t underestimate the power of a positive mindset! This week take a moment to talk about positivity and perseverance as a match. What challenges have you each had to overcome to get you to where you are today? How did you find the strength and motivation to do so? What did you learn about yourself on that journey?

Littles – let’s take a closer look at your current mindset. Click here for a short quiz and discuss how you feel about your results with your Big.

Check out these articles if you have time:
15 Highly Successful People Who Failed on Their Way to Success
7 Practical Tips to Achieve a Positive Mindset

Week 6   |   My Journey: Mentor's Educational & Career Journey

Everyone’s path in life looks a little different, and that’s why possibilities are endless! Use this questionnaire to learn a little more about your Big and their professional journey.

Click here to check it out.

Week 7   |   The Traveler & the Guide - Effective Communication & Listening

Decide who will be the “Traveler” first. The traveler’s job is to describe what they want from a vacation without specifying a destination. Consider things like the weather, food, activities, nature, or distance. The guide’s job is to listen attentively to what is being said (and what is not being said) and to demonstrate their listening through their behavior.

After a few minutes of active listening, the guide should summarize the main criteria the traveler is considering when it comes to enjoying their vacation. Finally, the guide should think of a destination that would fit the description they just heard. Where would you send them?

After a quick recap on how well the guide listened, the two should switch roles and try the exercise again!

Week 8  |   Create a Passion Bracket

Mentors, help students brainstorm some of their passions. Their list may be short, so help them keep an open mind by sharing some of yours or how yours have changed over time. Create a March Madness inspired bracket of their passions, either on paper or virtually by clicking here.

After narrowing them down to one, ask your Little if they can see themselves pursuing this passion in the future and how they could make that happen.

 

If you have extra time, have some fun with these virtual games!
Board & card games
Emoji Pictionary

Week 9   |   Hard and Soft Skills

Click on the link, share your screen, and watch the video together. Or, share the link with them so they can watch the video on their own screen while you wait. It’s short, the run time is 1:53. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FFLFcB9xfQ

Discuss the following questions:

-What are the differences between hard skills and soft skills?
-What are some examples of hard skills?
-What are some examples of soft skills?
-Why are both of these skills important?
-Is someone able to improve their hard and/or soft skills? How?

Tell your Little a bit about your own experience. Is there a time when your lack of hard and/or soft skills prevented you from getting a job or made your career path more challenging? If so, please share the experience. How did you overcome the disappointment and/or difficulties? What did you learn from the experience?

Ask and discuss with students the following questions. Feel free to add more depending upon where the conversation leads you!

-Where and how do you currently use hard and soft skills in your life?
-What do you think you need to improve on? How can you improve?
-Why do you think these skills are important?

Week 10   |   Learning Styles - What works for me and what doesn't?

Click here and take the What's Your Learning Style? Quiz.

When you finish, discuss your results and brainstorm how you can apply these learning strategies to your everyday life.

Week 11  |  Creative Thinking 

Answer these fun and thought-provoking questions together:

- If you could live in a book or movie for a day, which would you choose?

- If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?

- In your opinion, what is the most important quality for a person to have?

- If you could turn any age for a week, what age would you pick? Why? What would you do?

- If you invented a robot, what would it do?

- What is something that makes you feel better when you are upset?

- If you could switch places with one person you know, who would it be and why?

- If you could only have one wish, what would it be and why?

- If you could make up a holiday, what would it be? When would it take place?

- What is the best way to make someone smile? What makes you smile?

- If you could time travel, what year would you travel to? What would you do, or who would you like to meet?

- What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done? What was it like and how did you feel afterward?

- What is the best thing about being your age right now?

- What does your perfect day look like?

Week 12   |   Practical Skills

Mentors and Students each pick a skill from the list below. Discuss the skill together and if needed, research how to do the task. If you are done with one, pick another or choose something on your own that you would like to learn.

  •  - Tying a tie
  •  - Reading a map
  •  - Changing a flat tire
  •  - How to start a campfire
  •  - How to do laundry
  •  - How to sew on a button
  •  - Basic first aid skills
  •  - Addressing a letter and mailing it
  •  - Changing oil on a vehicle
  •  - Ironing clothing
Week 13  |   Success Reflection

The end of the school year is just around the corner! For this activity, encourage students to reflect on their accomplishments throughout the year. What are their top 5 accomplishments of this past year? Did they have some great things happen outside of school?

Make a list of these 5 things and then discuss the following questions:

How did each of these became a success?
How did they make you feel at the time and how do they make you feel now?
Why do you define these as successes?

Bigs - share some of your own recent successes!

Next, talk about what you both are looking forward to this summer. Do you have any goals you hope to accomplish? How can you prepare for next school year?

Week 14   |   Defining Leadership   (Owatonna Only)

Leadership is often difficult to define. Explore the questions below to learn more about leadership:  

  • How do you both define leadership?
  • What makes an exceptional leader?
  • In what ways do you each consider yourself a good leader?
  • In what ways could you both improve your leadership skills and abilities?
  • What kind of qualities do you each look for in someone who is leading you?
  • Mentor and student: who is your most influential leader and why?

Mentor and Student - Click here for a quiz on Leadership Style.

  • What leadership style did each of you get?
  • The three types of leadership style discussed in the quiz (Lewin’s Leadership Styles) are Authoritarian (Autocratic), Participative (Democratic), and Delegative (Laissez-Faire). Research and discuss the similarities and differences between these three leadership styles.
Week 15   |   The Power of Attitude and Finding Inspiration   (Owatonna Only)

Mentors and Students: share experiences that explore the power of attitude. What kind of impact can a positive attitude vs. negative attitude have?

  • - What are ways to become more positive?
  • - Why is it important to stay positive?
  • - What is motivation/inspiration?
  • - What approaches can be used to inspire yourself and others?
  • - Share how you each stay motivated and your preferred strategies?
  • - What are some of the most important ideas that help as you consider strategies to stay inspired and engaged?
Week 16   |   Have a Great Summer!   (Owatonna Only)

It’s your last meeting of the school year! Before you  part ways for the summer, chat about some of the discussion questions below:

-What is something you did this year that you think you will remember for the rest of your life?

-What is something you accomplished this year that you are proud of?

 -If you could change one thing that happened this year, what would it be?

-What are the three most important things you learned this year?

-In what area do you feel you made your biggest improvements?

-What person has made the biggest impact in your life this year? Why?

 

Board & Card Games

Emoji Pictionary 

 

WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT YEAR:

Your BBBS Match Support Specialist should have already, or will be soon, reaching out to you to for one last check-in prior to summer vacation. At that time you will chat about whether or not your match will be continuing in the fall. They will also reach out once more throughout the summer for a brief check-in, but don’t hesitate to reach out to them in the meantime with any questions or concerns you may have.

9th GRADE - ACTIVITIES

Week 1   |   Rose, Bud & Thorn Activity 

Mentors and students catch up on what's new since your last chat and discuss each of your Rose, Bud, and Thorns of the summer. 

Rose = A highlight, success, small win, or something positive that happened.

Thorn = A challenge you experienced or something you can use more support with.

Bud = New ideas that have blossomed or something you are looking forward to knowing more about or experiencing.

Extra time? Chat about what you're most looking forward to in the upcoming weeks!

Week 2  |   Organizational Skills

Discussion Questions:

Student:

- How are the first few weeks going of school? Has getting work done on time been a challenge?

- How did you organize classwork and keep track of assignments in middle school, is the same method working in high school?

- What could you do differently to ensure success now that you are in high school?

Mentor:

- Share how you organize work and everyday tasks?

- How has your strategy evolved over the years?

Tips on staying organized from Teens Health:

- DO know your deadlines.

- DO make a calendar of stages and final due dates.

- DO include social events on this calendar for time management.

- DO understand the assignment and expectations.

- DO give yourself a quiet place to study with all the materials you need.

- DO give yourself brief breaks.

- DON'T put work off until the last minute.

- DON'T do your homework late at night or in bed.

- DON'T let yourself be bored. Find the aspect of the project or paper that interests you!

Week 3   |   Creative Thinking Discussion

Student: Discuss with your mentor what you would say to your 30-year-old self if they were sitting here now?

- What would you ask them?

- What would you tell them?

-What would you hope for?

Mentor: Discuss with your student what you would say to your 15-year-old self if they were sitting here now?

-What would you ask them?

-What would you tell them?

-Would you be concerned about “changing” your future in some way?

Week 4   |  Career Interest Profile 

Click here to take the Career Interest Profile. Students share your screen with your mentor so they can follow along. The profile should take about ten minutes. Student and Mentor can then discuss the following:

- Of all the career options suggested, which ones are most interesting to the student?

- Of all the career options suggested, which ones are least interesting to the student?

- Do you feel that the profile accurately predicted some interesting career options?

- What are some next steps to take now that the student has some new career ideas?

Week 5   |   Bucket List

Mentors and students should each make a list of 5-10 bucket list items that they would like to see/do/accomplish in their lifetime! DREAM BIG!

Share your lists & discuss:

- What are the guiding values that caused you to choose these items?

- What goals will you set to accomplish these bucket list items?

- How do you think this list may change over the years?

- How does this list impact your priorities and how you will choose to live your life?

- Which people in your life, if any, impact what you wrote on your list?

Week 6   

Faribault Students:

Talk to your mentor about your “How To” final for AVID.
- What topic did you choose for this assignment?
- Why are you passionate about what you chose?
- Give your mentor a course in “how to” create or do what you chose for the assignment.
- Mentors: did you learn something new today? Give your student feedback on their instructions and any strengths or opportunities for improvement.


Owatonna Students:

Talk to your mentor about a hobby or activity that you are passionate about.
- When did you first discover this activity?
- Was there someone or a specific experience that inspired this interest?
- What is it about the chosen activity that you enjoy so much?
- Mentors: What activities or hobbies do you enjoy today? What did you enjoy when you were in 9th grade? Is it the same or different?
- Mentors and Students: Give some tips on where the other should start if they are learning how to participate in the activity you each chose. What is the most challenging aspect of the chosen activities? What is the easiest aspect to pick up on?

Week 7   |    Soundtrack to your Life

Imagine you are making a movie about your life, and you are tasked with creating the soundtrack for the movie.

Mentor and student: Take a few minutes to each pick at least 5 songs that would be on the soundtrack. Select songs that mean something to you, represent your story, or your hopes for the future.

  • Share the songs you chose.
  • What would be the synopsis of the movie about your life, and why do these songs represent that movie?
  • Do you have any songs/artists/genres in common?
  • In what ways are your movies similar and in what ways are they different?s are they different?
Week 8   |   Service Opportunities

Mentors, discuss why you decided to give back to your community by volunteering to be a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters. What factors were involved in the decision and why did you choose BBBS over other volunteer opportunities?

Students and Mentors – brainstorm ways that the student can serve their community as well. What opportunities interest the student the most?

See below list of service opportunities, what next steps could you take to get involved?

Food Shelf
Animal shelters
Hospitals
Nursing Homes and Assisted Livings
Mentoring Organizations (You can be a High School Big to local youth  through Big Brothers Big Sisters at the age of 16!)
Museums, libraries, and other public services
Maintaining the Environment
   - Roadside cleanups (ie. Adopt a Highway)
   - Planting trees
Teaching or tutoring
Donating unwanted items
Supporting the Red Cross
Donating to local non profit

Are there any other opportunities not listed that you may be interested in?

Week 9   |   Mid-year Check-in

Discussion:

-  Students, discuss with your mentor how your first semester of High School went.

- What were your academic goals first semester? Did you meet those goals?

- Which subjects are your favorite, and which do you need some extra help with?

- What are some ways you would like to improve your academic performance for this coming semester?

- How did you stay organized this semester with assignments and studying? Are there any opportunities for improvement in this area?

- How did you approach time management this semester? Were you able to affectively prioritize assignments and turn them in on time?

- Talk with your mentor about how they can further support you in meeting your academic goals.

 

SMART Goals:

- Students, create two SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Bound) that relate to academics for your final semester of 9th grade. These could be related to grades, time management, organizational skills, relationships with teachers and peers, etc.

Week 10   |   Interview Response Activity

Below is a list of common interview questions. Underneath each question is an answer that might not be the best response during an interview. Matches, please discuss different answers that would be more positive and appropriate for a job interview.

 

For example:

Question: Why do you want to work for us?

Example answer: Because I need the money and since you had an opening on your website, you guys need me.

More appropriate answer: I am interested in gaining more experience in this field. I saw that you had an opening for this position, and I feel that I have the appropriate qualifications.

 

Interview Examples:

 Why should we hire you?

  • Example answer: I need the money

Why do you want to work here?

  • Example answer: My (parent/guardian) said I had to get a job

Do you prefer working alone or in a team setting and why?

  • Example answer: I don’t get along with people, so I work alone

What is your greatest strength?

  • Example answer: I am great at everything I do

What is your greatest weakness?

  • Example answer: I procrastinate a lot

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

  • Example answer: I don’t want any changes. I want to be in this same position.
Week 11   |   My Dream Job Posting

Students, imagine that you are an employer creating a job posting. What are the work hours, work environment, and typical tasks? This posting should be for your dream job, or a top career of interest.

After sharing your dream job details with your mentor, discuss the strengths that a great candidate for this position should have, and weaknesses that a candidate should not have. List at least 5 strengths and 5 weaknesses. These should be general traits, not specific to you. If you quickly name five, continue to brainstorm and name as many as you can.

Example: CIA Operative

  • Work hours: variable
  • Work environment: traveling, seeing new places, headquartered in Washington D.C.
  • Tasks: submitting information about threats to appropriate officials, conducting counterintelligence activities, gathering and evaluating intelligence and organizing covert operations

Strengths for a person in this career:

  • Attention to detail
  • Adaptability
  • Ability to keep calm under pressure
  • Multi-lingual
  • Peak physical condition

Weaknesses for a person in this career:

  • Oversharing
  • Inability to be covert
  • Unable to multitask
  • Needs constant direction from supervisors
  • Unwilling to take risks
Week 12   |   Interview Tips and Discussion

Mentors and students, think about tasks that job candidates should do to prepare for a successful job interview.

  - Together, discuss the top ten things that you think are most important when preparing for a job interview

  - What are the common themes when it comes to preparation tasks that are important for an interview?

  - Mentors: what are the most important tips you have for job interviews, or experiences that could be helpful to the student?

  - Students: create a tip sheet full of ideas that you can save for when you pursue your first job.

Week 13   |   Skills for a Successful Future

Some important skills for a successful future career include:

 - Self-motivation

 - Critical thinking

 - Communication

 - Perseverance

 - Collaboration

 - Problem solving

 - Time management

Research and discuss what each of these skills mean and how to practically apply them.

  - Which skills do you each excel at currently?

 - Which skills do you each need to work on?

 - In your opinions, which skills are the most important?

 - What are some other necessary skills you would add to this list?

 - What are some strategies for building these necessary skills?

Week 14   |   Exploring Initiative 

“Initiative” is defined as “the ability to assess and initiate things independently” or “the power or opportunity to act or take charge before others do.” In school and in your future career, it is important to take initiative to go above and beyond expectations.

  • - What does taking initiative mean to you? What impact does it make?
  • - Mentors and students each describe a time where you went beyond expectations to lead or take initiative
  • - What roadblocks can come up?
  • - What are the pros and cons of taking initiative and going beyond expectations?
  • - What makes people resistant to taking initiative?
  • - Why is this an important topic?

Discuss the following scenarios and what taking initiative could mean in each of them:

  • - A friend is struggling with a math assignment. You just finished the assignment, and have already turned it in. The teacher said that if you finished your assignment, you could use the rest of the class for free time. You really want to use that time for something fun, but you know that your friend could benefit from you offering to help them learn the math skills that they are struggling with. What do you do?
  • - You notice that the garbage can at home is overflowing. Your parents are always the ones to take the trash out, but they are both busy with other things. You know that if you leave the full trash can and choose another activity, someone else in your family will take care of it. What do you do?
  • - You work a part time job at a restaurant. Your coworker was assigned to clean the floors at the end of the shift, but they are busy with another task. You have plenty of time before the end of your shift to clean the floors, but it is one of your least favorite tasks at work. What do you do?
  • - Come up with a scenario of your own.
Week 15   |   Success Reflection

The end of the school year is just around the corner! For this activity, encourage students to reflect on their accomplishments throughout the year. What are their top 5 accomplishments of this past year? Did they have some great things happen outside of school?

Make a list of these 5 things and then discuss the following questions:

How did each of these became a success?
How did they make you feel at the time and how do they make you feel now?
Why do you define these as successes?

Bigs - share some of your own recent successes!

Next, talk about what you both are looking forward to this summer. Do you have any goals you hope to accomplish? How can you prepare for next school year?

Week 16   |   Have a Great Summer!

It’s your last meeting of the school year! Before you  part ways for the summer, chat about some of the discussion questions below:

-What is something you did this year that you think you will remember for the rest of your life?

-What is something you accomplished this year that you are proud of?

 -If you could change one thing that happened this year, what would it be?

-What are the three most important things you learned this year?

-In what area do you feel you made your biggest improvements?

-What person has made the biggest impact in your life this year? Why?

 

Board & Card Games

Emoji Pictionary 

 

WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT YEAR:

Your BBBS Match Support Specialist should have already, or will be soon, reaching out to you to for one last check-in prior to summer vacation. At that time you will chat about whether or not your match will be continuing in the fall. They will also reach out once more throughout the summer for a brief check-in, but don’t hesitate to reach out to them in the meantime with any questions or concerns you may have.