The above video clip shows you a glimpse of some activities at a high school. Name some of the activities that you noticed. Wouldn't it be fun to be a part of this? Do you sense any school spirit?
When the bell sounding the end of the school day rings, it does not necessarily mean time to go home. For many students it is the time when the fun begins!
After school activities are called extra-curricular, meaning in addition to your curriculum. Activities and clubs are arranged by the schools and can be found at all levels of education, however they are most popular at the junior and senior high school levels. They take place after school hours and are often led by school staff members.
Sports activities are very popular and some may require "try outs" to be part of the team. Some schools have both a varsity team and a junior varsity team, depending on the number of students interested. Basketball, football, baseball, and hockey are often the most popular sports for the boys. Girls prefer sports like field hockey, softball, soccer, and tennis. Sports will vary from school to school depending on interest and budgets. Those students who are very active in sports are often referred to as the "jocks".
Sports are not the only activities offered. Students can join clubs according to what interests them, e.g. foreign languages, music, dance, drama, cheerleading or chess to name a few. Many students participate in these activities and think it is one of the best things about school! Not only do they make friends but they develop a stronger school spirit and gain self-confidence. Extra curricular activities provide students an opportunity to explore their interests and further develop skills, whether it be intellectual, physical, creative or cultural.
In addition to participating in school sports and clubs there has been a recent trend in volunteerism. Students may choose to volunteer their time by aiding local/state organizations. Perhaps they offer to help at a homeless shelter or a senior citizen home.
They are making an invaluable contribution to society and it makes them a more well rounded person. Colleges and universities are not only interested in your educational skills. They want students who stand out both academically and socially. All the more reason to join in on the after school fun!
Tasks and Activities.
- What is another term used for extra-curricular activities?
- Why are these activities popular?
- What are typical boy sports and typical girl sports?
- Name three different clubs.
- Why do students choose to do volunteer work?
- What sports and clubs would you personally like to have at your school?
- Share your thoughts with another student.
- Make a list on the blackboard of the most popular sports and clubs that your class has chosen.
- Search for Terry High School on YouTube or similar sites. What kind of activities are filmed? Could this have been filmed at a Norwegian school? Give reasons for your answer?
Sophie about Sports and After-school Activities
In the USA it is not usual to join a sports club to practise e.g. basketball or soccer. Most youngsters who are into sports join the school team and compete for their school. After-school activities, e.g. sports, are an important part of high-school life in the USA. Many high schools and colleges offer scholarships to talented students who can compete for and promote their school. Listen to what Sophie from Ludlow High School in Connecticut says about after school activities at her school.
- What after-school activities does Sophie do?
- Why don’t they have a gym at her school?
- What does she say about after-school activities in general?
- According to Sophie, what is the benefit from getting a scholarship?
- Besides sports, what other after-school activities does she mention?
Norwegian students participate in clubs and sports outside of school, belonging to various local teams. Would you prefer to have these activities a part of your school instead and why? What would be the advantages and disadvantages?