Home » Classroom Ideas » 20 Innovative Leadership Activities for High School Students

20 Innovative Leadership Activities for High School Students

People are increasingly involved in getting leadership positions in their workplaces, but the way to become an effective leader is so far as they think. That is the reason that leadership activities are so valuable. These Leadership Activities for High School Students develop the skills and confidence to lead them effectively. To get success, is only possible if you assure these are structured properly according to the participants’ situations.

In this global world, where productivity and creativity are highly preferred, it’s necessary to train individuals from the start to become effective leaders in the future. High school students are our society’s future leaders, so developing students’ leadership skills are also important. Leadership Activities for High School Students provide opportunities to develop these leadership activities.

These leadership activities enhance their self-confidence, develop their skills and help them become successful and influential leaders in the future. But it will not be possible until the school system and teachers support them. 

It’s necessary to make them a part of your lesson plans and ask students to participate well. It will help you to foster growth for all of your students to make them great leaders in the future.

Top 20 Leadership Activities for High School Students

Here are the Twenty Best leadership activities for high school students that teachers can use to build leadership skills in their students and make them able to get instant success beyond graduation.

1. Brainstorming for change Leadership Activity

In brainstorming leadership activity for high school students, the teacher divides them into groups of 4 or 5 and assigns the task of finding the solutions to presenting social, political, or economic problems. The students work together to generate possible solutions on both small and large scales.

When the groups have finished their work, the teacher organizes a class discussion where they review the proposed solutions together. The class evaluates all ideas to determine which one can do work and also give reasons why they are choosing. It leads toward teamwork and encourages students to think critically about real-world problems and drive potential solutions.

2. Blindfold Leadership Game

The Blindfold Leader Game is a great leadership activity for high school students to learn about leadership and unlock their hidden potential interactively. In this activity, the students get into a line and select a starting and finishing point. The teacher blindfolds all the students except the first one. The first person in the line becomes the leader, who guides the other one to walk behind him and reach the destination successfully. 

The aim of the activity is to enhance the leader’s ability to communicate effectively and build trust between the leader and the team. Once the leader guides the team and reaches their finishing point, another student becomes the leader likewise. This lets everyone in the team develop their leadership skills and promotes equal participation.

3. Silence Classroom Leadership Activity

In this leadership activity for high school students, the teacher makes two teams and asks them to move around the classroom and assign some tasks such as “arrange yourselves into age order by your birthday month” or  “line up according to the first letter of your surname”. The challenge of the game is that the students are not allowed to talk until the task is complete. 

But there is also a tricky situation; they must make conversation with nonverbal communication like written instructions or hand signals for the next move. The team that completes the task successfully will be declared the winner. This activity is more exciting to perform rather than other leadership activities for high school students. It helps students to think more creatively and work together towards a common goal, even without interacting or listening to each other.

4. Buckets and Balls Leadership Game

In this game, students will move balls from one box to another without using their hands or arms. The players choose one “handler” per team who is only allowed to touch the balls with their hands. They will put the balls into the empty bucket at the start line. Players have a time limit of 5 minutes to throw as many balls as they can into the bucket. 

The team who collects more balls in the handler’s bucket at the end is considered the winner of the game. This leadership activity for high school students helps them to create teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills. 

5. The Cup – Leadership Activities for High School Students

To make the Cup Game top-rated activity among all other leadership activities for high school students, the teachers divide them into pairs. After that, she selects the active one as the leader. Each team stands aside with a plastic cup in the middle. The leader will give directions to the members, for instance, ‘close one eye’ or ‘touch your knee’. When the leader says “cup”, they should have grabbed it as quickly as possible. 

The participants who grab the cups will pair up with each other, while those who fail will sit down and watch. Now the cup will be placed between the new pair, and the game will start again. The whole process will be repeated until one person is left. That person will become the new leader, and they can start the game all over again. This game will promote consistency and acceptance of others’ success among students.

6. Leadership Advice from your Role Model 

This activity can improve leadership skills and critical thinking among high school students. They learned about various leadership styles and approaches with these types of leadership activities for high school students. They also get an opportunity to reflect on their own leadership potential as well as get to know how to apply what they have learned to their own lives.

During this task, students are asked to remember a role model they admire and then think about him and also recall his acts as a great leader. Firstly, an individual student will imagine himself in a situation where he found someone who needed help and sought guidance from him. He will analyze his situation and offer him a solution as his role model can. This exercise introduces them to the concept of situational leadership and emphasizes that the most effective leadership style depends on the situation and the people involved.

7. Team Jigsaw Leadership Challenge

“Team Jigsaw” is a leadership challenge activity in which two teams are selected to compete. The moderator provides a jigsaw puzzle to complete within a time limit of 15-30 minutes. The twist or challenge in the game is that as teams start their work, they find some pieces missing, as well as some extra pieces that don’t belong to their puzzle. 

To complete the puzzle, the teams communicate with each other and work together to solve the puzzle. They will work to find the missing pieces and remove the extra ones. This leadership activity for high school students is designed to test the problem-solving, leadership, and communication skills of the participants. In addition, these types of leadership activities for high school students encourage them to think outside the box, be creative, and pick or resolve unexpected situations.

8. The Marshmallow Challenge

The Marshmallow Challenge is another leadership activity that can be organized for high school students. The purpose of the activity for teams is to construct the tallest structure of something by using materials like spaghetti sticks, tape, and string that can be extendable without any support. 

The challenge for students in this leadership activity is that they also put a marshmallow at the top of their creation. This leadership activity for high school students was created by Tom Wujec in a fun and interactive way. It promotes teamwork and innovation among students.

9. Shape-Shifting Group Leadership Activity

Shape-Shifting leadership activity is highly effective for high school students. In this game, all group members are tied with a rope. The rope is considered to be large enough to hold all participants with both hands while standing in a circle. After that instructor will be assigned a task to create a specific shape, i.e. a triangular shape, circle, square, or any other possible one on the ground with that rope.

As the game moves to the next level, the difficulty and challenge will increase with the demand to create more complex shapes, like a tree or a dog. After completing this activity, the group will ask to reflect on their experience by sharing their thoughts about the effectiveness of the game and their feelings about achieving a shared goal. Students can rapidly boost their leadership skills by participating in’ Shape-Shifting’. 

10.  ‘Leadership Pizza’ among Leadership activities for high school students

Leadership Pizza’ is a leadership activity that can help high school students to enhance their leadership skills. This activity starts with the usage of a self-assessment tool that lets individuals recognize the skills, attributes, and attitudes that they think are important for becoming a successful leader. After true identification, they evaluate themselves and rate their own development in these areas. 

By working on this framework, students will better understand their strengths and weaknesses and can easily identify areas that require more effort and improvement. This tool can also be utilized for coaching sessions, where a mentor can guide the students in goal setting and develop a plan to achieve those goals. It’s a fun and engaging way for high school students to gain valuable insights into their own leadership abilities. 

11. ‘Stand up’ Unity leadership Game

‘Stand Up’ is a simple and inexpensive game that requires no materials to play. It includes two people who sit on the floor in front of each other, holding their hands and touching the soles of their feet. The game’s instructions are to stand up without letting go of each other’s hands. This game is a perfect way to build trust and teamwork among your students. 

Working together and communicating effectively is the essential part of the game that helps them to achieve a common goal. By participating in this activity, students learn to work with the collaboration of others and solve problems creatively which are important elements in any leadership role.

12. Challenge Students ‘Sneak-a-peek’

This game is a big activity challenge for high school students to perform. Divide your school students into teams and give them a set of Lego blocks. Instruct every team to create a complex structure that can be replicated. Keep the original structure out of sight that you expect from them, and choose one player from each team to see the original structure for 10 seconds. 

After that, they will return to their teams and instruct other team members on how they can build the structure. The teams then have to complete their structure in 1 minute. Once the time is up, the other member will go and match with the original one. The team that successfully builds the same structure wins the game. If you really want to boost leadership skills among high school students, nothing is a better choice than this game. 

13. ‘Just Listen’-  Tolerance Leadership Activities for High School Students

This leadership activity teaches students to be patient and develop a tolerance for others.  To perform the activity, the teacher asks students one by one to refrain for an entire day, and others will listen to him carefully and actively respond to his actions. 

So, this activity helps them to engage in conversations about the person and wait silently until it is completed.  In this way, they learn to focus on others rather than solely on themselves and also respect others’ experiences.  By doing so, they develop ‘relational leadership skills, which are key to effective communication, collaboration, and building positive relationships with others.

14. The Improv night Leadership Activity

As a team leader, it’s important to foster team bonding. One way to do this is through improvisation, or ‘improv’. Improv supports developing skills in communication, active listening, creativity, self-awareness,  and self-confidence. To conduct an Improv Night leadership activity, start by dividing the group into ‘audience’ and ‘performers’. 

The performers take on the suggested roles and perform according to the scenario. They must listen actively to each other to perform well while, on the other hand, participants leave their comfort zones and embody new characters. In this way, the Improv Night Leadership Activity was useful for strong team bonding among team members.

15. Round Tables leadership activity for high school students

The Round Tables leadership activity is the best approach to improve leadership and delegation skills, as participants work together to complete each task efficiently. The timed aspect of the activity sets a level of competition to motivate participants to work harder and more efficiently. To organize this activity moderator should have to set up four tables and assign each one a different task. Each task will include multiple steps that participants should have to carry out.

To begin the activity, the group will divide into teams and choose a team leader. The team leader will be responsible for delegating tasks to the other team members to make sure that the task will be completed quickly and accurately. The tables are timed to record how long the duration was to complete each task. The group also can move through the different tables, with each team member taking turns as the designated team leader.

16. ‘Feedback: Start, Stop, Continue’ Leadership Group Activity

The ‘Feedback: Start, Stop, Continue’ is designed to help leaders provide regular, productive feedback. It promotes openness and trust between group members, which is crucial for effective leadership and team building. This activity is best suited for those groups who have to spend enough time together and share wide experiences to draw from. Groups of 4 to 6 people work together. Participants are asked to write feedback on a Post-it note for the other group participants. 

They complete the sentences for each prompt. They could skip it if they couldn’t give feedback for one of the prompts. When everyone finishes writing their feedback, they communicate it verbally, one at a time, and hand the post-it note to the relevant person. This way, everyone receives constructive feedback and can work on improving their leadership skills.

17. ‘Pass the hoop’ Leadership Skills Promoting Activity

This “Pass the Hoop”  is introduced to encourage teamwork and problem-solving skills among the students. It helps to develop communication skills and collaboration with each other. As we know, effective communication is a critical and time taking skill for any leader. Still, this group activity, among all other leadership activities for high school students, can be a fun and engaging way for them to practice and improve this skill. 

This activity can easily be performed through a group of people standing in a circle and holding hands with each other. One person from the group considered a hula hoop around their arm, and others tried to pass that hula hoop. But they are conditioned to cross it around the entire circle without breaking the chain. It enables students to learn how to convey their ideas clearly, listen actively, and work collaboratively to reach a common goal.

18.”Time in the classroom” Leadership Management Game

No doubt, time is a valuable resource; specifically in the classroom, it is very important to make the most of every minute. It involves selecting a student as a “timer” for the day to keep track of the time. He will note the time left for each task during the lesson and report to the class. For instance, if a task is limited to five minutes, the timer will inform the class to complete the task in the remaining time and also update once the time is up. 

Assigning this responsibility to a student develops leadership skills and teaches them to take ownership of the situation. It will also encourage effective time management as an essential skill for successful leaders. In addition, it can help students in confidence building and accountability and boost their leadership potential.

19. Independent Project-Based learning opportunities

Independent projects are a tested way to polish valuable skills and integrity among high school students. It lets students take ownership and work independently. They can get important qualities like self-motivation and confidence. It involves completing assignments by using critical thinking and problem-solving approaches to address real-world problems. 

These projects encourage them to find their internal motivation and discover their potential. They can set goals, manage time effectively, and responsibly perform tasks. Engaging in independent project-based learning opportunities only rather than other leadership activities for high school students will also be beneficial. It enables them to think independently, make informed decisions, and be responsible for their actions. 

20. Tutoring programs 

Tutoring programs bring a chance for high school students to enhance their leadership skills by mentoring their junior students. This is a valuable opportunity for high school students to develop important leadership tools and improve their college applications with leadership experience. Through tutoring, high school students can establish their unique leadership styles and philosophy while helping younger students to learn and grow. 

By serving as role models and mentors, they can develop empathy and humanity among themselves for others. In addition to the personal benefits, tutoring also has a positive impact on the community. They can help younger students to succeed while gaining valuable experience in leadership, teaching, and community service.

Final Insight

Helping the students to develop their leadership style and providing opportunities in the classroom can be easy and effective. By adding a variety of leadership activities into lesson plans, teachers can promote the development of influential leaders within their classrooms and prepare their students for future success.

Through these leadership activities for high school students, they can learn important skills that are essential for getting success in their lives. Developing students’ leadership skills can help establish a strong and capable future generation. It will be surprising how fast students can begin with unusual potential when given the right opportunities and guidance.


Leadership ideas you can share with your students

Photo of author


Christopher is the passionate Writer and Editor of Lovingdollbeauty Team. He lives joyfully and brings joy into the lives of others via his writing. He has 7 years of experience as an award-winning writer. He discusses love, attraction, hobbies, and memes in his writing.

Leave a Comment