Invite at least three or four high school students to form a panel and share with younger teens—either at a parish religious education class, at a Catholic elementary school, or as part of a visit of eighth grade students to your school—some basic information on what to expect when they go to high school. Prep the panel members so they can talk on subjects like the following:

  • academics (difficult classes, how much homework to expect, grading scale, types of tests, favorite teachers, etc.)

  • extracurricular activities (sports, band, cheer-leading, drama, student government, yearbook, newspaper, other clubs)

  • social (how freshmen are treated by upperclassmen, the preponderance of drugs and alcohol and how to avoid them, how high school students spend their weekends, dating etiquette, dances, etc.)

  • spiritual (retreat opportunities, parish participation, making moral decisions, campus ministry)

Allow plenty of opportunity for the junior high students to dialogue with and ask questions of the high school panel.

You may wish to combine the panel discussion with a drama, music, or athletic event that is taking place at the high school. Arrange for junior high students to attend the event either before or after the panel discussion.