This is the single BEST back to school activity for middle or high school (heck, even adults like this). You'll begin by reading a dramatic 'lost at sea' story where your students' yacht catches fire in the middle of the ocean and they have just minutes to determine which items to take with them into the life raft. (Item cards with explanations provided). You'll then go through a list (PPT provided) of the items by rank (as determined by the U.S. Coast Guard). Each item is worth a different number of survival points. You need 30 points to survive.
Which of your students will survive?
You can't help but get into this activity. It only takes about 20 minutes, but students LOVE this activity. It's low pressure and everyone has an opinion! Awesome for science, but really you could use this in any class.