Lunch Bunch Anyone?: Planning and Scheduling

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At the beginning of the school year, I fill in my school counseling calendar for the year to include classes, regular small groups, and Lunch Bunch sessions.  I typically schedule all of my lunch bunches on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I host two grade levels per week and plan to see up to nine groups per grade level.  You can refer to my post Lunch Bunch Anyone? for more specifics.

Click the following photo to print a copy of the letter I send to teachers for lunch bunch.  You will need to create a letter that meets the needs of your program, but this will at least give you an idea of what to say.  I include a second page specific to each grade level as well with their assigned dates.  The sample includes 5th grade’s schedule on the second page.  I give each grade level their specific lunch bunch dates at the beginning of the year so they know in advance when their dates fall.

This photo shows my year-at-a-glance for lunch bunch from last year.  I post this beside my office door and on my bulletin board inside my office.

I am a planner, so I like to be able to refer to a chart of some sort for things I do on a regular basis.  I created a basic chart in Microsoft Word to refer to each week as I plan my lunch bunch lessons.  I consider it a “living” document that can be changed when necessary.  I just like to have a plan in place.  If new concerns arise within a grade level, I can easily switch out one of the subject areas to accommodate the issue.

Click here to see a Lunch Bunch At-A-Glance for this school year. You’ll notice some blocks say “Reward for SOARing.”  We are falcons at my school, and we “S.O.A.R.” which stands for:

  • Show respect
  • Order and safety
  • Awesome attitude
  • Responsibility

Although a majority of my sessions are planned to target specific areas, I also like to celebrate those students who are “SOARing” as well!

Stick around!  As the school year progresses, I will post about specific lessons I use for Lunch Bunch.  You can follow Savvy School Counselor with free email updates.  As always, I’d like to hear from you.  What other topics do you include for Lunch Bunch?

18 thoughts on “Lunch Bunch Anyone?: Planning and Scheduling

  1. Hi there,

    Question regarding lunch bunch schedule. Do you see the same kids for those 9 dates? Or how often are teachers referring new students? I’m trying to figure out schedule, and how kids are rotated in thru grade levels.

    Thanks, Stephanie

    • Hi, Stephanie! I see a new set of kids for each lunch bunch unless there is a need for a follow-up session. The form I posted on my original lunch bunch post is sent to each grade level the prior to each of their lunch bunches. Teachers, of course, have the option to send a child to different sessions, but that is completely up to the individual teacher.

  2. Your blog is awesome! I am going to try to do some lunch bunches this semester. I see that you have topics planned. Where do you get the ideas for topics or the actual lessons you use for the topics? Thanks!

    • Hi, Debbie. Thank you very much!
      I usually tweak lessons from some of the small group resources I have. I have a variety by different authors. If I don’t use those, I will incorporate a book about the topic to help me facilitate the discussion.

  3. Do your students eat lunch in your office, or do they come in after they have eaten? I love your idea and am trying to do wome planning for next year

  4. Hi! I love your idea for a lunch bunch. I just heard that my sons school has such a group . I was thinking of trying to start a group such as this for kids with food allergies as a way to share a safe meal in a safe space and also spend time with kids other with food allergies. Do you have any ideas how to start this or how to find a curriculum for it? Thanks! Amy

    • Hi, Amy. I don’t know of any curriculum for a food allergies group. I think you can brainstorm some important things these students need to know and create group sessions around those topics. Search for any children’s books on the subject to share and use for discussion. Discuss ways to help children stay on top of what they can and can’t eat so they won’t find themselves in situations where they eat the wrong thing during a classroom party or any other special event. Help them make special food allergy cards to be used in the cafeteria to alert the adults who supervise them. This would be helpful if a substitute is filling in and isn’t aware of the allergies.

      • Thank you! I appreciate your suggestions. Silly me…I had not of using food allergy books to start the discussion. What a great idea!

  5. Is your school set up in 9 weeks is that why you have nine rows? I am doing lunch bunch for the first time this year and I am trying to make a schedule for the year also.

    • Yes, I have different topics for each lunch bunch. We usually just meet once. I have started doing lunch bunches per class instead of per grade level so teachers can recommend more of their students for each topic. That has worked very well.

    • Hi, Anna! Each lunch bunch group meets once. If I’m doing the same session for a grade level, I will see each group from each class on separate days. I have changed how I do lunch bunches someone since I wrote this post. I may need to write an updated lunch bunch post. 🙂

  6. HI! I love your blog and the lunch bunch idea. I am a school counselor a small catholic academy PreK-8th grade only consisting of 150 students so we only have class per grade level except 5th grade. I’m trying to figure out how I could incorporate this. Do you meet with all of the students or do you only meet with students that the teachers recommend for the topics. I feel that all of the students could benefit from the topics so how could I still implement the lunch bunch?


    • I meet with students recommended by their teachers for the various topics.

      You could always dedicate each week to one grade level and then pull different groups from the same grade level once each day during lunch in an effort to see all of them. If you’re in school for 36 weeks, that could allow for up to six lunch bunches per grade level for the year.

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