Back to School: First Week of School Activities for Upper Elementary

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Use this no-prep packet of printable back to school activities to engage your upper elementary students and ease them back into learning at the beginning of the year.

From the first day of school, you want students to be engaged in meaningful activities. This packet combines traditional icebreaker-style activities, that build classroom community by helping new students get to know each other, with writing, math, and art activities. It includes everything you need to simply print and go, including templates, worksheets, and writing prompts.

Looking for more helpful first week of school resources? Try this classroom rules, routines, and procedures checklist, or browse our full collection of classroom management resources.

How to Use These First Week of School Activities

This packet includes eight fun activities that can be set as independent work over the course of the first week of school. The activities are suitable for 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade students and include an all about me activity, goal-setting, and summer writing activities plus logic, phonics, and art activities. Most activities allow for extension and additional writing, sharing, or illustrating, which can be included if time allows. These activities would also work well for a bulletin board, open house, or back to school night.

What’s Included?

The packet includes a choice of eight first week of school activities. Each activity includes clear directions and a template or worksheet. Choose from activities like:

“This is Me” Literacy Activity
Students answer “all about me” questions, draw a picture, and share with classmates for a fun getting to know you activity.
“My Goals for the Year” Mindset Activity
Students set goals for themselves for the new school year. These could be reviewed at the end of the year to see how they did!
“How I Spent My Summer” Writing Activity
Students write about their summer vacation. This is a fun way to reinforce important writing skills at the beginning of the school year.
“Logic Puzzle” Math Activity
Get students’ brains working with this logic puzzle based on 5 friends with clues to uncover the answer to the puzzle. Students then get a chance to create their own logic puzzles.
“Letter to Myself” Writing Activity
Students write a letter for their future selves 10 years from now. In an “all about me” activity with a twist, students write about their favorite things and their hopes for the future.
“Best Day Ever” Time Management Activity
Students make a schedule of their best day ever. It’s a fun way to find out more about students’ likes and dislikes while tuning up their time management skills - very useful for the beginning of the school year.
“About Me ABC’s” Phonics Activity
Students fill in the alphabet with words that describe them or things that make them happy. One word, or short phrase for each letter of the alphabet. Students need to get creative with those tricky letters!
“Finish the Picture” Art Activity
Students complete a picture using their imagination and then write a short story about their drawing.
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About the author

Heather Schultz


About Heather 

Heather Schultz (M.Ed.) is a teacher, curriculum developer, sensory learning expert, and small business owner. Heather has spent the last 8 years developing Hope Learning… Read more

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