8 Amazing Early Finisher Activities for 4th Graders

If you’re seeking ideas for what to do for fourth-grade students who finish work early, you’ve landed in the right place.

Early finisher activities for 4th grade students reduce downtime, maximize learning, and keep you, the teacher, from stressing over unfocused students with no clue of what to do next.

The following fast-finisher tasks offer activities that students can do independently.

What’s more, they require minimal prep time. 

So whether you want to challenge early finishers or just want some activities to keep them engaged, include these early finisher activities for 4th grade in your lesson plans this week. 

Not only do they make a great addition to your collection of teaching resources, but they can be adapted to work well in all subjects.

Early Finisher Activities For 4th Grade

1. Create a Musical Instrument.

The arts are given little attention in schools today, especially at the elementary level. 

Expose your fourth graders to music via early finisher activities that incorporate arts and crafts. 

Provide students with recycled materials and other simple items that they can use to make instruments such as tambourines, maracas, etc.  

See musical instrument ideas here and here

2. Journal. 

For some fourth graders, journaling allows them to express their thoughts and feelings without judgment. 

It also improves writing skills, nurtures a growth mindset, and relaxes the mind. 

Give students journal prompts, or simply let them free write. 

An easy prompt that can be used regularly is to have students write about what they did with family or friends during the past weekend. 

3. Conduct Research.

Like many elementary students, fourth graders are naturally curious about the world around them. 

They ask lots of questions and will explore topics of interest to them.

Why not encourage them to do deeper research about a topic of interest related to a current unit of study in science or social studies?

First demonstrate how to appropriately use a kid-friendly search engine, provide them with this research template PDF, and then offer this exploratory activity as an early finisher option. 

4. Make Formations Using a Geoboard. 

A geoboard is a math tool used to explore various geometric shapes and concepts. Students love learning about geometry concepts using these manipulatives. 

If you can get your hands on some geoboards and rubberbands, have students make shapes of different sizes using the materials.

As an extension activity, require that students describe their formations. 

For example, did they make an isosceles triangle? If so, how would they describe it based on its characteristics?

They will follow this process for each creation.

5. List U.S States and Capitals. 

It’s never a bad idea to learn all the U.S. states and capitals.

Provide students with a blank U.S. map that requires students to fill it in with the appropriate state names and capitals.

Alternatively, share with students states and capitals puzzles.  These make perfect early finisher centers. 

6. Create a Map of Your Bedroom. 

Enhance your fourth graders’ spatial awareness and reasoning skills by having them make an aerial map of their bedrooms (or any favorite room in their homes).

It’s helpful to first complete this activity as a whole class so that students see how the teacher thinks through the process of constructing a map.

7. Draft a Reader’s Theater Script. 

Reader’s theater scripts are short plays that boost students’ reading comprehension, fluency, and accuracy.

These plays bring reading to life and appeal to both struggling and advanced learners.

While your 4th graders may have participated in a reader’s theater play in the past, most have never written a script.

That’s why this task makes a great choice as one of your early finisher activities for 4th grade. 

Students will be challenged to draft a multi-person play (2-6 characters) about a topic they have learned about this school year.

Provide students with examples of reader theater scripts for inspiration.

As an added bonus, choose a few of the scripts to be performed by the students during special school days. 

8. Review Math or Language Arts Concepts.

Provide mini whiteboards to students along with dry-erase markers.

Have them practice math facts, weekly spelling words, grammar skills (e.g. parts of speech like nouns and verbs) spelling patterns (e.g. -tion, -ology, etc.), and/or key vocabulary from a current unit of study.

This idea is arguably one of the most engaging early finisher activities for 4th grade because there is just something about dry-erase boards that fascinate elementary kids.

Final Thoughts On Early Finisher Activities For 4th Grade

Never again hear that dreaded question, “Teacher, what do I do now?!” from students. 

Now you have student-focused ideas to implement besides just utilizing boring worksheets.

If explained well, these fourth-grade early finisher activities will keep them engaged and learning until the very end of the lesson.