9 Engaging Early Finisher Activities for 5th Grade

If you’re trying to figure out what to do with students who finish early, this post on early finisher activities for 5th grade is just what you need.

In a perfect world, fifth graders would keep themselves busy with learning tasks while you attend to students who need your assistance. 

However, the reality is that we educators must prepare for those fast finishers by providing an assortment of early finisher activities designed specifically for 5th graders. 

The following fifth-grade early finisher activities reinforce academic skills, promote critical thinking, and appeal to a range of ability levels. 

So whether you seek early finisher activities for 5th grade in the areas of math, literacy, science, or social studies, these exercises will serve your needs. 

Early Finisher Activities For 5th Grade

1. Explore Coding. 

If you have access to a computer lab or individual student technological devices, motivate fifth-graders to explore computer science concepts by offering them the opportunity to do coding. 

The website code.org provides a computer science curriculum that teachers can use to increase student participation in these STEM activities. 

Tasks include a variety of free projects, courses, and lessons that students may work on independently.

2. Practice Origami. 

Origami is a Japanese art form that involves folding paper into decorative figures. 

It’s a great activity for the brain because it improves mental concentration, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination. It can even be relaxing.

To do this fast-finisher activity, provide students with a set of instructions and sheets of colored paper for them to create the shapes.

Challenge them to make one or two shapes. 

Have students try this 5th-grade origami exercise or these easy origami projects.

3. Solve Brain Teasers. 

Brain teasers are exercises that stretch one’s mental abilities, prompting the person to think outside of the box in order to find a solution to a problem. 

The benefits of engaging in these activities include improved memory, greater critical thinking/problem-solving skills, mental sharpness, and stimulation of creativity. 

To provide this option as a fifth-grade early finisher task, provide students with an assortment of logic puzzles, riddles, and Sudoku puzzles to solve.

4. Review Work. 

If you seek simple early finisher activities for 5th grade that don’t require gathering materials, this fast-finisher idea is for you. 

The only thing students need to do is review a recently-completed assignment. 

Reviewing work for errors and careless mistakes seems like an easy task to remember, but so many students forget to do it or do a poor job of it.

Offering this task as a fast-finisher activity gives students the extra time and concentration needed to review work thoroughly.

5. Design a Bulletin Board. 

Challenge students to design a bulletin board related to a current unit of study. 

Doing so not only stretches their imaginations and prompts them to apply their knowledge, but it saves you time as a teacher since you’ll now have a bank of ideas to use for bulletin boards throughout the year. 

6. Update Student Grade Sheet. 

As educators, we want students to be invested in their educations. We want them to show concern and interest in the work they produce. 

One way to encourage this is by having students keep a student grade sheet throughout the school year. (works best if your school utilizes an A, B, C, D, and F grading system)

As you distribute graded assignments to your fifth graders, give them time to record their scores and averages on a student grade sheet. 

7. Perform a Brain Break.

Short breaks are needed and welcomed throughout the school day. Help students disconnect by utilizing brain breaks

Not only can these fun exercises be educational, but they help students become more relaxed and productive.  

8. Conduct an Imaginary Interview.

Students conduct imaginary interviews with historical figures they have learned about in class.

They will step into the shoes of a journalist and imagine what questions they would ask the historical figure if they had the chance to interview them.

Students may choose any historical figure they find fascinating, such as Abraham Lincoln, Cleopatra, Leonardo da Vinci, Amelia Earhart, etc.

They will then write down the questions they would ask and the historical figure’s responses based on their understanding of the person’s life and achievements.

9. Do a Math Art Project.

Students will create geometric art using basic shapes and mathematical concepts.

Provide them with a set of guidelines, such as using only squares, rectangles, circles, and triangles to form their artwork.

Encourage them to experiment with patterns, symmetry, and color to make their creations visually appealing.

Final Thoughts

You no longer need to think about what to do with students who finish work early.

Now you have a collection of engaging early finisher activities for 5th grade students that require minimal preparation time.