The first day of school is a pivotal moment, a blank page ready to be filled with new experiences.
To set the tone for a wonderful school year and to break the ice among students, incorporate some of these engaging first-day-of-school writing activities.
These activities encourage creativity, nurture a growth mindset, and fill the classroom with an air of excitement and possibility.
What’s more, students will discover more about you and have an opportunity to engage with their peers thus starting the process of building a classroom community.
Pencil into your back-to-school lesson plans a few of these fun first-day-of-school writing activities.
First-Day-of-School Writing Activities
1. Complete a Sequencing Activity About the First Day.
Towards the end of the first day of school, ask students to sequence their day.
Provide a sequencing graphic organizer, or have students respond in their writing workshop notebooks.
They’ll sequence the day into 6 to 8 parts, describing each section. Afterward, students discuss their sequencing timelines with the class or a partner.
2. Make Affirmation Posters.
Cultivate a growth mindset and an environment of positivity on the first day of school by having students create positive affirmation posters.
Put students in pairs, and provide each pair with a piece of chart paper.
Show students a list of positive affirmations. They will write one that they like on their chart paper and then neatly decorate the poster.
Once each pair is finished, place posters around the classroom or on a bulletin board.
3. List Essential Classroom Rules.
Ask students to individually make of list of classroom rules that they feel will cultivate a positive classroom community plus why they think these rules are important.
4. Complete a Classroom Job Application.
Motivate students to improve their persuasive writing skills by having them apply for a classroom helper job, providing good reasons as to why they should be chosen for a particular job.
5. Write Scavenger Hunt Riddles.
After participating in a first-day of-school scavenger hunt, ask pairs of students to create new riddles.
It’s exciting to observe students using creativity, rhyme, and rhythm to create additional riddles that you may want to use with next year’s class!
6. Draft a Series of SMART Goals.
A great first-day-of-school writing activity is to have students begin drafting their SMART goals.
They may need a bit of guidance to do this, so use these SMART goal examples for students as inspiration.
7. Compose an Acrostic Poem.
Provide students with a sheet of white paper. They write their name vertically, listing an adjective for each letter.
For example, SARA could have S – Silly, A – Artistic, R – Reliable, and A – Awesome.
8. Create An All About Me Flip Book.
This activity is on the list of classic first-day-of-school writing activities, and students rarely bore of it because it changes each year as they change!
Have students create an All About Me FlipBook that showcases their personality, likes, family, etc.
9. Respond to an Emoji Writing Prompt.
For this activity, students choose an emoji cutout template that best represents how they are feeling on the first day of school.
They then write a paragraph detailing why they feel this way.
Grab the entire First Day of School Emoji Writing bundle.
10. Write the Best Things About Summer Break.
This collection of first-day-of-school writing activities wouldn’t be complete without having an activity that gives students the opportunity to talk about their summer vacations.
Simply ask students to describe the best things that happened during their summer break.
11. Generate Interview Questions for the Teacher.
This activity is great for students to get to know their teachers better.
Provide each student with a notecard. She/he will write 1 to 3 appropriate questions for the teacher.
The teacher answers each card in a whole group format.
12. Share All the Things You Love.
Learn what things students love.
Provide each child with an All the Things I Love worksheet. (The heart with no lines allows students to create their own sections.)
Ask students to write in each section things that they love in general OR provide specific topics such as…
- All the things I love about my family
- All the things I love about school
- All the things I love about myself
Afterward, they decorate their hearts.
13. Draft a Letter to the Teacher.
Students draft a letter to the teacher introducing themselves.
In this letter, they may share their interests, hobbies, and goals for the new school year.
14. Write a Letter to Your Future Self.
Students share their hopes and dreams for the new school year.
One of the simplest first-day-of-school writing activities is journaling.
Journaling allows students the opportunity to reflect, express themselves, and release frustrations all while developing their writing skills.
Use monthly writing calendars to kickstart journaling on the first day of school.
16. Create a “Word Cloud”.
Ask students to create a “word cloud” of words that describe their feelings about the new school year.
This activity is a fun way for students to express their emotions and for you to discover how they’re feeling about the start of school.
17. Make a Bucket List.
Students write a list of goals they want to accomplish in the new school year.
Referring to the list quarterly will keep them motivated.
These activities set the stage for a year of inspiration, learning, and success.
No matter the subject or grade you teach, you’ll find a writing activity here to meet your needs on the first day of school.
Now you’re all set to start the year off well using these engaging first-day-of-school writing activities.