The first day of school is coming up soon, and you want to be prepared for students when they walk through the door.
A task that you may want to include in your first day of school checklist is first day of school writing activities.
Using these engaging first day of school writing activities, you’ll be able to informally assess how well students write and get to know a little about them.
They’ll get to know about you, learn some dos and don’ts of the classroom, and have an opportunity to engage with their peers thus starting the process of building a classroom community.
So go ahead and 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. Sequence the First Day of School.
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. Afterwards, students discuss their sequencing timelines with the class or a partner.
2. Make First Day of School 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.
Anytime the class or someone needs a bit of motivation, they refer to the positive affirmation posters.
3. List Essential Classroom Rules.
Ask students to individually make of list of classroom rules that they feel will cultivate a positive classroom community.
Afterward, they write why these rules are important.
If time permits, have some students share their lists and reasons why they are important to the class.
4. Apply For a Classroom Job.
This is arguably one of the most popular first day of school writing activities for students.
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.
Download a classroom jobs application.
5. Brainstorm Riddles for the First Day of School Scavenger Hunt.
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.
Download SMART goals worksheet.
7. Compose an Acrostic Poem Using Your Name.
An acrostic poem is one of the easiest first day of school writing activities because students use their own names to create it.
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.
The decorated poems make for a nice first day of school bulletin board!
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.
If time permits, a few students may share their books.
9. Have Fun With First-Day-of-School Emojis.
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.
They may then share their writings with the class.
11. Generate Interview Questions for the Teacher.
Students are usually curious about their teachers, so why not tame that curiosity by answering some of their most pressing questions?
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
Afterwards, they may decorate their hearts.
13. Draft a Letter to the Teacher Introducing Yourself.
Students draft a letter to the teacher introducing themselves.
Suggested information to include…
- family info.
- likes/dislikes (e.g. foods, animals, books, movies)
- what they did during summer vacation
- favorite subjects
- things they like to do on the weekend
- anything they want the teacher to know about them
14. Put Together a Time Capsule.
This super cool first day of school writing activity engages even the most reluctant.
First, provide students with a manila folder; it will serve as a time capsule.
Now create four writing stations:
Station 1: Taking Measurements – Students measure their heights and shoe sizes.
Station 2: SMART goals – Students write a series of SMART goals they want to accomplish this school year.
Station 3: Story Starter – Students respond to the prompt, “I hope to learn this school year…”.
Station 4: Writing Prompt – Choose any writing prompt to share. The purpose is for students to compare and contrast their writing at the beginning vs. end of the school year.
After students have completed all four stations, place the writing pieces in their respective time capsule folders.
They’ll revisit the time capsules at the end of the school year and see how things turned out!
One of the simplest first day of school writing activities is journaling.
Journaling is a great habit for students to have because it allows them the opportunity to reflect, express themselves, and release frustrations all while developing their writing skills.
Use these monthly writing calendars to kickstart journaling on the first day of school.
16. Compare and Contrast a Classmate.
Students compare and contrast themselves to a classmate.
Pair students, and provide each with a Venn Diagram. They’ll note any similar and different personality traits, physical traits plus likes/dislikes.
17. Complete a Survey or Poll.
To get to know students better, ask them to contribute to a survey or poll.
Topics include birthday months, how they get home, lunch choices, favorite subjects, and the number of siblings.
This fun writing activity integrates writing, math, and analytical skills.
To start this whole group activity, collect the data by asking students for their individual information.
Then, depending on the subject, create a pie, pictograph, bar, or tally chart/graph for the data as a whole group activity.
Record information on a piece of chart paper so that it’s visible to all.
Afterwards, students write a summary of the graph, interpreting the results.
Final Thoughts: First Day of School Writing Activities
Now you’re all set to start the year off well using these engaging first day of school writing activities.