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Back to School and First Day Activities for 3rd 4th 5th grade and Jitter Juice

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This set of Back to School Activities for 3rd, 4th, & 5th Grade will not only save you time as you prep for the beginning of the school year, but it will also engage your first graders in meaningful and fun activities.

Teachers love how engaging and simple these activities are to prep, all while getting to know their students and building classroom community. There’s so much going on at the start of a new school year, and this resource will help relieve that burden with TEN fun, back to school activities.

Students love these activities because they help them share about themselves, get to know their classmates, and have fun the first week of school. They also help ease them into the routine and structure of a new classroom.

Jitter Juice is a tried-and-true class favorite that my students continued to talk about and reference as one of their best memories from the year. This is an original poem that I wrote to help ease the first day jitters, all while reading along and enjoying a yummy cup of Jitter Juice (recipe included)! Your students are guaranteed to LOVE this activity.

The Back to School Survey will help you students share about themselves with you and their classmates. Find out how they’re feeling about starting a new grade, what they’re good at, and what they’re excited to learn in your classroom. The self-portrait is always fun to draw and look back on at the end of the year, too!

Looking for an easy Ice Breaker? Find-a-friend is the perfect way to encourage your students to get to know one another by moving around the classroom and getting signatures from their friends. The prompts are easy and they get to collect signatures as they move around the room finding new friends!

Create a Class Book that shares all the new faces in your classroom! Students will draw a self-portrait (or you can use the My New Friend Activity) and you’ll combine each one into a class book that you can read and share with your new class so they can get to know one another better. This will make an excellent addition to your reading center or bookshelf, too – the kids love to look at the drawings they made!

Pair students together for a My New Friend activity. Students will interview one another to find out about them, and draw a picture of them. This is a fun way for new friendships to be made.

After a back to school read-aloud of your choice, find out how your students spent The Night Before ______ Grade. This is a writing activity where students will briefly draw and describe what they did before the big first day of school!

The following activities go great with the book First Grade Stinks! by Mary Ann Rodman or First Grade, Here I Come! By Nancy Carlson, but any book about first grade will do!

  • Activity #1: Complete a whole group tree map about their grade
  • Activity #2: Discuss the similarities and differences between their current grade and previous grade. Complete a whole group double bubble map and then have students complete the individual double bubble map
  • Activity #3: Journal activity using the included sentence starter

Create a My First Week of _______ Grade Book to share all the fun from the first week of first grade!

Make the What’s In A ______ Grader’s Backpack craftivity. This is a super simple craft where you can discuss what first graders need to be successful during the upcoming school year.

Love this activity, but teach a different grade? Find alternatives linked below:

Back to School Activities for Kindergarten

Back to School Activities for First Grade

Back to School Activities for Second Grade

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