Discover 15 First Day of School writing activities that are engaging ways to interact with the new group of kids in your classroom. Plus, you’ll find 9 first day of school writing ideas and 5 School Success Tips!
It’s back to school time, and when the school year begins, teachers have a limited amount of time to get to know their students and to assess their current academic standing. Writing is an essential part of any curriculum, regardless of the age of the students or the grade level that they are in.
From kindergarten teachers who are just introducing the concept of writing to middle school and high school teachers who are helping their students expand their writing portfolios, everyone is working on evaluating their students’ current levels and creating a plan to help move their students forward.
New year writing activities allow teachers to get to know a little bit more about their students while also developing an understanding of where their current writing skills are at and how to improve them.
15 New School Year Writing Activities
- Ask your students to write a letter of introduction. This allows them to share personal information with you that can help you personalize your curriculum and also gives you an opportunity to evaluate their current writing skills.
- Have your students draw a picture of their favorite memory from summer vacation. Then, ask them to write a descriptive paragraph about their image.
- Tell your students to list three resolutions they have for the new school year. This gives students an opportunity to reflect on the upcoming year and to set goals for themselves.
- Encourage your students to create a rule for the classroom. After they have decided on the rule, ask them to explain in writing why they think that rule should be implemented.
- Ask your students to write an opinion piece related to current events. This is best for middle school and high school students, but it helps them to connect the real world with life inside their new classroom.
- Have your students create a set of interview questions that they would like to ask you. Then, read their questions and respond to each student. This will help them feel more comfortable and at ease with you in your classroom.
- Tell your students to write an essay about what their perfect day at school would look like. Make sure that they include plenty of adjectives as they describe the entire day.
- To teach your students about different styles of writing and the different purposes for writing, have them write copy for an advertisement. Their advertisement should be designed to recruit a new friend who has all of the qualities needed to make a great buddy. This is a great way to get students thinking about how they can treat others as they meet other students in their new class.
- Set up a blog for your classroom and ask each student to come up with a post that can be added to the blog throughout the year.
- Match each student in the class with another student that they do not know. Ask them to interview each other and then write a news-style article to introduce that classmate to the rest of the class.
- Tell each student to create one personal and attainable goal for their school year. Then, ask them to write the steps they will need to take to achieve that goal.
- Have students draw their name vertically in an artistic way. Then, ask them to write a poem using the letters of their name.
- Ask students to write a book review about one book that they read over summer vacation. Have them present their review to the class in order to get other students excited about reading new books.
- Ask your students to write a journal entry about their favorite thing that they did during the summer. Make sure that they explain why it was their favorite memory and have them talk about anything they learned from the experience.
- Encourage your students to write a personal reflection about one way they hope to improve themselves in the school year. They can talk about old habits that they may need to change or ways that they plan to hold themselves accountable this year.
9 First Day of School Writing Ideas
Below you will find a listing of some useful back-to-school writing prompts for kids. Use these prompts to help your child get the new school year off to the best start possible.
- What excites you most about starting school?
- Do you have concerns about beginning school? What are they?
- What do you like the best about school and why?
- What do you like the least and why?
- How do you feel about your new teachers(s)?
- Are there worries you have about starting school?
- Do you feel comfortable beginning school? Would you like to take a tour of it (again) or go over your schedule? Is there anything else you need to make the experience more enjoyable?
- Is there a friend or a buddy you can count on to help you through the first week of school? Explain who and why.
- Are there ideas you’d like to share about how to make your new school year the best that it can be?
The possibilities for the new school year are endless, as long as your students keep on writing!
School Success Tips
The First Days of School: 5 Tips to Starting Off Right—
The first day of school is fun and exciting for students and parents. But for many kids, starting school can be a stressful and challenging time. A child may have an especially difficult time if she is attending a new school.
To start the school year off on the right foot, I offer parents, children, and teachers these five tips for school success.
School Success Tip #1 – Do Something for your Child to Celebrate the Start of a New School Year
To start the school year off right, parents can give their child a special back to school gift. Some thoughtful gift ideas are a unique bookmark to use in their school books, a special journal, or a distinctive pen or pencil for writing. (Sometimes the smallest gift can mean the world to a child.)
Another great idea is to write your child a letter or poem that they can read on their first day of school or during the first week of school. Then, at the end of the week, schedule a special get together to review the poem and your child’s first week of school and discuss how things went for them.
Tip #2 – Stress Relievers
Children need to learn stress management tools so that they can maintain a healthy balance in their day. A few simple activities for managing stress include art activities, physical exercise, game-playing, dancing, and singing. Or, parents might just give their child a great big hug and treat her to a special night of quality parent-child time together.
It is vital to teach kids that by handling stress positively we can live better and enjoy greater success in every area of our lives, including school.
Tip #3 – Monitor Child’s Behavior and Encourage Self Care
A major contributor to a child’s learning and school success is helping children learn to identify when they are feeling overwhelmed, worn out or in need of rejuvenation. Behaviors such as losing one’s temper, overreacting, or disinterest in one’s favorite hobbies indicate a need for self-care.
Self-care is taking action with the intention of improving or restoring one’s mental and emotional health. Some people also call this “Me Time”. Whatever you call it, children can practice activities that will restore balance and wellness to their day.
A wonderful example of a self-care activity for kids is to play games outdoors. By doing so children will get exercise, use their imaginations, benefit from playing with friends, and regain a sense of balance.
Tip #4 – Journal Keeping: A Great Tool for Overcoming Fears & Anxieties
Returning to school can present a child with challenges such as fear and anxiety about making new friends, being accepted by others, being liked by their teacher(s), being successful, and the threat of bullies. Kids need to know how to deal with these fears and how to overcome them.
One of my favorite solutions to overcoming personal fears and anxiety is journal keeping. When a child keeps a journal, she is able to record her feelings about events in her life and work through those negative feelings related to those events. This is an especially useful tool to use before the start of school and throughout the entire school year.
There are many writing journals for kids, and I suggest that you choose a special one that suits your child’s personality to help him or her begin a journaling practice. Of course, you could always have your child use a simple notebook as a journal or take things a step further and create a brilliant homemade journal together.
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