Start January off on the right foot with your students with these 16 fun and fabulous New Years writing activities! These new year writing activities are designed to help students improve their writing skills while also focusing on a positive start to the new year.
As you begin the New Year in your classroom, your students will be refreshed and rejuvenated from the holiday break. This is an ideal time to review the norms that were established in the classroom at the beginning of the year and to revisit any goals that were established back in September. It is also a wonderful time of year to establish new priorities with your students.
Moreover, at the start of the New Year, teachers and homeschoolers may want to review their remaining curriculum to ensure that writing is a top priority during the second half of the school year. To renew your commitment to improving your students’ writing skills in the new year, consider incorporating these New Years writing activities into your lesson plans for the first few days back at school after the holiday break. Of course, because we love writing, we think writing skill development is a high priority for all students in all grade levels.
We hope you use the following writing activities for students to kick off the year and wish you and your students a very Happy New Year!
16 New Years Writing Activities for Students
New Years Writing Activity #1 — Write a New Years Poem
In the classroom, students should be encouraged to explore different styles of writing. Poetry is a great way for elementary students to learn to express themselves while improving their writing skills.
For this activity, ask your students to write a poem that describes their hopes and dreams for the New Year. The poem can be written in any style that they prefer.
Activity #2 — Describe the Experience of New Years Eve
With this activity, students can spend time reflecting on the fun they had with their family and friends over the holiday break. Ask them to write a descriptive journal entry about their New Years celebrations. They should include any activities they enjoyed as well as discuss their feelings about the new year.
Activity #3 — Research Cultural Celebrations and Write a Report
Students are often surprised to discover that different cultures commemorate the new year in unique ways. Each student can be assigned a different country or community for this activity. Then, they will be required to research the New Years celebrations for that group of people and detail their findings in a report that can be presented to the class.
Activity #4 — Write Directions for Sticking to Your Resolutions
It’s easy to come up with New Years resolutions, but it’s a lot harder to see those resolutions through. To help your students stay committed to their resolutions, ask them to write a set of simple directions to keep them focused on their goals.
Activity #5 — Best and Worst: A Reflection of the Previous Year
Sometimes, the best way to move forward in the New Year is to come to terms with the year that has passed. Have your students explore their thoughts and feelings on the past year in a journal entry, where they are required to outline the best part of the year as well as the worst part.
Activity #6 — Design a Calendar of Goals
In this activity, students will be required to look past those generic New Years resolutions that everyone makes and then promptly forget about after a few days. Rather than making resolutions, have your students outline one attainable goal for each month of the year and describe with actionable steps how they plan to achieve that monthly goal.
Activity #7 — Start a New Year Happiness Jar
Positivity is a great thing to focus on in the New Year, especially in the classroom. To emphasize the need for thinking good thoughts, have your students begin a classroom Happiness Jar. This project requires students to write down moments and memories that make them feel happy. They can fold up their answer and stick it in the jar. The jar makes for a fun reflection at the end of the school year.
Activity #8 — Write a Toast for the New Year
Consider hosting a classroom party to commemorate the New Year, and incorporate this writing activity into the celebration. Provide some fruit juice and pour a little in each student’s glass. Then, ask each student to write a toast for the New Year to share with their classmates. You and the entire class will have fun ringing in the New Year in the classroom.
Activity #9 — New Year, New You: How You Hope to Grow This Year
Have your students write an essay about how they want to improve themselves and grow in the New Year. This will help them reflect on the past while focusing on the possibility for the future.
Activity #10 — Resolve to be a Better Classroom: Making Community Resolutions
New Years resolutions do not have to be an individual endeavor. In your classroom, you can transform the New Year into a community-building experience.
Ask your students to write down suggestions for classroom resolutions that everyone can be committed to. Then, compile all the suggestions and have the students vote to determine the top three choices.
Lastly, display your new community resolutions in the classroom to help your students remember them.
Activity #11 — Write a Story About an Old Habit You Wish to Break
This is the best time of the year to consider breaking an old habit and adopting a new, more productive lifestyle. Explain to your students the detriment that bad habits can have on their personal lives as well as their educational development.
For example, waiting until the last minute to do their homework can cause them stress and often leads to shoddy work.
Ask your students to write about a bad habit they wish to break, the effect it has on their life, and what they wish to do differently in the new year.
Activity #12 — Set Your Own New Year’s Resolutions
Spend some time in the classroom discussing New Year’s Resolutions and the tradition of making them prior to New Year’s Eve. Ask your students to write about three resolutions that they wish to make for the new year.
In addition, have your students outline a plan of action that will allow them to keep their resolutions not only in January but also throughout the months ahead.
Activity #13 — Write a Fictional Story About a Character with a Goal for the New Year
Your students may need to spend some time developing their creative writing skills in the new year, which is why a fictional writing activity is important to incorporate into the curriculum.
Ask your students to create a character and allow them to set a goal for their character to accomplish. This gives them a chance to learn about developing a personality through writing while also introducing them to the elements of a story, including establishing a conflict for the story as well as a solution.
Activity #14 — Establish New Rules for the New Year
By January, your students know what to expect when they come into your classroom. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they like all of the rules. Allow them to have some fun after returning from break, and ask your students to write a new set of rules for the classroom.
Tell your students that they need to remember that rules are designed to keep the classroom in order, and ask them to identify the ways that their rules will enhance the classroom experience.
Activity #15 — Write About 3 People You Wish to Connect within the New Year
In addition to setting personal and educational goals, you could ask your students to consider the people that they want to create relationships within the coming months.
Perhaps there is a new student in the class that they could reach out to, or maybe they could work on forming a better relationship with an elderly family member. Their writing assignment should require them to identify the individuals as well as discuss what they will do to connect with those people.
Activity #16 — Create a Journal Entry About Last Year’s Resolutions
While many writing prompts in January will focus on the year ahead, you could also request that your students evaluate and analyze the year that has gone by.
Ask them to identify the resolutions they made the previous year, and identify if they were able to stick to their goals. This can help them come up with ideas for realistic and valuable resolutions to make in the coming year.
January marks the beginning of the second half of the school year, and it’s certainly a time to start looking ahead at your goals for the new year. Work with your students to keep them writing and progressing throughout their grade level, and allow them to learn to enjoy the creative writing process.
While it may be a time to ditch some old ways and create new habits, you’ll never want your students to stop writing!
Until next time, write on…
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