4 Fabulous First Week of School ELA Activities

ELA activities for the first week of school need to be a perfect fit. Try these ready-made plans for the best back-to-school ever! Your third or fourth grade students will love them. Furthermore, you’ll meet multiple standards.

Ms. Sneed Plans Back-to-School ELA Activities

Our favorite fourth grade teacher, Ms. Sneed, sighed deeply. Yep. It was time to start planning. The school year would begin in just a few short weeks.

First, she thought about her ELA lesson plans. Hmm. Where to begin. As she scanned through the standards, she pondered building blocks. Which skills were necessary at the beginning of the year.

As she read, Ms. Sneed made a list:


As usual, Ms. Sneed searched Teachers pay Teachers first. Bingo! She found a complete Poetry, Drama, and Prose unit with slideshows, practice sheets, and an assessment. The set used traditional children’s literature.

This poetry, prose, and drama unit is perfect for the first week of school. First, third or fourth grade students learn about specific structures. Then they practice identifying forms of literature with mixed literature passages.

Are you feeling “pinspired”? Feel free to pin images from this post.

A theme formed in her head. Yes, Ms. Sneed would focus on nursery rhymes and fairy tales. That way, her brand-new fourth graders could find comfort in simple, familiar tales.


Next, she scanned materials for similes and metaphors. Soon she found a unit that taught figurative language with fairy tales. The corners of her mouth turned up. Sure enough, her back-to-school plans were taking shape.

Two slideshows teach kids about similes and metaphors. Both are fairy tale themed. Slideshows, worksheets, and assessments are included.

As she continued searching, she talked herself through her remaining plans. “I need an icebreaker and writing sample.” Just then, a free resource popped up. Wonderful!

First, kids find out more about their classmates with an About My Class icebreaker. Then they complete a page telling about themselves. Finally, they choose one part of the About Me to write a paragraph. This gives you a writing sample during the first week of school.


However, Ms. Sneed still had three days of writing to plan. “How about some poetry?” she pondered. And there it was: writing fairy tale limericks.

Kids learn about limericks then write their own fairy tale themed limericks.

First Week of ELA Activities

Ms. Sneed pulled out her plan book and plotted the lessons. What a load off her mind! Now she could relax and enjoy the last few magical days of summer break.

Five days of balanced ELA lesson plans kick off the first week of school In reading, kids work on structures of stories, poems, and plays. In language, they learn about similes and metaphors. For the first two days, they work on a beginning of year writing sample. Then they write limericks.

Enjoy Teaching

I taught fourth grade for more than 30 years. Now I tell my teaching tales through the eyes of Ms. Sneed, a fictitious teacher. Over the course of my career, I realized that there were 6 steps to enjoy teaching. Hopefully, my stories and strategies will inspire you to enjoy teaching too!

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