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Back to School

Back to School Lessons for the Elementary Classroom

The ReadWriteThink website has been providing quality lesson plans, interactive student materials, web resources, and ELA standards to classroom teachers since October of 2002. Highlighted here are examples of some elementary lesson plans with a focus on back to school and creating classroom community.

Not your everyday calendar, here you can find important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, all with related activities and resources that make them more relevant to students. View by day, by week, or by month.

Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers, Podcast for Grades K-5
Emily Manning chats with kids, parents, and teachers about the best in children's literature for ages 4 through 11. Discussions include reading tips and fun activities to do with children before, during, and after reading.

Get ready to go back to school!
Students share details about their lives with one another using the interactive Graphic Map and share their memories in small groups or with the whole class.

Literature Circles: Getting Started
Students practice different ways of collaborating to read a work of literature. They work in different roles as they compose and answer questions, discover new vocabulary, and examine literary elements.

Genre Study: A Collaborative Approach
Students explore multiple genres through genre studies. They record evidence of genre characteristics on bookmarks as they read, and finish by giving a book review for their classmates.

Literacy Centers: Getting Started
This lesson gives teachers resources and guidance to create reading, listening, computer, and poetry Literacy Centers in their own classrooms.

Leading to Great Places in the Elementary Classroom
Students examine great leads in children's literature before writing or revising a lead in their own writing.

Literature Response in Primary Classrooms
This step-by-step literature response template for use with read-alouds asks students to use drawing and writing to respond to increasingly-complex prompts which address literary elements as well as personal connections.

Book Buddy Biographies: Intermediate and Primary Students Working Together
The success of a year-long Book Buddy program hinges on those first few days at the beginning of the year. As intermediate and primary students are first introduced, they have the opportunity to get to know each other on a more personal level by experiencing the writing process together.

Creating Classroom Community By Crafting Themed Poetry Collections
Back to school means new teachers, new classmates and many unanswered questions. In this lesson, students create poetry collections with a back-to-school theme of “getting to know each other.”

Opening the Door for Reading: Sharing Favorite Texts to Build Community
Students focus on reading and creating classroom displays focused on favorite texts in this lesson plan. The class explores environmental print in the classroom then focuses specifically on a teacher-created display that focuses on a favorite book. After exploring the teacher’s display, students create their own presentations on their favorites. By sharing favorite books in this way, teachers and students build community by getting to know more about one another.

Creating Class Rules: A Beginning to Creating Community
On the first days of school, students are led through a process for establishing year-long goals and needs for the classroom. These become the classroom guidelines which are used as a foundation for continuous community-building in the classroom.

Graphic Life Map Student Interactive Tool
The Graphic Map Student Interactive Tool offers a more extended and visual way for students to share information about themselves.

Developing a Living Definition of Reading in the Elementary Classroom
Using the guiding question, "What is reading?" this lesson invites students to interact with a variety of different texts as they attempt to uncover the skills necessary to successfully interact with the text. Based upon the discussion that follows, students will create a living definition of reading.

Our Classroom: Writing an Owner’s Manual
There are many back to school activities that take place to help create classroom community. It is important for students to feel that they belong in their classroom. They need to feel that they own the space and the learning that takes place in it. Foreground such ownership for students by collaboratively writing an owner’s manual that describes the classroom’s areas and procedures. The completed manuals can be shared at Open House or when new students join the classroom.


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