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August 12, 2022

25 Free Downloadable Activities for Back to School

As the back-to-school season gets underway, teachers are always looking for new ideas to help liven up those first days back in the classroom. Sure, the same old lessons and activities will do, but why not add some fun get-to-know-you activities and engaging community building lessons to your toolbox? Below we’ve rounded up some of our favorite FREE downloadable activities, perfectly suited for those first 20 days (and beyond). And as a bonus, there’s very little prep needed. Just grab the template and go!

1. Class Museum Slides

Let your students highlight what makes them unique in this gamified collaborative Slides activity from ​​@MrsSeeley1. Students are tasked with creating an “All About Me” exhibit to fill in for a lost shipment of museum artifacts. Add images that tell about favorites, family, and plans for the future.

2. About Me Tic-Tac-Toe

Grab this simple tic-tac-toe template to guide your students to share about themselves. They can share with partners, discuss in small groups or you could project on the board as students go around and share with the whole group.

3. QR Code Teacher Read Aloud

This genius idea from @gradesandgrace will calm your early grade students and prepare them for a successful first day of school. Record a video of your favorite read aloud, along with a brief message to your incoming students. Link your video with a QR code and share with families before the first day. You’ll calm nerves and set a welcoming tone from Day 1. Grab the free download from TpT and get reading!

4. Attendance Questions List

We Are Teachers offers this great list of Attendance Questions or “AQs” to help bring some fun to those first minutes of class while also helping you get a quick head count. Read the full article to learn more about how to present your AQs and use this additional set of slides to add to your collection.

5. Write a Letter to Future You

While not a template, this website provides a platform for your students to write a letter to themselves, then send to an email address on a future date of their choice. Students can draft, revise, and edit their letter in Docs or Word, then paste onto the site. Think of all the positive and uplifting messages that can be sent with this amazing web tool!

6. Team Building with STEM Challenges

Gather your students into groups, pass out a few household materials like toothpicks and solo cups, then watch as they solve some fun STEM challenges! From building the tallest newspaper tower to surviving a moon crash landing to navigating a crocodile infested river, your students are sure to build connections as they work in partnership!

7. Four Corners Game

Use this template to help students learn more about the staff they’ll be working with this school year. Alternatively, you can gather student info and play as a class community building activity. All you need to do is project or read the questions aloud, then direct students to choose the corner of the room that corresponds to their answer. A classic classroom game with a twist!

8. Let’s “Tok” About Teaching

Whether you’re a fan of Tik Tok or have no idea how it all works, you’ll love this downloadable slide show full of embedded teaching activities straight from Tik Tok. No account required! This curated deck features fun games, classroom routines, and lesson ideas that will resonate with your social media savvy students!

9. Hopes and Dreams Hyperdoc

This interactive document filled with videos, articles, and journal prompts will guide your students through the process of setting academic and personal goals for the school year.

10-25. Digital Activities List

This treasure trove of templates and activities, from designing an album cover to playing Guess Who to creating a vision board. All activities include directions and templates that you can use right away as you plan for the first days of school.

Now that your teacher toolbox is overflowing with ideas, you are ready to start a new year!


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