First Day of School Lesson Plan for Language Arts

Updated: Aug 6

The first day of school is SO busy! The days leading up to the first day are filled with preparing the classroom and meetings. I want to take one thing off of your full plate...First Day of School Lesson Plans for your Language Arts Block.

This First Day of School Activity Pack for your Language Arts Block will have you and your students ready for the year.

At the end of the first day, you will have pieces of student work to create student banners that can hang in your classroom or in the hallway. The Student Banner incorporates activities from throughout the day--All About Me, My Reading Life, and My Writing Purpose.

Student My Reading and Writing Life Banner

Student All About Me Banner

Read about the printables and the steps for creating this student banner below.

The first day of school is full of Read Alouds, discussing and practicing expectations and procedures, as well as, getting to know your new group of students.

My lesson plan for the first day of school was really a To Do list and schedule of events because let's face it, the first day of school does not follow a traditional lesson plan format.

Every first day of school should have a quick and easy task for students to do once they enter the room because you will be busy welcoming all the students at the door. This could be puzzles, books to browse, or unpacking supplies. It could be anything based on your teaching style and the level of activity you are comfortable with on the first day.

Once every student is in it's time for a Welcome and Introduction of yourself, as well as, a tour of the classroom. I always had a short bio of myself and a few pictures to help students get to know a little about me.

Of course, the expectations and procedures must be addressed and then weaved throughout the rest of the day as practice. It all comes down to discussing the expectations necessary in a solid Learning Community like ours. We would chart what a learning community looked like, sounded like and felt like.

Now onto the FUN stuff... the getting to know each other activities. I always wanted to get to know my students but a big part of my first day was for students to begin taking ownership of their new learning community.

The first day had to incorporate some type of personalization. I wanted my students to see themselves as part of the classroom.

So as a part of the welcoming activity, students would complete some version of an "All About Me" activity, so I could get to know them a little.

While teaching the procedures of how to come together for a lesson in Reading and Writing, we would start talking about ourselves again. This time, the focus would be on our Reading and Writing.

For Reader's Workshop, we would start creating our reading lives. The procedure for TURN & TALK would be explained and practiced.

Writing Workshop would center around our own personal purposes for writing. Each of these lessons would require students to write about their reading lives and writing lives.

The First Day of School Lesson Plan and Activity Pack

My lesson plans for the first day of school looked very much like the ones in the above photo--a checklist and schedule. I would make notes about each block of time throughout the day and what I needed to complete.

Just a my First Day of School Lesson Plan Activity Pack all that is necessary is to fill in the time frames for each activity, decide on read-aloud titles you want to share during the day and your special activity times, such as PE, Art, Music, Lunch and Recess. You may need to add a few notes for your own specific campus and classroom needs.

The day would always end with a quick reflective piece for students. Students would be nudged to think about their day and complete a quick reflection activity, such as the one below using the Two Word Strategy from Linda Hoyt.

First Day of School Lesson Plan Two Word Strategy Activity

The First Day of School Two Word Strategy Reflection is included to intentionally to nudge students towards routine reflections at the end of each school day.

Then after the Read Aloud titles and timeframes for each block of the day are decided, all that is left is to organize the supplies needed for the first day of school.

I liked to organize all of the materials needed for the first day on my small group table, so all I had to do was grab and go. There is no time to waste on the First Day of School!

First Day of School Lesson Plan and Activities for Language Arts

The First Day of School Lesson Plan and Activity Pack

includes most of the supplies you will need for the first day of school

At the end of the day, the Reading Banner, Writing Purpose and All About Me pages can be assembled to create student banners to start bringing the classroom community together.

First Day of School Lesson Plan and Activities for Language Arts

Steps to creating the student banners

Then at the end of the day, I would do my own kind of reflection and jot notes and considerations for the next day.

This First Day of School Activity Pack for your Language Arts Block will have you and your students ready to start the year.

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Until next time...

#literacyexperiences #minilessons #backtoschool


Here at Literacy Treasures, I LOVE to talk about reading and writing and share with teachers all that I've learned about what it takes to build strong readers and writers. I have immersed myself in the research of Lucy Calkins, Jennifer Serravallo, Stephanie Harvey, Debbie Miller, Carl Anderson, Gay Su Pinnell, Irene Fountas and so many others.  Every resource, strategy, tool, minilesson and teaching tip that is shared on Literacy Treasures is rooted in this research