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15+ Innovative & Adaptable Back to School Resources for Secondary ELA

Back to school resources round up sits atop a black chalkboard with a book stack in the lower right corner and an apple atop the book stack. in the lower left corner, there is an open notebook with a pen resting on the pages.

Even though I have been teaching for 5 years, each year I ask myself, “How do I prepare for coming back to school?”

Although the mental and emotional preparation needs a whole different approach, I always feel best when I have a handful of ready-to-go back to school resources that will help me survive the first two weeks.

2023-2024 back to school resources rests atop a bubble gum pink background with various school supplies scattered about

So, without further ado, I have compiled and categorized some of my favorite back to school resources to save you the time researching (and planning)!

Categorized Back to School Resources

Here are the categories listed for your convenience: 
⭐ Escape rooms
⭐ Bell ringers
⭐ Writing
⭐ Reading
⭐ Speaking & listening
⭐ Teacher toolbelt
⭐ Poster sets

Escape Rooms

⭐ Skip the awkwardness between students in the first week by bringing out their fun, competitive nature
⭐ Set an immediate tone for engaging learning
⭐ Have students learn without even knowing it

Have some questions about escape rooms? We’ve got answers!

Click the title of the back to school resources below to learn more.

✨ Icebreakers
✨ Supply scavenger hunt
✨ Syllabus close reading quiz
✨ Growth mindset cryptoquotes
✨ An optional growth mindset writing activity

Check out volume 1 HERE and volume 2 HERE!

Want an editable ELA escape room you can reuse & adapt all year long? Here’s one of my most popular escape rooms!

Back to school escape room bundle with a diagonally split screen: one side with a virtual classroom and one side with papers layered atop each other.

Includes 4 paper tasks:
✨ Get to know you BINGO or a questionnaire
✨ Supplies & resources riddles
✨ Syllabus close read
✨ Growth mindset quotes

Includes 4 digital tasks:
✨ Meet the teacher video
✨ Meet the EdTech scavenger hunt
✨ Syllabus close read
✨ Secret code minigame

Get this back to school resource here!

Bell ringers

⭐ Community builders
⭐ Reusable year-round
⭐ Gives you time to take attendance, send a quick email, or take a sip of water at the start of class
⭐ You can try a free sampler!

Looking for other ways to incorporate team trivia in the classroom? 

Click the title of the back to school resources below to learn more.

various classroom bell ringers appear overlapped with the title "Collaborative Trivia Bell Ringers"

Includes 80 different ELA trivia bell ringers (or exit tickets) to strengthen ELA skills and classroom community

Check out the back to school resource bell ringer bundle here!

Each volume contains 40 different ELA trivia bell ringers. If you want all 160, check out the mega bundle below!

Volume 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Volume 4

Collaborative Bell ringers Mega Bundle

Includes 160 cards from Bell Ringers Volumes 1-4

Get this MEGA BUNDLE resource here!


⭐ Scaffold writing while engaging learners
⭐ Easy to adapt & differentiate for different learning needs, classes, units, etc.
⭐ Writing fluency is key to improving writing

Click the title of the back to school resources below to learn more.

These journal prompts are…
✨ Low-stakes, short prompts on a variety of topics
✨ Designed to be completed in 5 min. or less
✨ Perfect for bell ringers or exit tickets
✨ Boosts struggling writers’ confidence and stamina
✨ Each prompt asks about personal experiences (meaning there are no “right” or “wrong” answers)

Snag this popular back to school resource here!

Interactive notebooks for secondary ELA yearlong bundle written over a magenta colored text box with layered pile of papers showcasing various student workThis grades 7-10 ISN bundle is versatile & adaptable for a:
✨ Short story unit
✨ Novel study
✨ Drama unit
✨ Poetry unit

Find out more about this yearlong resource!

Looking strictly for high school ISNs that can be paired with a short story unit?


⭐ These resources give you an EASY way to incorporate independent reading in your curriculum without dreading the prep work

Click the title of the back to school resources below to learn more.


Use these reading response cards as/with:
✨ Writing prompts
✨ Discussion topics for pairs or small groups
✨ A focused activity for quiet reflection
✨ Independent reading
✨ Class novel
✨ Literature circles

Learn more about this best-selling resource!

✨ A range of proposed activities for independent or class novel reading
✨ Paper & digital options
✨ 100% editable if you want to change things up
✨ Opportunity for student choice

Snag this back to school resource here!

Speaking & listening

⭐ Get students building community within the first weeks of school
⭐ Set the tone for expected rigor AND support with public speaking tasks

Click the title of the back to school resources below to learn more.

Back to School Peer InterviewStudents interview a peer & present to the class.
✨ Increase engagement
✨ Build classroom community
✨ Jumpstart their speaking & listening skills

Check out the preview for this resource to learn more!

Teacher toolbelt

⭐ Whether you’re a veteran or new teacher, set yourself up for success with editable, ready-to-go resources that can be adapted to fit your units without a ton of work

Click the title of the back to school resources below to learn more.

✨ Each rubric is available as holistic or analytic
✨ Makes grading transparent, consistent, & quick
✨ Fully adaptable to your needs
✨ Establish clear talking points for conferences, peer review, & self-reflection

Implement this resource ALL YEAR LONG to save time on grading!

✨ Use throughout the year
✨ Mix-and-match for different units
✨ Includes self-reflection activities

Try out these easy-to-incorporate peer feedback activities throughout the year!

Poster sets

⭐ Decorate your classroom meaningfully with inclusive posters that represent the students you teach
⭐ Use your students’ creative literacy-based art projects to decorate your walls, so they feel celebrated

Click the title of the back to school resources below to learn more.

LGBTQ+ Poster - History Set
✨ Nine inspirational and historical Queer people
✨ Each poster includes an inspirational quote
✨ Includes optional writing activity

Check it out here!

✨ Includes nine famous women in history
✨ Each poster includes an inspirational quote
✨ Includes an optional writing activity

Find out who is included in this poster set here!

ELA Vocabulary Poster ProjectIncludes 3 sets of vocabulary activities:
✨ Literary devices
✨ Drama terms
✨ Figurative language

Have your students create your classroom decor at the start of the year!

Closing remarks

If you are looking for another option, this Back to School Resources Bundle is a great combination of some resources listed above! Lastly, here is an article detailing 5 ways to connect with your students at the start of the school year.

I hope ANY of these back to school resources alleviate the chaos of the first few weeks of school. 

It can be really hard to remember, but the first few weeks will merely be a blur come October. 

Do your best, keep the kids alive, and have fun learning!

❤️🧡💛 Danielle & I are wishing you an INCREDIBLE 2023-2024 school year. 💚💙💜