Are you ready to start your new semester with a bang? These back to school activities for ELA build collaboration, critical thinking, and classroom community. Students get to know your classroom, share about themselves, and interview peers. (optimized for grades 7-10)
1. Back to School Escape Room (paper + digital) – 45-60 minutes
Students work in teams to learn about your classroom, read your syllabus, and get to know the supplies and technology they’ll need.
2. Peer Interview Project (paper + digital) – 2 45-minute classes
Students create questions to interview a peer, conduct the interview, and present what they’ve learned.
3. Personal Shield Project (paper + digital) – 45-60 minutes
Students create a shield to represent themselves and write an analysis of the symbols they use. (Presentations in small groups or whole-class could make this two class periods)
4. Round Robin Creative Writing (paper + digital) – 45-60 minutes
Students write very short stories as a team, passing around a paper to continue the story. (Possibility to extend by sharing or revising)
5. Asset-Based Profile (paper only) – 45-60 minutes
Students analyze the soft skills demonstrated by three gamers in a fictional story. Then, they reflect on their own soft skills and complete a word cloud illustration.
6. Planning Tool: Inclusive Short Stories
This curated list will help you choose contemporary, inclusive short stories to share this school year. This growing list includes summaries, potential discussion questions, and standards alignment.
⭐️ BONUS: Free Week of Collaborative Team Trivia Bell Ringers
⭐️ BONUS: Free Week of 5-Minute Journal Prompts
Your download is a .zip file containing the individual resources. All of the resources except for the Asset-Based Profile are paper + digital.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. 🙂
This Back to School Activities resource includes an editable BtS Escape Room.
If you’re ready to make (and sell!) your own fabulous escape rooms, check out this Escape Room Template Kit which you can use for back to school activities and so much more. Happy creating!
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