Grab a Free Growth Mindset Escape Room for grades 4-8.


First Day of 5th Grade Activities that Will Have Students Falling in Love with Your Class

By the time students reach 5th grade, they have already been through the back-to-school first-day routines in five other grades. These students are finally at the top of the heap in elementary school, and they think they are above the usual first day of school routines. Keep things interesting in your 5th-grade class with five first-day of fifth-grade activities that will have students falling in love with your class.

1. Introductions

Instead of the typical introductions, your 5th graders can handle a little bit more fun than a younger class would. Instead of having students introduce themselves with their favorite summer memory, their favorite subject, favorite color, or an adjective that starts with the same letter as their name, mix things up. Have students introduce themselves with their first name and which actor or actress would play them in the movie version of their lives. Or, after telling their name to the class, share what they hope will NOT happen during their 5th-grade year. If you are really feeling adventurous, have students talk about a crazy dream they remember or one they wish they’d had. You will be surprised by the crazy replies you get, your students will have fun, and they will loosen up and love the first day of 5th grade.

2. Back to School About Me Doodle Stations

This great ice breaker activity is fun for 5th graders, the Back to School About Me Doodle Stations. If you’re looking to build a community with your 5th-grade classroom, this is the way to do it! Through 6 different ice breaker stations, students will answer a question by following specific directions and colorful codes. Students color in answers about their family, hobbies, food, pets, job ideas, and colors. Once they finish, encourage students to present their doodles to the class and explain them in a way that introduces each student. 

Chances are, your students know each other from previous years of school, but hopefully, this activity will have them learning new and interesting facts about one another!

3. Collaborative Classroom Rules

Help your 5th graders build a sense of ownership in the classroom with this first day of 5th-grade activity to collaborate on classroom rules. By this time, your students have been through several years of school and they have a pretty good idea of what the rules for the classroom should be. With a big white sheet of paper or a google doc presented on the wall, have students brainstorm classroom rules. There will be obvious rules that you would like your classroom to have, but you will be surprised at some of the inventive classroom rules students come up with. You will learn a lot about the new 5th graders in your class when they talk about the class rules they think should be enforced.

4. Back to School Escape Room

For something completely different, try an escape room for the first day of 5th grade. In the Back to School Escape Room, classroom rules are the focus. In a 5th grade classroom, there shouldn’t be too many rules and they shouldn’t be too complex. A few simple rules go a long way to classroom management for these near tween students. After research, trial, and error, I have decided on 4 universal classroom rules that I always set for my classes. 

  1. Listen and follow directions. 
  2. Respect your classmates and teacher. 
  3. Raise your hand before speaking. 
  4. Keep your hands and feet to yourself. 

Throughout the Back to School Escape Room, your students will be led on a secret mission around the classroom. Each clue and code is different for your students to decode these universal classroom rules. With this fun and crazy escape room activity, your students will have the first day of 5th grade that they will remember forever!

5. Back to School Bundle

Forget the first day of 5th grade, you need activities for the whole first week of 5th grade! If you’re like me and you want something to grab the attention of your 5th graders for the whole first week of school, check out the Back to School Bundle of activities and resources. Included in this bundle are ten different resources. Some of the excellent resources we’ve already talked about are included as well as some more that encourage decorating the classroom together through creativity, working together, and some distance learning activities that can be completed at home or during independent work time. By utilizing these resources included in the Back to School Bundle, the first day of 5th grade, and the whole first week will easily be remembered for years to come. 

Do I really need to do activities on the first day of 5th grade?

Yes. Absolutely you do. Not only does a fun activity break the ice and introduce everyone in the classroom, but it is fun. Activities like these help to create a sense of community in your classroom. For some of the students, it is the best and most healthy community they are a part of and it is our job as teachers to nourish that group of kids. Which activities will you embrace this year? What is your favorite activity that you always do on the first day of 5th grade?

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Grab a Free Growth Mindset Escape Room for grades 4-8.

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