First Day of School Lesson Plans

 Where did the summer go?!  It has flown by so quickly, and it's almost time to start thinking about the first day of school.  In our district, the first official day is registration day, so the day is abbreviated.  Our first full school day comes right after that, so I thought I would share my lesson plans for second grade.  You could also adapt these for first grade.  I always over plan, just to be safe.  But in all honesty, we never get all of these activities finished.  The day flies by!  The most important thing to accomplish is making sure you and your students know how they are getting home at the end of the day.  Find this out first thing that morning if you don't already know.  I try to already have this information before the first day by reaching out on Class Dojo.  I'll do a breakdown of our day and share a free download of my first day of school lesson plans below.

FREE first day of school lesson plans for first and second grades.


I begin the day greeting students and families at the classroom door.  I already have baskets out with supply labels on them for sorting supplies.  Families can help students sort them while I continue greeting everyone.  I also post what I want in their art boxes in their desks.  (I actually prepared pencil pouches for my students this past year due to the pandemic.)


FREE first day of school lesson plans for first and second grades.


FREE first day of school lesson plans for first and second grades.


On their desks is a container of play doh.  I just let them play with it and build during arrival.  This is an activity that all can participate in and helps calm students.  I also have calming music playing in the classroom as they arrive.


FREE first day of school lesson plans for first and second grades.


After attendance, I bring students to the carpet.  We do a shortened version of our morning meeting and go over a few important rules and procedures.  Most procedures I teach as we come to them.  I use these slide templates to help make sure I cover everything I need to cover.  There is just too much to keep up with.


FREE first day of school lesson plans for first and second grades.

Here is a link to the Back to School Slides if you need these, too, like me. 

FREE first day of school lesson plans for first and second grades.

These are the morning meeting slides we use.


FREE first day of school lesson plans for first and second grades.

Here is a link to the Back to School Anchor Charts if you would rather do those instead of the PowerPoint slides.

We do a song or exercise to get moving before we read, Our Class is a Family.  After reading, we create a Classroom Promise together.  You can find lots of examples of these on Pinterest or in a Google search.  Students sign the poster when finished.


FREE first day of school lesson plans for first and second grades.


Students then go back to their desks to decorate their own name tags.  You can find the free template within the lesson plans.  While students are working on these, I help students who didn't get to sort supplies earlier and hang up backpacks. 


FREE first day of school lesson plans for first and second grades.

(Make sure to include your related arts time in your schedule.)

We next read, We Don't Eat Our Classmates.  I love this Book Buddy Play Doh Mat Activity by Perfect Blend Teaching to complete after the story.


FREE first day of school lesson plans for first and second grades.

This is a good time to do first day of school photos while students are working.  Find a cute well lit area of your room and take their pic holding a sign.  I love these pennant flags for first day photos!  You can add ribbon to match your school colors!

FREE first day of school lesson plans for first and second grades.


After completing this activity, we go on a tour of the school.  You can go over procedures as you tour the different parts of the school.

We then get ready for lunch.  I go over lunch room procedures in the classroom, or you can do it while on your tour.  Take students to the restroom before and go over procedures there.  

After lunch, it's important to give students time to relax and calm down.  I turn out the overhead lights and only have the lamps on.  Students can lay their head down, play with play doh quietly, or draw a picture.  I also like to sometimes do Cosmic Kids Yoga during this time.


FREE first day of school lesson plans for first and second grades.

Go over playground rules and procedures before going to recess.

After recess. we have Phonics.  I like to review letters, letter sounds, and vowels and consonants on the first day.  Before doing any of this, give students a piece of paper and ask them to write their upper and lowercase alphabet.  You may have to take them in the hallway to do this if you have an alphabet posted in your room.  This gives you great insight on who needs intervention in this area.  This can be one of your first skills groups you pull early on.


FREE first day of school lesson plans for first and second grades.


Afterwards, you can read Shiver Me Letters (also on YouTube).  I also do a song called Alpha Friends and teach students motions to go with each letter.


FREE first day of school lesson plans for first and second grades.

This one is super important: go over how students will get home.  I attach transportation tags to their backpacks at this time.  We then go over the dismissal routine and tour where they will each go at dismissal.  Go ahead and have them pack up at this point just to be safe.  The end of the day can get crazy.



For math time, we do a fun Watch, Think, Color by Primary Techie.  You could do one of her addition fact ones or the hundreds chart practice.  I LOVE these!

Finally, it's time to clean up and go home.  I love seeing how people structure their day in the classroom, so I hope this helps you!  If you have any questions, feel free to let me know!

Download the lesson plan by clicking the photo below!


FREE first day of school lesson plans for first and second grades.



1 comment

  1. I love all the ideas your post has to offer! As a first grade teacher I'm looking forward to reading "We don't eat our Classmates" to my students and completing the Book Buddy Play Doh Mat Activity to go along with it.

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