Back to school time means resource round-up time! If you are in the market for some great back to school resources for upper elementary that will keep your students focused, engaged, and using their fingers to create some awesome back to school projects, then you have come to the right place.
For years, I have focused on creating quality resources that ask students to think critically, use their fine motor skills to create and produce, and put students in situations where they have clear goals and outcomes. Check out the wonderful selection of back-to-school resources that provide all of that and more!
Back to School Resources for Upper Elementary
Special Note: Many of the resources on this list are part of different bundles. If you like the resource type and are interested in getting even more of those resources for your classroom, it is recommended that you read the resource descriptions closely and consider a bundle to save money in the long term.
#1 | Back to School Checkers
Use this printable checkerboard to help students get to know each other!
As students play checkers against each other, they will use the prompts on the board to ask each other questions. This is a fun way to engage students and help them learn from and about each other!
#2 | Back to School Bag Book
This fun bag book allows students to reflect on their summer and look into the future of their time in your class. They will document and discuss everything from the teacher’s name to student goals and what it looks like to fill someone’s bucket. This is a great, interactive activity to get students cutting, coloring, writing, and drawing throughout the first week of the school year.
#3 | Back to School Accordion Envelope
This Accordion Envelope activity is similar to the bag book in number 2, but the format is a little different and the theme of the images is a bit different. The goal is to introduce students to the class while also providing a hands-on activity to get them creating early in the year!
#4 | Back to School Digital Puzzles
If you are looking for some quick, easy-to-set-up math activities, then these Digital Back to School Puzzles will be a lifesaver! These puzzles are a great way to motivate students to think critically and work on some math skills like adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing. Students are also asked to use logical thinking and visual discrimination skills. The puzzles are challenging, but fun, and will be the perfect addition to your back-to-school resource line-up!
#5 | Back to School Lockbox Challenge
Can your students save the school? If you have a lockbox and locks (or you’re willing to pick some up), then this activity is super fun! See if your students can solve the riddles and complete the challenges to save the school!
If you are new to lockbox activities this blog post that takes you on a tour of my lockboxes, will help set a foundation for what these activities can look like. If the cost of setting up the lockbox has you hesitating, I also have a post here where you can read about funding a lockbox.
#6| Back to School Digital Jigsaw
Work on those reading skills and earn puzzle pieces while working through this Back to School Digital Jigsaw puzzle. In order to earn a puzzle piece, students will need to read short, back to school-themed passages and then answer questions about author’s purpose, cause & effect, character traits, context clues, and making predictions.
I love this resource as a complement to the Back to School Digital Math Puzzles we mentioned in #4!
#7 | Back to School Escape Tale
Escape obstacles by solving complex patterns and number puzzlers. Each correct answer will “unlock” the next part of the adventure. This back-to-school themed math resource will have your students thinking critically to solve each puzzle and move on to the next part of the problem. Since these are created using Google Forms, these resources are easy to set up and distribute to students to keep the flow of your first couple of weeks smooth!
#8| Back to School Build-It
In this Build-It activity, students answer 2-step math word problems to “build” (or pack) a lunchbox for school. Each correct answer unlocks a food item (for example a sandwich, a juice box, a banana, a cookie, etc.). With three different levels available in each resource, teachers can easily differentiate for students or use it for multiple age groups (Grades 3-5).
#9 | Qualities of a “Sharp” Student Tab Book
Students need to be explicitly taught how to be a good student, and this cactus-themed tab book is the perfect foundational tool to start that learning. When preparing back to school activities, some teachers dive right into the content, but it’s important to teach students how to be successful at school first. I discussed this in a recent post, which you can view here.
The Qualities of a ‘Sharp’ Student Tab Book is a resource to help support your students as they learn what a good student does and how they act. We’ve done an in-depth look at this resource before in this blog post!
#10 | September Puzzle of the Day
It’s never too early to set some daily practices in the classroom, and this September Puzzle of the Day resource is a great place to start. These can be used for early finishers, morning work, centers, or to engage students during a whole group lesson. These puzzles are the perfect enrichment activity for students!
The puzzles are different every day, and there is a different set for every month, so you can make them a part of your routine!
#11 | Wiggle, Digi, and Pop Rule Story
I don’t know about you, but it wouldn’t be back to school time without Wiggle, Didgi, and Pop! This fun back to school story about creating rules is a staple in my classroom. Included in the resource are printable images you can use as part of the reading of Wiggle, Didgi, and Pop’s story, but the real win is in the discussions and responses that students will experience after the story is over.
Learn more about establishing rules and routines in this post.
Wishing you the very best as you embark on back to school time. I hope that you will find inspiration from the many activities and lessons on this list!