8 Engaging January Activities for Upper Elementary

As the new year begins, it’s a great time to kick off with some fresh ideas in your upper elementary classroom. January marks the perfect opportunity to energize your students’ learning and get them thinking differently while exploring exciting topics! This blog post provides eight engaging winter activities for grades 3-5. Each resource is designed to help your students build collaboration, communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. Keep reading to discover activity ideas, tips for success, and printable resources that will prepare you each step of the way. These January activities for the upper elementary classroom are perfect for getting back into the groove after the holiday break.

8 Engaging January Activities for Winter in Upper Elementary

January Morning Greeting Slides

If I had to give you one word that was foundational to classroom management, it would be this: CONSISTENCY! Consistency in expectations, consistency in routines, and consistency in procedures. When students know what to expect and what to do, they will generally do it. Using a morning greeting is one of the best ways to develop a consistent routine to start each day.

As students walk in each morning, they know right where to look to find out exactly what to do. You can easily project these morning greeting slides on the board and provide instructions on how students are to start their day. This frees you up to focus on other important things like greeting students when they arrive, taking attendance, or talking with a parent.

January Morning Meeting Daily Agenda Slides
January Morning Greeting Morning Message Slides

These January Morning Greeting Slides are so easy to use. All of the slides are editable, so you can quickly add your morning notes, routines, or reminders. Each slide also includes a quote and journal topic that can be used for daily writing. Easily change my BITMOJI to yours in just seconds.

You can find step-by-step instructions for editing and personalizing your morning greeting HERE and HERE. It’s super easy and only takes a minute or two! Just add your morning routine, change the picture if you’d like, and post it for your students. A consistent morning routine in the classroom lays a foundation for the day ahead.

January Book Reviews

To cultivate students’ enthusiasm for independent reading, empower them to select books based on recommendations from their peers.

Here’s how it works: each month, students choose one book they’ve enjoyed and write a comprehensive review. By displaying these book reviews in your classroom library, students can easily utilize them as a valuable resource to discover their next captivating read! Additionally, these January Book Reviews can serve as an eye-catching bulletin board display, further sparking curiosity and enthusiasm for literature.

January Bulletin Board and Writing Book Reviews Activity
January Winter Book Reviews Book Reports

Are you looking for a way students can share their favorite (or not-so-favorite) book all year? Grab the BUNDLE and enjoy new book reviews each month!

One Word New Year Resolutions

New Years Resolution 2024 New Year Goal Setting One Word January Bulletin Board

The start of a new year is always filled with possibilities and a chance for a fresh beginning. Setting our New Year’s resolutions and goals allows us to reflect on the past and look forward to the future. In this Just One Word New Year Resolutions Goal-Setting Project, students will embark on a journey to identify their one-word goal for the upcoming year. Through reflection, careful planning, and a creative art project, they will illustrate their goals and set the stage for a successful year ahead.

These January activities encourage students to think deeply about their personal growth, learn new skills, and embody positive traits. By starting the year with a clear objective in mind, students will empower themselves and take important steps toward achieving their goals.

This New Year goal-setting project includes a comprehensive teacher guide, examples, student planning pages, and art project templates. Everything you need is at your fingertips! Equip your students with the tools they need to set personal goals, reflect, and make strides toward a successful year ahead!

New Year No Prep Reading and Math January Activities

New Year No Prep Packet

As we transition back into our routines after the holiday season, we can all relate to the need for a little adjustment period. Just like us, our students’ minds can feel a bit hazy from all the delightful daydreams of sugar plums dancing in their heads. Fear not! This New Year Skills Review Packet offers the perfect solution to kickstart learning in January.

These hassle-free January activities are both a breeze for you and captivating for your students. By offering a quick review, you can help sharpen their focus and prepare them for all the exciting learning opportunities that lie ahead.

You can use these worksheets for morning work, centers, comprehensive class reviews, or even homework assignments. Whether you choose to use them during the first week back or sprinkle them throughout the entire month, you can rest assured that your students will be engaged in enjoyable tasks while reinforcing and developing crucial skills.

January Close Reading Winter Activities

Close Reading is an exceptional technique I have discovered for focused work on reading comprehension skills. Students can concentrate on different skills by employing multiple reads, enabling a deeper understanding of the text. I have also observed students adopting this reading approach for other texts throughout the years. It is a remarkable method to break the habit of reading something once and considering it done. Find out how to best use close reading passages in your classroom.

These close reading passages, themed around January, captivate your students with the current season and enhance their comprehension skills. The January bundle covers a diverse range of topics, including New Year’s Resolutions, Football (the perfect way to celebrate the Super Bowl), Martin Luther King Jr., Chinese New Year, and Birthstones.

New Year January Reading Comprehension Passages for 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade
New Year Close Reading

Through these engaging winter activities, students will refine crucial skills such as identifying the main idea, deciphering word meanings using contextual clues, and reading for details. Students will engage in a related writing activity to culminate each reading passage, further reinforcing their learning journey.

Winter Main Idea Practice Activities

Determining the main idea of a text or passage is a crucial skill that students often find challenging. As educators, we understand the significance of repetition in helping students master skills and concepts.

This Winter Main Idea and Supporting Details resource comes with 20 engaging winter-themed passages that can be accessed in print or digital formats. Students will have plenty of opportunities to sharpen their main idea and supporting details skills. Designed to be shorter for targeted practice, these passages are ideal for incorporating into your January activities.

Winter Main Idea and Supporting Details Activities 3rd 4th 5th Grade
Winter Main Idea and Supporting Details Worksheets

Each practice activity presents a concise reading passage centered around winter. Students are encouraged to actively read and identify key textual evidence, using designated colors to represent the main idea and supporting details. A graphic organizer is provided to consolidate their understanding. This enables students to articulate the passage’s main idea and supporting details.

I’ve crafted these practice activities to be time-efficient, ensuring they demand less time compared to traditional reading passages. Enjoy the flexibility of incorporating them into your lessons as you see fit, maximizing student engagement and learning outcomes. Try two passages from this packet for FREE by filling out the form below!

Winter Roll-and-Write Activities

Winter Creative Writing Prompts Roll A Story Christmas Roll and Write Activities

Engage and inspire your students with these exciting and creative winter writing prompts! Encourage them to embark on a writing adventure with this fun writing packet full of Roll-A-Story activities and choice boards. All you need is a classroom set of dice!

Inside, you will find captivating winter-themed characters, enchanting settings, and exciting problems to spark their imagination. The set offers 6 different winter roll and write choice boards, providing endless storytelling and creative expression opportunities.

Along with the 6 Winter Roll-A-Story Writing Choice Boards, you’ll also find accompanying graphic organizers, writing page templates, clear directions for students, and a helpful scoring rubric for teachers.

These fun winter writing activities are always a big hit in the classroom! Let the magic of winter inspire your students’ writing exploration. Unleash their creativity with topics ranging from winter adventures to Christmas, New Year, and Valentine’s Day themes.

Martin Luther King, Jr. No Prep January Activities

MLK Activities Skills Review Pack

Are you searching for fun and engaging activities to celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. with your students? Look no further! This MLK Activities Skills Review Pack is full of math and reading activities that will help your students learn more about this great American hero. Designed to optimize learning, it features a wide range of engaging activities. They included math, reading, language arts, and key vocabulary related to Dr. King and the civil rights movement.

Explore a variety of math and reading skills that seamlessly combine historical knowledge with student learning. From reading comprehension practice to grammar review and math activities, this packet has it all to make the month of January meaningful and educational.

With 16 different pages to choose from, you can keep your students engaged and their skills sharp throughout this special time of the year. Students will be able to enhance their reading comprehension skills, cause and effect, writing, math vocabulary, multiplication, division, fractions, sequencing, and more!

Winter Digital Stickers

Winter Digital Stickers

If you’re assigning digital work, don’t forget your stickers! With digital stickers, you’ll never run out! These 20 Winter Digital Stickers for Google™ or Seesaw™ are the perfect way to connect with your students through any digital assignment. Simply copy and paste the digital stickers onto student work in Google Slides™, Google Docs™, or click on the camera to add a sticker in Seesaw™.

Students can also collect their digital stickers! This Digital Sticker Book for Students includes a 6-page realistic-looking journal with editable tabs. It also comes with 20 motivational digital stickers. It easily provides a fun way for students to collect their digital stickers!

Save these January Activities

Whether you are looking to ease back into the classroom routine or jump right in with both feet – these winter activities are a great way to engage your students while working on key skills. If you’re not quite ready for January yet, save this to your favorite classroom Pinterest board and come back when you are!

8 Engaging January Activities for Winter in Upper Elementary

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