First Week of Third Grade Reading/ELA Lesson Plans (FREE Resources!)

Hey everyone! I am here today to share with you my lesson plans from the first week of school of third grade. I know a lot of us are gearing back up for school to start, and you might be looking for some ideas. These lesson plans are from when I taught third grade, but I have cleaned them up a bit and made sure they made sense. (We all know how those back to school lessons get shifted and modified as we go!)

I am an ELAR teacher, so these lesson plans do not include any Math, Science, or Social Studies activities. These plans are mostly back to school/getting to know you activities, but there are a few curriculum related lessons as well. You should definitely tweak these plans to fit your own classroom! Everything I do in my classroom might not work for you in yours, but my hope in sharing is that you might find at least one or two helpful ideas.

Click HERE for a printable/editable version of the Third Grade Lesson Plans. Keep reading to download freebies to go with the plans!

One of my favorite activities to do the first week of school starts with reading Mr. Peabody’s Apples by Madonna. When the read aloud is over, I pass out paper plates and travel size toothpaste. Then I tell the kids to squeeze out all the toothpaste. As you can guess, they look at me with such disbelief. After I tell them that I am serious, they go to town, squeezing that whole tube out! (Then, my favorite part- once everyone is done with the toothpaste, I give them toothpicks and tell them they have to put the toothpaste back in the tube. There is always a few who really try, but most of them know pretty quickly that they can’t do it.

After the activity, I lead a class discussion on the words we use and how those words can effect others. (This is one of the reasons why I love third grade so much- we can discuss something like this on the first day of school and they have so much to say.) I love this activity because it is both fun AND meaningful.

Here are some pictures of my class having a blast with their toothpaste. I wish I could show you their happy faces! It was awesome.

Now, for some free stuff! :)

I like to start right away with teaching my students to collaborate with their classmates, and one way I do that is using my Collaboration Job Cards. These are FREE in my TPT store. I print copies on different colored paper and add numbers with a marker so that I can change up my students groups. You can read more about how I use these cards HERE and you can go straight to the free download HERE.

I read a lot of books that first week of school (well… and every other week) and I have my students do a lot of reading response throughout the year, so I start it immediately the first week of school. I purposely choose a response activity that I know they will be familiar with from 2nd grade. The fiction page in my Reading Response FREEBIE is simple and easy for incoming 3rd graders to complete on their own. If you’d like students to cut and glue into a journal, be sure to adjust the size percentage before printing. You can get this free download in my TPT store HERE.

If you like the free reading response sheets, be sure to check out the full paid version as well. You can go HERE to see if it will work for you!

One of my goals each year is to encourage my students to LOVE reading. I want them to see reading as something to be enjoyed and not as a chore or a punishment. I start on that goal the very first week of school by conducting a Reading Interest Survey. With that survey I am trying to better understand how my students feel about reading (enjoy/don’t enjoy) and what their reading life is like at home (whether or not they visit the public library or if they see people reading at home). I also ask them to write the title of a book they like. I don’t ask for a favorite book because I have found in the past that some students really get hung up on the word favorite and have a hard time choosing. I also use the surveys to make book recommendations for them in case I see them having trouble picking from our classroom library. You can download my FREE Reading Interest Survey HERE.

Students learn a LOT of procedures throughout the first week of school, and I like to help them learn those procedures in engaging ways. One way that third graders love is these FREE Classroom Scenario Task Cards. I have students partner up and then move around the room to discuss what they should do in each situation. I circulate around the room while students are talking to make sure everyone knows what to do. The students love it because they get to walk around AND they get to talk to their friends! Win-win! You can download these FREE Classroom Scenario Task Cards HERE.

I also have a fantastic Back to School Forms and Handouts pack that I know would help you so much in your classroom. All that paperwork at the beginning of the year can be stressful, and I’d like to make it a little easier on you! A lot of these forms can be edited to fit your needs.

All you have to do is decide which pages you need, and print on color or white paper. I like to print each page on a different color and organize them in a binder so I know exactly what to turn to when I am looking for volunteers or when I need a phone number. The brochure is also a great place to put all your info into one place for the parents. I have gotten many compliments from parents because it was easy to stick on the fridge. (The brochure does not come with pre-typed info, you will have to add your own info.) You can purchase this time-saving pack HERE.

I really hope that these lesson plans help get your school year off to a fantastic start. I also appreciate you taking the time to visit my blog. Please use the contact form HERE if you have any questions or need any help getting started. Thank you!