My favorite back-to-school activities are the ones that get students up and moving and/or have them talking and sharing with others. This post will share a free back-to-school reflection activity that has both of those qualities (depending on how you use it).
About the Back to School Reflection Questions
This free back to school reflection activity (available to download near the end of this post) contains thirty back-to-school themed reflection questions in two formats: task card format and as a printable list. You can choose to use whichever format you want and whichever questions you want.
The reflection questions included are divided into three categories:
- Summer break/vacation questions
- Upcoming school year questions
- Classmates/schedules/teachers questions
- Use all of the questions.
- Have students discuss a specific category each day.
- Select the best questions from each category.
- Use the categories of questions that work best for your students and/or teaching situation.
Here are some example reflection questions that are included from each category:
Summer Break/Vacation Questions
- What was your favorite part of summer break?
- What was your favorite day of summer break? Why was it so memorable?
- What was something new that you learned or did this summer?
- What will you miss most about summer break? Why?
- What was one of your typical days like during summer break?
Upcoming School Year Questions
- What are you most looking forward to about the new school year?
- What is something you’re hoping to learn this school year?
- How prepared do you feel for the new school year?
- What are your goals for this school year?
- What class are you most looking forward to? Why?
- What is your favorite part of the classroom? What makes it your favorite?
- What do you and your friends have in common?
- What do you want your teacher(s) to know about you?
Different Ways to Use the Back to School Reflection Activity
Here are some different ways that you can use this back-to-school reflection activity, depending on your schedule and teaching style.
1-2 Reflection Questions a Day – Have your students reflect during the first two weeks of school by reading a reflection question one to two times a day. You could have your students discuss their answers with groups or partners (they love this and it doubles as a brain break) or have them record their thoughts (recording sheet included in the download but a piece of paper would work fine as well).
Scoot Activity – A student favorite is definitely SCOOT. Take a class period and have the students “play” SCOOT with the reflection questions. To do this, simply place a task card on each desk. Have the students rotate (at your signal) around the desks until they have answered all of the questions. Give the students enough time to read the question and answer it before having them rotate. This could definitely be an activity that is split up by recess or lunch. You could begin the activity before lunch (for example) and resume it afterwards.
Around the Room – This option is probably my favorite way to use the reflection questions. Tape the questions around the room and have the students work in pairs or triads to answer the questions. You can rotate the students at your signal or allow them to move around freely. If you allow them to move around freely, I recommend having a rule that no more than one pair/triad of students can be at a card at a time. I use “around the room” reviews and activities throughout the year so using the reflection questions for this also allows me to teach procedures and expectations for this type of work.
Center or Station – Use the task card version and place the questions at a center. Have the students answer the questions on the included recording sheet (or a piece of paper) or simply discuss their answers with their groups.
Download the Back to School Reflection Activity Here
Want More Back to School Activities and Resources?
If you are interested in more back-to-school activities for grades 4-5, check out these resources from my TpT store.
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Other Back to School Activities, Freebies, and Blog Posts
Click on the links below to check out more activities and resources that are perfect for back to school.