End of Year Activities Perfect for Distance Learning

end of year activities free digital and printables

The end of the school year is hectic and exhausting! The end of the school year + distance learning is even more hectic and exhausting! Take a deep breath and get ready to wrap up the year with some amazing and digital activities to end your school year in style, make lesson planning a snap, and keep your students on their toes. #teacherwin

end of the school year projects for 3rd graders

I love wrapping up the year with amazing end of year read alouds, hands-on activities, and projects to spark all the wonderful memories we made throughout the year. Here are some of my favorite projects to wrap up the year.

Keep Them Learning

End of Year Activities Perfect for Distance LearningAs the year begins to wind down, keep the routine and normalcy of learning intact. This will help students stay focused and engaged during the final weeks of distance learning. The best activities to keep students engaged and motivated at the end of the school year are projects. I love having students work independently on projects that tie together all of the learning that they did all year long! Some of my favorite independent projects for students with tasks specifically designed for students to work at their own pace independently and include scoring rubrics to make correcting a snap are:

Celebrate Students and Staff

end of the year awards for students and staff free printable and digitalI love to celebrate students and staff members at the end of the school year. I also love to help students celebrate one another and teachers, too. The year that I started teaching fifth grade, which is the last grade level in the school, I started to have my students send Staff Shoutouts. These are always a big hit with my students and my colleagues. During the last week of school, students send at least five shoutouts to former teachers and staff members who they want to thank and recognize as an important part of their lives. When we are in school, students would complete the shoutout form and then secretly tape it to the door of the staff member to surprise them. They are so much fun to send and to receive!  These FREE shoutout forms have gone digital, so you can have your students send them this year, too!

Here are some more ways to celebrate others at the end of the school year:

Bring on the Memories

end of the school year bulletin board writing projectWhat is May or June without reminiscing about the school year? I love to offer students new and different ways to celebrate memories, different from traditional memory books they may have made in the past. One way I do this is by having students write ABC end of year poems. It is a great (and challenging) way to get students brainstorming and writing about the amazing year we had together. Another one of my favorite twists on the traditional end of year activities is student expert books. For this project, students create a flipbook of all the different things that they learned throughout the year that made them expert readers, writers, mathematicians, historians, tech specialists, and team players. These are great memory books and keepsakes for students to bring home to their parents to truly show what they know!
Don't let the end of the (distance learning) school year be stressful for you, your students, or their parents. Wrap up your year with engaging activities to make the rest of the school year stress-free and extra memorable.

Looking for more ways to keep students engaged this end of school year season? Check out some of my favorite websites to assign meaningful activities to your students.

end of the school year digital resources and projects



How to Encourage Good Reading Habits at Home

reading tips for parents and teachers

Not a school year or parent-teacher conference goes by without parents asking me how they can encourage their children to read at home. I love providing parents with easy to implement reading tips and activities that will keep their child's nose buried inside a book!

At home reading of any kind can provide students with organic reading experiences while helping to strengthening young readers' skills like decoding new words, using context clues, and implementing reading strategies to help boost comprehension. Besides strengthen their skills as a reader, at home reading can help instill a love of reading for pleasure, too.

Encouraging students to read at home is not at all the same as encouraging them to read in the classroom is. Encouraging reluctant readers to read at home is even harder. These easy to implement and screen-free reading tips, tricks, and activities will help your students (and children) read at home and look forward to it, too!

These ideas are perfect for:
  • at home and distance learning
  • summer reading 
  • enrichment reading activities
  • extra practice for students of all levels
  • or any time for any reason!

Below is my go-to, tried, and tested at home reading activities that I always share with parents to get kids reading at home...and loving it! All you need to implement these reading at home ideas is a good book a few common household items. Read more about each idea below and grab a FREE printable list of these activities HERE.

Create an At-Home Reading Nook

At school, students have special spots to read. It is highly motivating and students love to get to their spot and dive into a book. By creating a spot at home, too, students can "get away" in a place all their own to read. Ideas to put in their special at home reading nooks include, pillows, blankets, a book box, bookmark, and flashlight for nighttime reading!

Set Specific Family Time to Read

Modeling reading at home is so important! Carve out time every day for family reading time. This can be a short amount of time (15-20 minutes) where everyone in the family stops what they are doing and reads. It can be anything from a book to a magazine. When children see the important people in their lives reading, they will want to read even more!

Set a Goal and Track It

How to Encourage Good Reading Habits at HomeEncourage reading at home by setting simple goals! Simply challenge students to read a certain amount of books and track what they read. Writing about the book is not necessary. Use the FREE bookshelf book tracker below to encourage reading at home. Just simply color in one of the books on the bookshelf to keep track of the books that they are reading.  When kids fill up the bookshelf with books that they have read, reward them! Keep the rewards simple and fun like having a little extra time to play outside.

Find a Character They Love

When children connect with characters that they love, especially characters in book series, they will want to read an entire series! Encourage children to try different books until they find characters that they connect with and love! Those characters will become their best friends and they will devour the books in the series. Some series and books that I always recommend to parents include:

Use Student Interests and Allow them to Read Anything

Make a day of heading to the book store and library and spend some time finding books about the child's specific interests. This can include sports, science, any hobby or craft, funny books, going on vacations, anything that will hold their interest and keep them reading! Do not hold students to just reading chapter books. They can read nonfiction books and magazines, how-to books, cooking books, picture books, anything that is appropriate for their age, and keeps them reading is just what they need.

Get it in the Mail

My own children always loved getting books and magazine subscriptions in the mail! The day that a Highlights, National Geographic, Brainspace, or Sports Illustrated Kids magazine arrived was always so exciting for them. There are so many magazines that kids can get a subscription for that will keep them reading and anticipating the latest issue. Magazine subscriptions make a great holiday or birthday gift from family members, too!

Read with a Purpose

Model with kids how reading is not just for pleasure, but for purpose, too. If you are looking up a recipe, how to fix something, or even just something that you are curious about, share that information with the kids. The next time that they have a question, help them look up how to find the answer in a book or online. Kids love to solve their own problems, so encourage them to read to solve them!

The next time a parent asks you how they can help encourage reading at home, share these ideas and give them this FREE print out of at-home reading tips. Download the simple reading goal page below to provide parents with even more resources to encourage reading at home, or use them in your classroom with your students. If you get asked about writing at home, grab this FREE printable to share with parents.

Looking for digital resources for reading practice anywhere? Click HERE.

at home reading tips and strategies for parents and teachers

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Must Watch Memorial Day Videos for Upper Elementary

Must Watch Memorial Day Videos for history lessons elementary grades

If you follow me on InstagramFacebookPinterest, then you know that I truly respect American holidays like Veterans Day and Memorial Day, and love to bring the patriotism behind them into the classroom.

When the calendar is turned to May, Memorial Day is front and center in my upper elementary classroom. You can find my students knee-deep in learning about this important holiday through close reading, content writing, and critical thinking activities, such as comparing and contrasting Veterans Day and Memorial Day.  I love teaching students how to differentiate between American holidays and understand the history behind each.

No matter how you involve your students in learning about Memorial Day, these FREE Memorial Day videos will inspire, educate, and motivate your students to learn more about our American holidays. And bonus...you can grab a set of note-taking graphic organizers for free at the bottom of this post, perfect to help your students take notes as they watch these educational videos.

Note: As with any video, website, or resource that you bring into your classroom, be sure to preview each video before sharing with your class to make sure that they are appropriate for your cohort of students.

History of Memorial Day PBS Kids 1 min 40 seconds

This quick, fast-paced video is the perfect introduction about Memorial Day for upper elementary students. The history and origin of the holiday are included, making it a great jumping-off video to watch before your Memorial Day lessons even begin.

Must Watch Memorial Day Videos for Upper Elementary

Memorial Day Tribute (and other American Shorts) Hello Kids 3 mins 21 seconds

This video is a powerful visual of Memorial Day. It includes footage of American landmarks such as Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. While there is no speaking, the patriotic music playing in the background over must-see images, with vocabulary words like honor and sacrifice popping up on the screen, make this a great discussion starter. While you are there check out the other patriotic videos such as this one that features the song American Soldier by Toby Keith.

Must Watch Memorial Day Videos for elementary students

Why Do We Celebrate Memorial Day? by Clarify by PlayBac 2 mins 5 seconds

I love that this quick video starts off by explaining this holiday is not about BBQs! Clear and easy to follow, this is a great video to remind students WHY we celebrate this holiday. This video ends with two questions that make great writing prompts and response activities for students. Lesson complete!

Social Studies Memorial Day History Lessons for kids

BrainPOP and BrainPOPJr varied times around 5 minutes

While Brainpop and Brainpop Jr are{amazing}subscription websites, they do offer free videoes of the week. Now, during distance learning, they are offering FREE access to their videos! When May begins, they usually have free videoes of the week related to America and Memorial Day. Be sure to check their sites weekly to see what free videos they are offering that week. If you are unfamiliar with these sites, Brainpopjr is geared towards grades 1-3 and Brainpop is geared towards 4th grade and older.

BrainPOP does have a video specifically about Memorial Day, while BrainPOPJr offers videos related to America and US Symbols.

Must Watch Memorial Day Videos for Upper Elementary

My America the Beautiful by VOOKS Animated Picture Books 

Memorial Day is a great time to teach students patriotic songs and discuss US symbols. Teachers can gain access to VOOKS picture book vault for one year. Once you have your account you can access the picture book My America the Beautiful to share with students during your Memorial Day lessons.

memorial day lessons social studies

No matter how you decide to bring Memorial Day (and other American holidays) into your classroom, include these videoes. Search through these websites to engage students, too.  Have students take notes, summarize, discuss, or just enjoy the information they are learning in different ways to honor our soldiers and learn about important American history.

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Memorial Day activities for kids

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memorial day activities upper elementary



7 Poetry Activities for At Home and Classroom Learning

digital and distance learning activities elementar

One of my favorite things about April is that it is National Poetry Month! I love celebrating poetry all year long, but especially during April when we can spend even more time writing and reading poetry. In my classroom, we love to read classic poetry and new poetry, revisit with familiar and new poets, and of course, become poets ourselves, writing different forms of poetry all month long.

digital poetry activitiesI especially love having students write poems because they are engaging for all levels of writers, including struggling writers. Writing poetry can also be therapeutic, serving as an outlet for kids to express themselves in positive ways, especially during difficult times.

Whether you are in the classroom teaching, teaching remotely through distance learning, or a parent looking for easy to implement and engaging poetry activities to help celebrate National Poetry Month this list is for you.

These activities are engaging, fun, and require little to no resources. Read more about each activity below and grab a FREE printable list of these poetry activities HERE.

Go on a Rhyming Hunt!

Anything that gets kids up and moving around, whether they are at home learning or in the classroom, is a win in my book! Begin this activity by having students travel around their environment with a plain piece of paper on a clipboard. This can be done inside or outdoors. Accompany the kids on the hunt. As you travel around, stop the kids and ask them to observe their surroundings. Have a student share a word that they observed and then allow two minutes for students to record all the rhyming words that they know for that word.

For example, if students observe a tree, they spend the next two minutes thinking of all the words that rhyme with tree. When you are done with your rhyming hunt, have the kids use the list of words to write a poem. All of the words that they recorded now act as a brainstormed list, making poetry writing even simpler!

Use Song Lyrics

What better way to engage students than with music? Most times, a song becomes a favorite or is "catchy" because of the flow of the lyrics. Have your students think about their favorite song and analyze the lyrics. Ask them these three questions to get them analyzing:

  • Do they rhyme? 
  • What is the rhyming pattern? 
  • What makes that song's lyrics flow? 

Use any nursery rhyme or familiar song to model for students how to find the rhyming pattern and then let them analyze their favorites. Take it a step further and assign students a partner and have them compare and contrast the flow and rhyming pattern of both of their favorite songs.

Lessons Made Easy with Videos And Websites

If you are looking to integrate technology into poetry writing activities, these websites offer great introductory lessons and activities for teaching kids about poetry.
7 Poetry Activities for At Home and Classroom Learning

  • BrainPop JR Visit Brainpop Jr. (these videos are appropriate for grades 1-3) and sign up for a free account to access these three videos to get your students excited about poetry writing. Simply search for Rhyming Words, Poems, and Writing with the Senses
  • BrainPop Visit Brainpop (these videos are appropriate for grades 4 and up) and sign up for a free account to access these three videos to get your students excited about poetry writing. Simply search for Poetry, Similes, and Metaphors, Maya Angelou
  • Storyline Online I can't rave about this site enough! I have used it for years with my students and they love it each year. This is a completely FREE site. Have your kids listen to a read-aloud of the book Clark the Shark which is filled with rhyming words. Go a step further and have the kids record the rhyming words that they hear in the book and then write their own poem using those words.

Who is Your Favorite Poet?

To this day, I still remember being a third grader myself and studying the poetry works of Shel Silverstein. I even had to memorize one of his poems and recite it to the class. I still have that poem memorized, it was the poem, Nobody. I loved it then and still love it today.

Poet studies truly immerse students in poetry and leave an impact on kids as readers and writers. I love teaching my students about the poets behind their favorite poems. You can assign a poet for students to research or allow them to write a biography report on any poet of their choice.

Some favorite poets to get you started are Shel Silverstein, Jack Prelutsky, Roald Dahl, and A.A. Milne.

Create a Digital Poetree Bulletin Board

7 Poetry Activities for At Home and Classroom Learning

I have a poet-tree bulletin board up all year long in my classroom. It is a spot to display our monthly poetry writing. The kids not only look forward to writing different forms of poetry each month and displaying it on the tree, but they also love to read and hear the poems of their classmates. Creating a digital bulletin board can be a little bit of work for the teacher, but it is a great way to display student poetry writing and share it with students. Grab my digital Poetree Bulletin Board activity for FREE at the bottom of this post and give it a try! The download includes all the necessary Google Classroom directions. Be sure to have Google Classroom to be able to do this activity with your students.

Acrostic Poetry with Any Item or Book

acrostic poetry activities for distance at home learningI love assigning acrostic poetry writing for my students for many reasons, but mostly because writing an acrostic poem can range from simple to challenging depending on your directions. If your students are home because of distance learning, have them try one of these two acrostic poetry activities:

  1. Have students write an acrostic poem about their favorite thing in their homes. It can be a toy, game, pet, or family members.
  2. Have students write an acrostic poem about a character in a book they are reading at home, or assign them to watch a story via Storyline Online, like Enemy Pie, and write an acrostic poem describing a character from the book.

This list of Acrostic Poem Lesson Ideas will also help you challenge students with acrostic poetry.

Write a Poem

If you are not with your students, you can still assign them a poetry writing activity. These three poetry writing activities are perfect for students to complete on their own as they require very little support.
  1. Write a Free Verse Poem: This type of poem does not follow any rules. It allows students to write their thoughts and feelings in form of natural speech. You can assign students a topic or let them choose. Without any specific pattern rules students will have a chance to just write!
  2. Pick a Color, Any Color: Color poetry is a fun form of poetry that students can write about for any topic at all. A color poem is a poem that uses one specific color to convey the mood the poet is trying to express. One type of color poem is written with the five senses about one specific color. Here is an example of a color poem that I wrote as a model for my students all about the color green:

    Green is grass kissed by the morning dew.
    Green means heavy coats away and light jackets come out to play.
    Green is children as happy as a puppy to play outside.
    Green is buzzing bees moving like racecars from flower to flower.
    Green signals warmer days are here.
    Green equals spring. 

    Encourage your students to pick an item, focus on its color, and then use their five senses to get the mood they are feeling about the color into poetic form.
  3. Write About Yourself with a Bio Poem: What better thing to have students write a poem about than themselves? Bio poems are filled with emotions and personal thoughts. They allow the poet to express themselves through writing. While this form of poetry does follow a specific pattern, the sentence starters of this form of poetry give students clear direction on how and what to write. 

I hope these poetry activities give you some direction and many ideas on how you can celebrate poetry all year long, with an even bigger focus during April. Don't let remote teaching and distance learning stop you from celebrating National Poetry Month with your students. Poetry writing at home cam be fun and engaging for your students with these easy to implement ideas. Be sure to grab this free resource to help encourage different forms of writing at home, too!

Looking for digital resources for direct lessons on poetry? Click HERE.

at home and distance learning poetry ideas

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poetry at home distance and digital learning Google Classroom



Must Watch Earth Day Videos to Use in Upper Elementary Classrooms

earth day lesson plans for upper elementary

If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, then you know that I just LOVE to engage and motivate students by tying the seasons and holidays into my everyday lesson plans.

And when the calendar is turned to April, Earth Day is front and center in my upper elementary classroom. You can find my students knee-deep in Earth Day reading, science, and research writing activities.  I love to watch them learn so much about our planet and vow to help protect it!

No matter how you involve your students in learning about how to take care of our planet, these FREE Earth Day videos will inspire, educate, and motivate your students to learn more ways to help take care of our planet this Earth Day. And bonus...you can grab a set of note-taking graphic organizers for free at the bottom of this post, perfect to help your students take notes as they watch these educational videos. (see more hands-on Earth Day activities HERE.)

Note: As with any video, website, or resource that you bring into your classroom, be sure to preview each video before sharing with your class to make sure that they are appropriate for your cohort of students.

Read Aloud: Here Comes the Garbage Barge (11 minutes)

This picture book is a true story about a town that had so much garbage and they did not have any place to put it. The Garbage Barge tells the story about how important it is to take care of garbage correctly and teaches environmental awareness.

earth day videos for the classroom

Happy Earth Day (17 mins long)

This video talks about Earth Day, endangered animals, how to make less garbage, what it means to reduce, reuse, and recycle and how to compost.

videos for earth day lesson plans elementary

What Happens When You Throw Out Plastic Bottles? by TED-Ed (4 mins)

This video goes on a journey as plastic bottles are discarded in different ways and illustrates the importance of recycling plastic bottles.

upper elementary earth day resources

National Geographic Kids: Save the Polar Bears (3 mins)

This video is one in a series that includes an overview of the species, why they are at risk of becoming extinct, and how kids can help to save animals around the world.

Other videoes in the same National Geographic Series:

earth day video resource for kids

While Brainpop and Brainpop Jr are {amazing}subscription websites, they do offer free videoes of the week. When April begins, they usually have free videoes of the week related to Earth Day. Be sure to check their sites weekly to see what free videos they are offering that week. If you are unfamiliar with these sites, Brainpopjr is geared towards grades 1-3 and Brainpop is geared towards 4th grade and older.

using brain pop in the classroom

earth day elementary resources

Want to get your kids up, singing, dancing, and moving around? Try these super catchy music videos that will have them singing all month long!

Recycling Song

Jack Johnson Recycling Song 

No matter how you decide to bring Earth Day into your classroom, include these videoes. These websites will help engage students, too.  Have students take notes, summarize, discuss, or just enjoy the information they are learning on different ways to save our planet, help endangered species, and reduce, reuse, and recycle.

earth day elementary resources

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7 Easy to Teach Earth Day Activities that Kids Love

earth day classroom ideas for upper elementary students

Earth Day is one of those holidays that I always get so excited to bring into the classroom! It is such an important topic to discuss and is highly engaging for students. Earth Day celebrates our planet and home and all the different ways that people everywhere can work together to keep our planet clean and safe.

Earth Day topics naturally lend themselves to being taught across all content areas, making learning about this holiday seamless.

Here are some of my favorite content-rich activities to do with students to celebrate Earth Day using meaningful and educational activities. Be sure to scoop up the FREE Earth Day writing activity at the bottom of this post.

Earth Day Read Alouds

What is a holiday without a few favorite read-aloud books? There are so many great books to share with students during the month of April and several that relate directly to Earth Day. Here are a few of my favorites and the activities that I do with each.

earth day read aloud picture books and reading activities

Miss Rumphius written by Barbara Cooney

This book is perfect for any lesson on character analysis and theme. The main character is given the task to make the world a more beautiful place, which becomes her life mission and a task she passes on to her niece. Following a reading of this book, simply provide students with a blank piece of paper and ask them to create an illustration that shows how they will make the world a more beautiful place.

The Great Kapok Tree written by Lynne Cherry

This is one of my favorite books to read anytime during the year, especially during April. This book is about saving our precious rainforests and lends itself perfectly for students to write persuasive writing pieces. (more details on this activity below).

Wartville Wizard written by JP Madden

This is an oldie but a goodie! The Wartville Wizard has the power to stick garbage to the person who threw it away. An interesting tale with valuable lessons about the 3Rs. After reading this book, students read informational passages about the 3rs (reduce, reuse and recycle).

Will We Miss Them? written by A. Wright and Can We Save Them? written by D. Dobson

Both of these books carry the same message of helping save endangered animals from extinction. They make great read alouds before, during, and after my class complete their endangered animal research projects (more details on this activity below).

Michael Recycle written by Ellie Bethel

This book is the first in a series of Earth-friendly picture books focused on how children can make changes to help protect the planet and practice using the 3Rs. With colorful illustrations and rhyming verse, the kids love listening to these stories. Following a reading of this rhyming book, I have my students create their own poems to tell how they will help protect the planet.

Earth Day Science Reading and Group Presentations

There are so many topics that students can read about related to Earth Day. The history of Earth Day, How to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, and Water Pollution and Water Conservation to name a few. 
7 Easy to Teach Earth Day Activities that Kids Love

I love to have students read Earth Day close reading passages to gather information or research different topics related to Earth Day that they find interesting Teacher Tip: Make sure each group has a different topic. Then I have students work in groups to present what they learned. After they read the materials, they discuss the key points and then create a presentation to teach the rest of the class what they learned. Students can create digital presentations or speeches to share with the class. By doing these presentations, you give students the opportunity to learn about many different topics related to Earth Day even though they just researched one. My kids love learning from each other with projects like this!

Earth Day Songs and Videos

Get out your singing voice and get ready to belt the lyrics to a few of my favorite Earth Day songs!

  1. One Sweet World (Dave Matthews Band) Grab the lyrics HERE.
  2. 3Rs Song (Jack Johnson) Grab the lyrics HERE.
  3. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (Numberrock)
  4. Big Yellow Taxi (Counting Crows version) Grab the lyrics HERE

While just singing these songs and discussing their lyrics is powerful, go a step further and have students illustrate the song. You can have students create one illustration to wrap up the song, or you can have groups of students work together to create an illustration for one line of the song. Then when all students are done, compile their illustrations to create a class book that illustrates the entire song.

Get the links to all of my favorite videos to use for Earth Day instruction HERE.

Endangered Animals Research

7 Easy to Teach Earth Day Activities that Kids Love There is no project that I look more forward to each year than this Endangered Species Project. I have my students research the endangered animals that they choose, again making sure that students pick different animals. They use multiple sources, both internet and books, to gather important information for their research project. One great science website students use for this project is the WWF (World Wildlife Foundation). It includes the most up to date list of endangered species.

After students research and write their reports they share their work with their classmates in creative ways. They can make a book, video commercial, handout or give a speech. How ever they want to share the information is just fine with me. In fact, the more creative and unique the better!

Science Project: The Garbage Challenge

7 Easy to Teach Earth Day Activities that Kids Love The kids just love this science project and are always so engaged.
The concept is simple: turn a piece of garbage into something that can be used again in a different way. When I do this activity, I have students work in groups of 2-3. It helps with the brainstorming and creativity needed for this project. I bring in a large bag of garbage (items that I think can be turned into something else) and display them on a table. While the students are in their groups, they discuss which piece of garbage they would like to use for the project. All members must agree. One group at a time is called to select a piece of "garbage" from the table. Students work together to makeover the item they selected with classroom supplies. Students share their finished creations with the class when they are done. Have the teacher next door come in and vote on the most creative for an extra challenge! The kids love it!

Persuasive Writing Topics

Earth Day began by the persuasive acts of one US Senator from Wisconsin named Gaylord Nelson who urged Congress to help educate people to care for our planet. What better way to honor this man than by writing persuasive essays about Earth Day topics.

Here are a few of my favorite Earth Day topics, perfect for persuasive writing:
  • Save the Rainforest
  • Celebrate Earth Day Every Day
  • Why You Need to Start a Compost
  • Why You Should Reduce
  • Why You Should Reuse
  • Why You Should Recycle

earth day writing prompts and project ideas

Dear Mother Earth Letter Writing

This sweet writing activity is one that you will want to do every year with your kids. To practice friendly letter writing skills, have students write letters to Mother Earth telling her how they are taking care of her. Encourage students to use specific examples from their lives and include an illustration. Bonus-this makes a great bulletin board display, too! Grab this activity for FREE at the bottom of this post.

I love watching my students' faces light up as they learn all about protecting our planet. One thing I always remind my students is that Earth Day should be celebrated every day, not just on April 22nd. With all of these lesson ideas to choose from you can easily weave Earth Day throughout your lessons all year long. Happy Earth Day!

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earth day research project ideas

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The Best Websites to Save for Upper Elementary Classrooms

website and remote learning

There is nothing more frustrating for teachers than having a weird chunk of time in the classroom and not knowing what to do with it! We have all been there, 10 minutes between Art and Lunch, 15 minutes before an assembly, and those few minutes you may be waiting for a guest teacher or classroom visitor. Without a structured activity, those minutes are wasted, or worse chaotic!

That is why I always have my favorite websites bookmarked on my computer for easy access. These websites are perfect to use to fill those awkward moments with meaningful activities. They are also perfect to use to:

  • enhance your lessons
  • have students learn at home / distance learning
  • provide independent practice opportunities for students
  • have instant engagement anytime

Whether you choose to complete activities from these sites together as a class on the smartboard, assign to students to complete independently at home, or use during whole class computer class, they are sure to engage your students!

Language Arts Websites

top websites and remote learning

Time For Kids
 I love this site to read nonfiction current event articles. You can access the articles even without a subscription. Highly engaging reading articles to share and discuss together, or have students complete independent nonfiction reader reflection activities.

SAG Read Alouds: Storyline Online
This is my go-to website, especially during downtime. There are so many fun read-aloud videoes of favorite children's picture books that keep students engaged and are read aloud by many familiar faces. Pause throughout the reading to ask comprehension questions and practice skills and strategies you are teaching. If you are using this site during distance learning times, have students watch the picture book read aloud and complete any reader response activity. Even writing just a quick summary using paper and pencil will keep their reading skills sharp!

This site has so many popular books and student favorites broken down by age and grade. It also has different videoes, quizzes and activities to go with the books.

I have used this site for years and am loving the new interface. Visit this site for fiction and nonfiction articles that you can read or print, along with reading comprehension activities. There is also a play button to have the passages be read aloud to the students.

Includes several nonfiction articles about current events, Social Studies topics, Science topics and now Social-Emotional Learning topics. Articles included are for students grades 2-12 and include assessments. There are both free and paid versions of this site.

Read Theory
Great site for quick reading passages with questions to practice reading comprehension.

Common Lit
This site has a wide variety of texts, paired texts, reading guides, interactive pages and so much more!

Interactive and motivating reading game with easy to use teacher interface. Students are highly motivated and engaged with this site.

Grab these free writing activities and tips for parents to make writing lessons for distance or at-home learning a snap.

Have your students practice the reading strategy of visualizing as they read any passage from these sites with this FREE visualizing activity page. Perfect for classwork or to send home to keep students' skills sharp.

Math Websites

The Best Websites to Save for Upper Elementary Classrooms

IXL Math
We have used this site for so many years and I love it! Math activities are broken down by grade and skill, making it easy to assign to students. The teacher interface is easy to use.

This site is all about fact practice for addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication. Activities are straight forward math fact practice. Perfect for quick practice, classwork or homework practice. Free and also comes in app form.

Math Playground (Thinking Blocks)
If you use the bar model to help students solve word problems, this site is for you! Colorful, interactive problem-solving tasks keep students engaged. I love having students work on these problems with a math partner to encourage math discourse.

Math Facts Pro
Math fact practice in different forms including engaging games for kids.

Splash Learn
Math activities are broken down by grade and skill and are highly engaging for students. Easy to monitor and use the teacher interface helps you to keep track of student progress.

Encourage your students to break down math word problems they are faced with from these sites with this FREE Math Word Problem Graphic Organizer. Perfect for classwork or to send home to keep students' skills sharp.

Science Websites

top ela and math websites for grades 3-5

National Geographic Kids
Games, videos, and informational articles about all things animals science. 

Mystery Science
Another of my favorite go-to websites to engage students, this site will truly enhance your curriculum and engage your students with hands-on activities and learning.

Discovery Ed
Great way to bring science into the classroom with videos, lessons, articles, and trending science topics.

Endangered Species (Animal Planet) and More Endangered Species (WWF)
Who doesn't love animals and learning about endangered species? You and your class can get lost in these sites reading about all the different animals who are sadly endangered. During the month of April, I love to read about one animal each day as students are learning about Earth Day and preparing for our animal project. Highly engaging!

DK Find Out!
Great place to go to find out answers to students' science questions, explore different topics, kick-off science units and just learn! Kids love this site.

Earth Day Videos
These Earth Day videos and song videos are great instructional tools whether you are teaching in your classroom, part of distance learning, or assigning at-home practice for your students.

Engage your students with FREE science nonfiction reading activities HERE. Perfect for classwork or to send home to keep students' skills sharp.

Multiple Subject Websites

The Best Websites to Save for Upper Elementary Classrooms

No list of classroom websites is complete without BrainPOP and BrainPOP Jr. To gain access to all the videoes a subscription is needed, but it is worth it! I use these every day, many times a day. There are videoes to help introduce new units, reviews a skill, bring the holidays and current events into the classroom, and just have fun. There are also activities, note pages, questions, and quizzes to use with each video. The kids love them, but I may just love them even more! Don't have a subscription? Check the site each week to watch the free video of the week. Is your school out because of the Coronovirus? Grab FREE access to Brainpop HERE.

BrainPOP Jr
The K-3 version of BrainPOP. Love it!

TEDTalks Kids
Super engaging talks and presentations for students to learn about trending ideas and topics that are popular around the nation. Great to get upper elementary students critically thinking.

This site offers a unique differentiation platform that spans all subjects, ELA, math, social studies and science. Must check out if you are looking for one site that has it all!

There are so many fun activities across all content areas for grades PreK to middle school that your students will love! Activities are broken down by grade, making it easy to assign or challenge students by advancing to the next grade level.

Engage your students with this FREE DIGITAL ACTIVITY that is multi-subject and ties together reading, writing, and informational text. Perfect for classwork or to send home to keep students' skills sharp.

Creative Websites

interactive websites for elementary learning

Art Hub
This is a fun interactive art website that has several different activities for kids. I love the directed drawing lessons that are included!

Complete a Puzzle
Indoor recess? No problem! Throw one of these puzzles on the smartboard and you will see instant engagement and teamwork from your students. Pick a puzzle design, pick the number of pieces for each puzzle and watch the kids work together to create it. Save and timer options make these puzzles even more fun.

Story Bird
An engaging site to encourage creative writing from students. Use prompts or pictures included to get your students writing and enjoying it!

Engage your students with a FREE creative poetry writing activity HERE. Perfect for classwork or to send home to keep students' skills sharp.

Looking for digital learning resources? 

These Google Classroom™ resources are perfect for students to complete 
independently in the classroom or remotely at home to keep their skills' sharp.

The Best Websites to Save for Upper Elementary Classrooms

This is a growing list. Be sure to pin to save this page for easy access to these websites and the new sites that are added. 

top websites remote learning and digital paperless resources


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