4 Favorite January Activities for Kindergarten and First Grade

It’s the first of January and snow is already in our 5-day forecast.
That’s super early for us here in Arkansas.  And it’s putting me in the
mood for some of my favorite January lesson plans and activities for
kindergarten and first grade.

So, get your lesson plans out and ready, because I’m giving you 4 of my go to
January activities for kindergarten or first grade.

New Year’s Writing Craft

This is my go to activity to start off the new year in the classroom.  We
spend time talking about what goals are and I chart key words we brainstorm
when talking about our goals.

Then, I model choosing one word as my classroom goal for the year.  Kids
also choose their own one word goal for our classroom for the remainder of the
year.  They write about their word, why they chose it and how they are
going to work on that goal.

Once their writing is finished, we make the
craft</a >!  This is always a kid favorite and they look so so cute in the hallway
during January.  To learn more, read the details on this
January New Year’s writing craftivity</a >.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Craft

Once we get through the New Year, we jump right into MLK.  We spend
January and February learning about famous people in history. Martin Luther
King, Jr. is the first one on that list!

We read and research and read and research a LOT! 🙂  We chart our
learning.

We talk about sifting through all of the facts to
find the important facts</a >.

Finally, we are ready to write about what makes Martin Luther King, Jr. so
important in our history.

Click to read all the details about our
Martin Luther King, Jr. lessons</a >.

Snowman Independent Craft

When I taught kindergarten for a maternity leave, independent crafts were a
big part of our literacy stations!  In our creation station, we posted an
example of the craft with all of the materials and templates they
needed.

The kids LOVED making their crafts each month (I did two crafts a month and
two directed drawings in this station)!  I was nervous about how well
they would handle this station, but it was one of the most well-behaved,
on-task stations we had.

This
snowman craft</a >
is my favorite winter craft that we did. And who doesn’t love painting with
q-tips?!?

As each kid finished their craft, we posted it on the wall by the station for
more examples of our crafts!

For my first grade friends… I had a creation station in first grade too, but
with the added requirement that they write about their creation when they
finished.  Kinders could easily do this during the second semester as
well.

You can find this snowman craft in these
January Creation Stations</a >
or the whole
year of craft station ideas here</a >.

Text Evidence Lessons

Last, but not least, text evidence lessons are a HUGE part of the second half
of first grade.  We spend time modeling this before Christmas as well,
but the focus shifts to text evidence during the second semester.

We talk about going back to the text to answer questions about the text.
And we get out HIGHLIGHTERS!  Which is a huge hit for 6 and 7 year olds!

I model this when we are doing whole group lessons, like reading about Martin
Luther King, Jr. in January like we talked about earlier.  When I ask a
question about the text, we go back to the text and highlight how we know that
to be the correct answer.

Is small groups, I start introducing
reading comprehension passages with questions</a >
and we practice highlighting our answers in the text together.  They LOVE
passage days in small groups!

You can read here to learn more about our
text evidence routines in first grade</a >.

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