Activities for First Day Jitters Book

back to school reading games & activitites Jul 28, 2022

by Aja McNair



Activities for the First Day Jitters Book can be exciting as teachers all over the world prepare for their new elementary classroom filled with energetic children. While the first day of school does come with energy and excitement, it also comes with anxiety and nervousness for some. For that very reason, I have created engaging activities that will help to alleviate those jittery feelings and encourage excitement and participation with your new students. Here are 5 Activities that go along with reading the book First Day Jitters.


Teacher Venn Diagram

After evoking a discussion among students about their perception of what their teacher would be like, create a classroom venn diagram for all to see. Draw two overlapping circles. Label one side "what students thought the teacher would be like" and label  the other side "what the teacher is actually like". With the space in the center, where the circles overlap, write "the same". As students share their thoughts put their answers under their perception, reality, or the same (things they thought that are actually true). You're going to be surprised with what the students really thought about you!


Bar Graph of Emotions

Using chart paper, write different basic emotions at the bottom. For example: happy, sad, excited, mad or draw emoji's for nonreaders. Give students a sticky note to write their name on. Display the chart at the front of the room. Have each child take a turn and plot their name next to the emotion that best describes them on the first day of school. You can add to this and ask the children to share their feelings and tell why they feel that way. You can extend this activity even more by having the students determine which emotion has more, less, or the same amount of votes by interpreting the bar graph. 


Charades of Emotions

This activity is a favorite of mine. Divide students into small groups (4-5) in each group. Have them choose an action that best describes their current emotion. They will play charades within their group. They will each take a turn to act out their emotion. The goal is to get their teammates to guess which emotion best describes their actions. They can be nervous, excited, or even mad that they had to wake up and come to school! This is a great team building activity that's highly animated. The big bonus is that kids get to shake off anxious energy.


First Day of School Narrative

This activity is to simply have students write a personal narrative. Students will write a story about First Day Jitters by answering questions such as what they were like and how they got over them during their first day of school. This could easily be done on the second day of school and they can write all about the first day of school. For beginning writers, they can simply draw a picture and write a sentence to match describing their experience,

Next, let's check for comprehension. Can the students relate to Sarah, the character in the book? Did they have a hard time waking up to go to school? Ask similar and more detailed questions. This helps develop oral and receptive language and even critical thinking skills.


Jitter Balls

There are many favorites but this activity is an all time favorite. In order to engage in this activity, the story, First Day Jitters, must be read to the students first thing in the morning for this activity is played throughout the day. You will need a marble jar and some marbles. After you have read the book aloud, explain to the students that everytime they feel excited or anxious about anything they must put a marble in the jar. Train all the other students to say, "Its okay, we are your friends." Each time they see a student looking sad or lonely and going to the marble jar, all the other kids will have a chance to comfort that student. This activity builds a bond amongst the children. Students will learn that your classroom is a safe place and they can take risks.


In conclusion, the first day, even the week of school, is filled with uncertainty of what the new school year will entell. The first week of school is filled with getting to know you activities and even assessments. In fact, use this FREE Kindergarten through Fifth Grade Readiness Checklist to help you determine what students should actually know as their start their new school year.

Lessen your stress by downloading my FREE Activity guide that features 3 activities that you can use with any lesson, standard or skill. In this FREE ebook, you will also get my FREE School Charades Icebreaker game.

➜ GRAB MY 3 FREE Activities