Fun April Activities for First Grade

April has always felt like a bit of an odd month in the primary classroom. On one hand, you're getting close to the end of the year, but on the other, you're not quite in the homestretch yet! Luckily, April is filled with fun themes and activities to keep students engaged in learning all month long. If you're wondering what to focus on in April, I've got plenty of ideas to share! Come along to see some of my favorite, fun April activities and lessons for the first-grade classroom! 

Use these fun April activities for first grade to keep learning blooming in your classroom this spring.

Making April Fun for Students 

As we inch closer to the end of the year, those first-graders in our classroom start to look a lot more like second-graders. They might seem a bit more mature, more independent, and ready to be challenged. And as for any grade, if we want to keep students engaged in the lessons, we've got to make sure we're choosing material and activities that will excite them! This is especially true towards the end of the year when kiddos are more likely to "check out". 

As your students start inching towards second grade, use these fun April activities to help them feel more challenged and ready to take on the next chapter in their learning.

To help avoid this, I'm super strategic when planning April activities for my students! I have a handful of lessons and activities that I tend to use every April. They're my go-to's for this time of year when students are ready for something new. Plus, they offer a fun way to get in the practice we need before the end of the year has arrived!

My U.S. State Lapbook

First up, let's chat about one of my favorite lessons! I love teaching social studies topics in my classroom. Primary students are SO interested in the world around them, making these topics especially fun to explore in the classroom. In April, we're learning about U.S. states, particularly the one that we live in. In my classroom, we begin these studies by first digging into some information about the United States, American symbols, and government leaders. We use mini books and worksheets for these topics, which are a review for my students at this point in the year since we've already touched on many of these topics. 

Include this U.S. state lapbook in your list of April activities to cover information like capital cities, governors, state symbols, and more.

After that, we dive into research specific to our own state. Once students understand that there are 49 other states in our country, it's really fun for them to learn about their own! I have students create their own lapbooks filled with state facts. They collect information such as the capital city, governor's name, state tree, and more. Students also get to identify the types of landforms that can be found in their home state as well as notable places to visit. 

After gathering our information, the students work on cutting, coloring, writing, and gluing all of the foldable pieces into their lapbooks. When it's complete, they'll have a really fun, visual record of everything we've learned. This is a great keepsake that parents love to see! 

April Grammar Lessons 

When you hear the words "grammar lessons" what comes to mind? If you're like most, you probably think "boring!" But grammar really can be fun, friends! While this topic can get a bad rap for being dry and a little bit hard to teach, I actually really enjoy having some dedicated grammar lessons in our classtime. And of all our grammar lessons, this one is my favorite! Students like learning to compare things using adjectives and apply them to writing. And we all know that if kids are interested, it's far more fun to teach!

Grammar lessons like these keep learning fun as you dive into your April activities.

If you're looking for a fun way to practice comparative adjectives with your students, this will be your one-stop shop! Inside, I have a variety of activities that can be used in whole group settings, center time, and even small groups if you have time for it. 

I like to sprinkle these lessons throughout the month, beginning with the mini posters to introduce this concept. Students will learn what a comparative adjective is and how to add -er and -est to words to alter their meaning. This is always fun for kiddos as they realize that these additions alter the meaning of the original word. We introduce these as a class and then follow it up with a sorting activity to practice. After our group lessons, I use the additional worksheets and sentence-sorting activities to have students practice independently and in centers throughout the month. 

Number Sense Activities for April

In my classroom, we work on place value and number sense activities every single day to help students fully grasp this concept. I love that this time is built into the routine and it helps students expand on what they've learned daily. In our April activities, this is no different!

Include number sense activities like these in your April activities to give your students opportunities to practice place value and number sense every day.

We use daily number sense centers and worksheets to focus on numbers 1-120 in April. By this time of the year, students know exactly what to expect from these activities, making the worksheets perfect for independent practice. There are also teaching mats for small groups and independent center cards as well. 

And don't worry, just because the layout of these worksheets is familiar to students, doesn't mean they aren't challenging. The numbers on the worksheets are not consecutive to prevent kiddos from identifying a pattern and simply guessing. Instead, they'll need to apply what they've learned to solve each problem on their page. These have really simplified daily place value practice in my room! I love knowing we have time for this skill carved out every day for the whole year! 

Write the Room Activities 

No matter what month I'm planning for, you can bet that Write the Room activities will make it on my lesson plan! I just love the versatility of these resources. Whether you need an instant center activity, a fun whole group Scoot game, or you'd like to have your students actually walk around the room - these are winner! I like to laminate the cards for each set and use them again and again. Then, the only prep work required is to make copies and recording sheets, and viola! We're ready to go! 

A write the room activity like this will get your students up and moving as they focus on 2 digit addition in your April activities.

In April, these 2-Digit Addition Task Cards come in really handy as students practice mastering this skill! They take a topic that's not typically regarded as fun and make it super engaging! If your students are losing interest in their regular old addition worksheets, these are a great option to mix it up. Plus, they have a spring flair to them, making them a perfect addition to your April activities. 

Use these as a traditional Write the Room activity to work out some wiggles, or consider playing Scoot as a whole class! There are 3 different recording sheets included as well, so you can increase the difficulty of this activity as students progress in ability. Check out more spring write-the-room activities here!

R-Controlled Vowels 

Phonics is another skill we work on daily in first grade. In April, we're working on a skill that I think is lots of fun - bossy r! Students think this name is funny, so I love using it to describe r-controlled vowels. Every year is different of course, but we're typically working through the resources in this R-Controlled Vowels bundle in April. There are activities included for AR, ER, IR, OR, and UR, so no matter where your students are - you'll be covered!

Use these r-controlled vowel April activities in centers or small groups this spring.

I've made sure to include plenty of variety in these activities to keep things feeling fun for students. We use the word-building cards in small groups, the games during center time, and the worksheets for independent practice. Personally, I love the word-building cards since they present an opportunity to informally assess how kiddos are doing. Small group time is my favorite since it allows me to check in on my crew and guide them in the right direction if needed!

Grab the free sample of this resource to give these word-building cards a try in your room. I know that once you use them with students, you'll be excited for small-group learning time too! The best part is that once you show students how to use them, they can also be repurposed for center time. There is an included recording sheet so students can write down the words they build. 

Add this r-controlled vowels FREEBIE to your list of fun April activities your first graders will love.

No Prep Phonics Worksheets 

Last on my April activities list are some no-prep phonics worksheets. There will always be some pockets of time to fill in our day, and I'd prefer to make sure we fill them with meaningful activities. I like no-prep activities as much as the next teacher, but I want to make sure we're not just filling out time with fluff either. Time is limited, so we've got to make it count! 

Spring phonics no prep worksheets like these are the perfect addition to your list of fun April activities to keep learning going this spring.

These Spring Phonics pages check all the boxes for me. They're no prep, engaging for students, and focus on decodable words with short vowels. To use, students will look at the picture in each box and fill in the beginning sound for that word. They repeat until they have filled in the whole code. Then they will read the word and color the picture to match the code. Each word represents a different color. 

When they are finished, a fun spring picture is revealed! My kids love these activities and I love that they're getting meaningful phonics practice when we use them. We sneak these into the nooks and crannies of our day. I also have them available for fast finishers and center time too! 

More April Activities 

So which of these was your favorite? It's a tough choice, but I always love our social studies lessons. If you're looking to mix things up and snag some engagement, a fun social studies lesson is a great place to start! I know your students will love creating their own state lapbook as much as mine do!

If you're looking for even more springtime activities for April, be sure to pop over to my TPT shop. You'll find everything listed here, along with many more April activities for the primary classroom! Have fun planning your April activities, teacher-friend! 

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Looking for fun ways to keep the learning engaging and exciting for your students this spring? Check out all of these fun April activities to include in your lesson plans this spring. From math to ELA I've got you covered. Be sure to check out the r-controlled FREEBIE you can start using in your classroom today! #thechocolateteacher #funaprilactivities #aprilactivitiesforfirstgrade #springlessonplansforfirstgrade

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