10 Engaging May Activities for First Grade

May in the classroom is a crazy busy time. As you scoot closer to those final days before summer break, your classroom can feel like somewhat of a whirlwind! Between covering those last few units, making sure everyone gets enough review, and planning end-of-the-year festivities, it can be a lot. Luckily though, with the right activities, you'll be able to maintain student attention and sail through the final countdown. Come along to see some of my favorite May activities and how I make the most of the end of the year! 

Grab these 10 fun and engaging May activities to use with your students this year.

May Activities to Calm the Chaos 

As we all know, the end of the year can feel a little bit crazy. We've got lots to do and everyone is bursting with excitement for summer break! Because of this, I lean heavily on the procedures and routines we've been forming all year to help us sail through the final weeks. What I mean by this is that by choosing activities and lessons that align with your normal routines, you'll be better able to "calm the chaos" and help those little learners stay on track. 

Use May activities to keep your students engaged and excited about learning in those last few weeks before school lets out for the summer.

In my room, this means considering which times of the day work best and making sure that I'm mindful to choose activities to support those times in my room. For example, mornings are productive and focused in my room, so I know I can plan on some dedicated morning work, small group time, and whole group teaching. But when the afternoon rolls around it's in my best interest to plan something fun like Scoot, or BINGO since attention is winding down. 

If you plan your day with these things in mind, you're far more likely to have a successful month! Work with the natural flow and rhythm of your day, not against it! Need some ideas to get started? Here are 10, easy ways to keep those kiddos on track and actually enjoy the end of the year! 

1. First Grade Daily Math 

A routine that I implemented way back at the beginning of the year always comes in handy in May. Even with extra events and activities going on, my students know that they will always, without fail, do some kind of daily math practice. They've come to expect this block as part of our morning routine, so it helps add some predictability to our day. Not to mention, it ensures that my kids will also get practice with place value and number sense regularly! 

First grade daily math May activities like these are a great way to get in skills practice each and every day of the month.

In May, our daily math activities focus on numbers 100-120 and beyond. By this point in the game, they're pretty comfortable with activities that target skip counting, sequencing, greater than or less than, and expanded form. I like to use these activities as the basis for our daily number talks and then have kiddos jump into practice independently. This resource also comes with materials to use in math centers or small groups to help model essential skills and support learning. 

2. Possessive Nouns Activities

Do you have dedicated grammar lessons in your classroom? It seems many schools have done away with traditional grammar books and lessons and opted to have them woven into other ELA activities instead. While I'm all for squeezing grammar work into the nooks and crannies of our day, I also see the huge benefit my students receive from in-depth monthly grammar lessons. For this reason, I created a bunch of fun units to use throughout the year to target different grammar topics. 

May activities like these possessive nouns activities are a great addition to your lesson plans as the end of the year draws near.

In our May activities, we're working on Possessive and Plural Nouns. We use these activities in a whole group setting as well as for center time throughout the month. I'll typically conduct a quick review lesson on this topic and then have kiddos work on the included worksheets for some practice. Then, I use the Poke Cards and recording sheets during center time. Finally, we all come back together to complete the fun writing craft as a group. Kiddos get to choose a possessive noun to write a sentence about and make a cute watermelon craft topper to go along with it. The craft has a perfect summer vibe to it and makes the cutest bulletin board display! 

3. May Math and ELA Centers 

May is a month that is absolutely jam-packed with review! As we finish out the year, it's a priority of mine to touch on all of the math and ELA concepts we've covered throughout the year. Center time is my go-to point in the schedule to weave in review. Since I've already taught these concepts, they're preferred for partner games and activities that encourage hands-on learning. 

Fill your math and ELA centers with May activities to cover skills your students will love to practice all month long.

This bundle of math and ELA centers covers 17 topics through engaging formats! Students will love using compound word puzzles, syllable clip strips, clock BUMP games, comparing numbers wands, and more! With so many different activities to choose from, you'll be all set for a fun-filled month of learning and review! 

4. Summer Words Write the Room 

Looking for a fun way to help your students practice reading, writing, and spelling? You'll love this Summer Words Write the Room set! It focuses on vocabulary words to describe summer fun. This is a really great activity to use when you notice your kiddos losing steam or getting rambunctious. Simply getting up and moving helps to shake out the wiggles and refocus! Plus, the fun summer theme is sure to catch their interest!

Summer words write the room May activities like these get your kids up and moving while getting in some extra learning.

To use, simply hang the cards around the room and give each student a clipboard and recording sheet. there are 3 different options to allow for differentiation by skill level. Students will approach each card, say the word, and then find it in the word bank on their page. Then, they write it in the correct spot. They can keep moving from card to card until their page is full. Extend this activity by having kiddos choose 5 words from their page to write a silly, summer story! 

5. Digital Activities for May 

Do you use Boom Cards or Google Slides activities with your kiddos? While I'm a big fan of more tactile materials and hands-on learning, I also find that digital games are a fun option for center time as well. Students love any opportunity to use technology and they require absolutely no prep, which is a big win in my book during the busy month of May! 

Digital May activities like these are a fun digital way to get in exciting skills practice your students will love.

I like to have students practice place value work with tens and ones using this deck of Boom Cards or this Google Slides resource. To play, students will drag and drop elements to solve math problems relating to number values, greater than or less than, and base ten blocks. These activities are a fun way to mix it up in May! 

6. May Phonics Activities 

Phonics and reading is one of those topics that I'm quite certain we can never practice enough. Firsties need LOTS of practice with new spelling patterns, and this goes even beyond our small group sessions. I like to sprinkle in some extra practice activities for phonics topics throughout the month in the form of center games and no-prep worksheets. 

Bring on the phonics fun with these May activities includin sorting, word-building, dipthongs, and more.

In May, we're working on diphthongs with the fun activities in this resource. I like to use the sorting activity and word-building cards to model this topic in small groups and then repurpose them during center time. Students love the fun ice cream theme of these activities and I love how much practice they get with words using oi and oy! The worksheets also come in handy for homework or fast finishers as well! 

7. Phonics BINGO Game 

Speaking of phonics, what better way to review words and sounds than with a fun game of BINGO? I love BINGO games and we use them all throughout the year! They come in really handy if you've got a parent helper in your room to lead small groups or use it as a Fun Friday activity to close out the week. No matter what you choose, it's always a student favorite!

Phonics BINGO is a great addition to your May activities giving students a game like learning experience.

This summer-themed BINGO game focuses on blends, CVCE words, and digraphs to give your students a well-rounded review of words you've worked on throughout the year. There are 2 versions for you to choose from and 30 different cards so that you can even play with your whole group if you'd like! 

8. No Prep Math and ELA Review Worksheets 

During one of the busiest times of the school year, I think we can probably all agree that having some no-prep options on hand is a must! But I'm not looking for boring worksheets that my students won't benefit from either! These No Prep Math and ELA Worksheets offer a spiral review of important concepts, with unique activities that kiddos love!
No prep May activities like these will be the perfect way to save you time and effort in the last few weeks of school.

They'll work on mystery puzzles, cut-and-paste pages, and fill-in-the-blank worksheets in this resource. Each page uses a fun summer theme that kiddos love, but best of all they review TONS of important math and ELA skills! Students will work on phonics, grammar, spelling, and a variety of math topics with these no-prep pages! 

9. Balancing Equations Write the Room 

As I mentioned before, I love Write the Room! It comes in so handy when students seem restless and need a change of pace in the classroom. But it also works really well when played as a "Scoot" game too! To use it this way, simply place a card on each desk and have students start at one with a recording sheet. You'll start a timer for them to work on the task and when it goes off they have to Scoot! to the next one. This slight variation is a fun way to engage students in learning and mix it up a bit. 

Add this parts of speech write the room activity to your May activities for a fun way for students to practice parts of speech while getting up and moving around.

If you're looking for a fun game to feature, try this Balancing Equations set that has students use mental math to determine if the equation is true or false. This activity is perfect for Scoot since it will challenge students to use previously learned skills to solve quickly. Plus, they'll have so much fun, they won't even realize they're learning! 

10. End of the Year Memory Book 

I saved the best for last! This End of the Year Memory Book is the perfect way to bond with your students and reflect on all of the fun things you've done as a class throughout the year. Students will color the included craft pieces and foldables as well as their own cover design to create a fun lapbook keepsake. 

Include an end of year memory book like this is a great addition to your engaging May activities.

There are instructions included for how to fold a piece of construction paper as the base, and how to add the foldables. Students will record details about their school year including the name of their school, favorite subject, and more! I love that these lapbooks allow for some individuality as students add information that feels meaningful to them. Not to mention, parents absolutely LOVE these memory books too! 

Plan Your Own May Activities

I hope these May activities and resources helped to provide a jumping-off point when it comes to planning for your month! I know this time of year can feel extra hectic, but with the right activities, you won't have to stress so much. Focus on choosing engaging review materials, and being mindful to balance fun centers with no-prep options. This simple formula has saved my sanity over the years and I know it can help you too! You can find all of these activities and many more for the end of the year in my TPT shop. Happy Planning! 

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Looking for fun and engaging May activities to fill your last weeks of school with exciting learning fun your students will love? Include these worksheets, write the room activities, BINGO game, and more to your end of the year plans for easy learning students will really get into. #thechocolateteacher #mayactivities #mayactivitiesforelementarystudents

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