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Book cover titled "A Letter from Your Teacher: On the First Day of School" next to purple text reading "A letter on the first day of school activities.

First Day Fun: Activities for A Letter From Your Teacher

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First Day Fun: Activities for A Letter From Your Teacher by Shannon Olsen

A Letter from Your Teacher on the First Day of School provides a wonderful opportunity to engage students and set a positive tone for the new school year. By incorporating A Letter from Your Teacher activities into your lesson plans, you can help students build connections, understand different perspectives, and enhance their literacy skills.

An illustrated book cover titled “A Letter from Your Teacher” is surrounded by a worksheet, an envelope, and a pencil with an eraser shaped like a heart. Text on the bottom reads, “First day fun with A Letter From Your Teacher.”.

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A Letter From Your Teacher: On the First Day of School

A Letter From Your Teacher: On the First Day of School by Shannon Olsen emphasizes the importance of building a special bond with students and creating a caring, safe learning environment. 

The letter introduces the upcoming school year and reassures students that their teacher is there for them and will be part of their learning journey.

The book covers the teacher’s hopes and dreams for the students, emphasizing kindness, learning, and making good choices.

A Letter From Your Teacher: On the First Day of School Discussion Points

  • Literacy Skills: The book encourages students to read and write letters.
  • Consequences of Actions: Actions have positive and negative consequences and encourage students to think before they act.
  • Building Relationships: Building strong relationships between teachers and students.
  • Empathy and Kindness: The teacher’s letter promotes empathy and kindness in the classroom.
  • Setting Goals: Setting personal and academic goals for the school year.

A Letter From Your Teacher: On the First Day of School Activities

A Letter From Your Teacher: On the First Day of School by Shannon Olsen is a great back to school book for the classroom because it addresses important themes like building relationships and setting goals.

This post will focus on A Letter From Your Teacher: On the First Day of School activities for:


You can also explore activity ideas for A Letter From Your Teacher: On the Last Day of School.

Understanding the Author’s Purpose

The book’s purpose is to welcome students and set a positive tone for the school year, which can help students understand why authors write texts.

Activity: Ask students to pay close attention to how the teacher in the story expresses her feelings and what she wants her students to know. Discuss and write down why they think Shannon Olsen wrote the book:

  • welcoming students
  • promoting kindness and empathy
  • making good choices
  • the excitement of learning
  • forming positive relationships in the classroom.


You can use individual
graphic organizers or large chart paper.

A classroom desk with school supplies, a book titled "A Letter from Your Teacher on the First Day of School," and worksheets labeled "AUTHOR'S PURPOSE" featuring reading and writing activities.
Click on the images to explore author's purpose activities for A Letter from Your Teacher on the First Day of School.

Making Connections to Personal Experiences

This book draws on themes and experiences about starting a new school year. Students can practice making text-to-self connections by relating these themes to their own lives.

Activity: Ask students to share their own first-day-of-school stories.

  • What were their feelings and experiences?
  • What similarities do they see between their experiences and those described in the book?


Students will
write their own letters to a new student, sharing their experiences and giving tips for the first day of school. Guidelines for the letter could include:

  • a greeting
  • sharing a personal story about their first day
  • offering advice
  • concluding with an encouraging message


Encourage students to think about what would have been helpful for them to know on their first day and to include those tips in their letters.

Image shows printable worksheets titled "A Letter to My Teacher on the First Day of School" and a book cover of "A Letter to My Teacher." Text reads: "FREE activity." The bottom reads: "Children's Library Lady.
Click the image or the box below to get FREE A Letter from Your Teacher on the First Day of School writing activity in your inbox.

Exploring Point of View

The book clearly shows how the writer’s perspective can shape a narrative. Understanding the teacher’s viewpoint helps students grasp how different perspectives influence storytelling and communication.

Activity: Discuss the teacher’s perspective. 

  • How does the teacher feel about the first day of school?
  • What are her hopes and expectations for her students?
  • Write key points from the discussion on the whiteboard or chart paper.


Students will
write a response letter from the student’s point of view. This will help them understand how different perspectives can affect a narrative. Guidelines for the letter might include:

  • a greeting
  • expressing the student’s feelings about the first day of school
  • responding to the teacher’s hopes and expectations
  • their own goals or wishes for the school year. 


Encourage students to put themselves in the shoes of a student on their first day, thinking about their emotions, expectations, and any concerns they might have.

Cover of a children's book titled "A Letter from Your Teacher on the First Day of School" along with an illustration showing a letter addressed to a teacher, thanking them for a warm welcome.
Click on the images to explore point of view activities for A Letter from Your Teacher on the First Day of School.

Discussion Questions for A Letter From Your Teacher: On the First Day of School

These questions encourage your students to think critically about A Letter From Your Teacher: On the First Day of School story, character development, plot progression, setting, and underlying themes, helping to improve their reading comprehension and critical thinking skills.

  1. Why do you think the teacher wrote this letter to her students?
  2. How does the teacher describe herself? What can you infer about her personality?
  3. What do you think the teacher hopes her students will feel after reading this letter?
  4. Based on the letter, what will the students’ first day of school be like?
  5. Can you relate to the feelings or experiences the teacher mentions in her letter? How?
  6. How does the teacher’s perspective help you understand her feelings about the new school year?
  7. What effect does the teacher hope her letter will have on her students? What causes her to write this letter?
  8. What do you think the teacher values most in her classroom? Why?
  9. Have you ever received a letter from a teacher? How did it make you feel, and how is that similar or different from the letter in the book?
  10. what would be your first impression of the teacher if you were a student receiving this letter? Why?


This
activity pack includes over 90 questions to use before, during, and after reading A Letter From Your Teacher: On the First Day of School.

Have you used A Letter From Your Teacher: On the First Day of School in your classroom? Let me know how you used it!

FREE Resource for A Letter From Your Teacher: On the First Day of School

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