This First Day of 2nd Grade Lesson Changed My School Year!


The beginning of the school year can be both exciting and nerve-wracking, especially when you’re transitioning to a new grade. If you’re a 2nd-grade teacher wondering what activities to do for your first day of school 2nd grade lesson, you’re in the right place. A few years ago, I found myself in the same situation, searching for engaging and meaningful activities that would set the tone for the year ahead. In this blog post, I’ll share with you the game-changing lesson I used to start my school year and make it a memorable experience for my students.

Read Aloud and Discussion

In general, kickstart the first day of school 2nd grade lesson by reading the book aloud to my 2nd-grade students. This story emphasizes the importance of kindness, empathy, and filling each other’s buckets with positive actions and words. We have a meaningful discussion about bucket filling and what it means to be a bucket filler in our classroom.

Using Buckets

In order to bring the concept of bucket filling to life, I provide each student with a small bucket from Dollar Tree (link in the description). We discuss how a bucket gets filled with water and compare it to filling someone’s emotional bucket with kind words and actions.

Bucket Filling vs. Dipping

While we delve deeper into the discussion about bucket filling versus bucket dipping. We establish our classroom rules and expectations together, and every student signs a commitment to be bucket fillers.

Scavenger Hunt and Classroom Tour

In order to familiarize students with the classroom and reinforce procedures and bucket-filling habits, we embark on a scavenger hunt. Along the way, we discuss different areas of the classroom and how they relate to our bucket-filling mindset.

Writing Activity

After the scavenger hunt, we write about how we are going to be bucket fillers throughout the school year. Students share their ideas, aspirations, and commitments to filling each other’s buckets. I introduce bucket filling notes, which are slips of paper that students can use to write uplifting messages to their peers.

Additional Bucket-Filling Activities

Throughout the year, we incorporate bucket-filling activities in various subjects, such as reading and math. These activities reinforce the importance of kindness, empathy, and fostering a positive classroom community.

Wrapping it Up

Overall, by starting the school year with bucket-filling activities, you can set a positive tone in your 2nd-grade classroom and foster a sense of community from day one. I hope you found these first day of school 2nd grade lesson ideas helpful for planning your own memorable first day of 2nd grade. If you enjoyed this blog post, don’t forget to like and subscribe for more teaching inspiration. See you soon, teacher bestie!