No Prep Last Minute Lessons for Reading and Writing ELA, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade

Grade Levels
3rd - 4th
Formats Included
  • Zip
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This bundle of no prep resources is great to have on hand for those days throughout the school year when you need an engaging reading or writing lesson and don't have any planning time.

The no prep activities included are:

1. 6 Reading Scavenger Hunts

Students go on a scavenger hunt or word hunt. They look for words on the classroom walls or in a book that fit a a certain criteria. Then, they use the words they found in a short follow up activity. This is an engaging activity that can be completed independently or with a partner.

2. Interview a Friend

This includes everything 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade students will need to interview a classmate or friend and reflect on what they have learned. It includes:

  • A brainstorming page to help students think about what sorts of questions they might ask their classmate
  • Possible student interview questions
  • A question and answer note taking page for the interview
  • 3 reflection activities to help students reflect on the activity and think show what they learned about their classmate
  • a grading rubric

While this is a great activity to use for back to school to help students feel comfortable around each other, it can also be used throughout the school year with different partners to build classroom community.

3. Squiggle Stories

Engage your students during writing by having them create squiggle stories / squiggle drawings! Have your 3rd or 4th grade students draw an image that integrates the squiggle provided, and then write a short story inspired by the image.

This no prep creative squiggle writing activity includes:

  • 9 writing "prompts"
  • Blank writing paper
  • 30 squiggle pages (image starters)
  • Grading rubric

The writing "prompts" included are more like directed brainstorming to help focus your students writing and practice other skills.

4. Categorizing Words Activity

This fun, no prep reading center has students sort words into categories based on similarities. This is a great way to help 3rd and 4th grade students build vocabulary, practice categorization and sorting skills, and learn to distinguish between topic and main idea.

For each activity, students are given a list of words. They sort the words into 3 groups based on similar topics, and then come up with a title for each of the groups.

There are 8 cut and paste centers for you to use.

5. Alien Descriptive Writing Activity

This no prep alien writing activity has students secretly create their own alien and write a matching description of their alien. Then, all of the students' aliens are placed on display while students read their descriptions. If they use enough descriptive details, the class should be able to figure out which alien was theirs, just based on the description!

The resource includes a no prep mini lesson, scaffolded writing pages to help students successfully go through the writing process, and a grading rubric.

6. A Prefix and Suffix Activity

This no prep word study center is a hands on way for students to practice building new multisyllabic words. Students can use the prefix and suffix cards along with the base words provided to build a variety of new multisyllabic words!

7. Grasslands Reading Comprehension with Questions

3rd or 4th grade students read a 2 page reading passage on temperate grasslands, and then answer questions and complete a short activity based on the passage.

8. Aesop's Fables - Reading Passages and Comprehension Activities

This resource includes 12 of Aesop's fables with reading comprehension questions and activities. The comprehension activities require students to summarize the fables, compare and contrast fables, examine character traits of the characters, determine morals / central message of the fables and analyze their importance, and more.

These activities are self-explanatory and can easily be completed by students independently.

9. Thank You Letter Template

Help your students write a thoughtful thank you letter with this no prep activity and template. Students are guided through the writing process, with a scaffolded rough draft template, so that their final letter is meaningful and successful.

Students will brainstorm, write a rough draft, revise and edit, and write a final draft on one of the 3 thank you writing papers provided.

10. A Kindness Activity

This kindness activity helps students collect compliments from their classmates in a book. The book includes different sentence starters that will help students come up with meaningful compliments and use kind words when writing to their peers.

You can check out the previews for each individual resource so you know exactly what is included!

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