5 Fun and Productive Morning Work Activities!

A young child drawing a character for Morning work activities for the classroom.

Not establishing a morning routine for your students can leave your classroom in disarray! The beauty of routines is they help keep kids regulated because they know exactly what to expect each day. The morning work activities you choose should vary and allow students to be productive, add some calm, and still make room for fun in your mornings!

morning work activities for the classroom

The right set of morning work activities will provide a welcoming environment for each school day. They should also give you space in the mornings to get other tasks off your plate while your students work independently. 

The goal is to avoid busy work but also, get students engaged and ready for the more strenuous learning that is to come. 

Here are some morning work activity ideas that can help touch on all of these necessary components!

Directed drawing of an owl used as a morning work activity.
Image c/o of Jessica Petry @firstgradesfavoritedays using First Grade Rooted in Reading October.

Directed drawings are not only a wonderful way to respond to texts and recreate book characters but, among other ways to effectively incorporate directed drawings into your lesson plans, they make a great morning work activity.

Directed drawings are a great way to regulate emotions and get students’ hands moving as they may be a bit anxious when entering the classroom in the mornings.

You can choose directed drawings that are seasonal, character-specific, or personal!

Check out Directed Drawings for Every Season

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The keyword for morning work is simple. Anything that you want your students to do in the morning should be easy for them to complete, especially if you want time to get around to your own tasks like collecting homework, prepping materials, etc. 

These FREE simple math game printables are an easy way to make this happen. Students can play independent math games with simple 2-step instructions, like rolling the dice and adding the numbers they land on, or spinning to find numbers and adding those.

This does not have to be complicated and would make a great addition to morning tubs if you wanted something more hands-on, instead. The result is students who are excited to begin the learning process!

Download FREE Simple Math Games.

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Journal writing sheet from Rock the Read Aloud: Bad Apple

Things can get tricky when it comes to using writing activities for morning work. Students aren’t typically eager to write, but when you use familiar topics for journal writing, your students will feel less pressure to “get it right.”

Consider topics like friendship, recent activities they’ve engaged in, favorites, etc. Make it a fun opportunity for them to talk about things they enjoy and they will be more likely to actually enjoy the writing process.

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Image c/o of Jessica Petry @firstgradesfavoritedays using First Grade Rooted in Reading October.

If journal writing feels like too much, you can have your students respond to literacy prompts instead. This is a great way to get students to practice their writing and work on comprehension in a way that is easier to digest.

In this case, students only need to draw pictures or write short responses. You can use prompts for vocabulary, grammar, reading, etc. as long as they are short and sweet.


Having your students practice their math facts is an easy way to get them in the groove of learning for the day and revisiting some of the concepts they’ve learned thus far.

The key is to keep the fluency practice short. Avoid overloading your students with tons of equations. Instead, opt for a few problems in a fun, themed printable format like these FREE Sweet Facts printables

Using a theme that most kids love (i.e., Ice Cream), helps keep students interested in the task ahead!

Download these Sweet Facts inside my Free Resource Library!

Don’t forget these Morning Work Activities! Save the image below for later!

6 morning work ideas

Hi, I'm Amy

Hey, y’all! My name is Amy Lemons and I am passionate about providing students with both engaging and effective standards-based Math and ELA lessons.


Sample a day of Rooted in Reading with these lesson plans and activities for Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, and Grammar!