20+ Independent Reading/Writing Activities

During my years as an elementary school teacher, I would often hear complaints from both students and parents whenever there was a long break. Students would complain about being bored at home and parents would grumble about how their children were wreaking havoc on their homes and schedules because they just ran out of things for them to do. By the end of summer, I had a full understanding of why everyone was so excited (and relieved) to begin another year of school.

This list of independent work activities was compiled over my years as a classroom teacher of students at various academic performance levels. I wanted work that would challenge each and every student while meeting their individual needs as unique learners. Not only are these tried and true classroom activities, but parents have reported that their children actually enjoyed the flexibility of many of the activities… and their children were able to work and learn independently! Yay!

[photo: activities on index cards in small pocket chart)

  1. Write a letter to the author of a book and explain your reaction to the book.
  2. Make a poster advertising your favorite book.
  3. Make a word search using Bee Wordy WOWs.
  4. Write a letter to a classmate.
  5. Write an article or comic strip for the class newsletter.
  6. Quietly play the Bee Wordy game with a classmate.
  7. Write a short story using one of the Creative Writing story titles.
  8. Search the internet for information on your favorite celebrity and write a short report on what you find out.
  9. Write sentences for 10 Bee Wordy WOWs, but leave the word out. Trade papers and have a classmate fill in the blanks.
  10. Write an entry in your personal journal.
  11. Write 10 super sentences using Bee Wordy WOWs. Be sure to include a noun, verb, adjective and adverb.
  12. Illustrate each chapter of a book you are reading or have read.
  13. Write a different ending or an additional chapter to a story you’ve read.
  14. Write a diary entry from the point of view of your favorite character.
  15. Write an original dialogue between two characters.
  16. Find a poem. Neatly copy and illustrate the poem.
  17. Write 6 things that you think would make the community a better place and tell why.
  18. Read a fable. Write the title and the lesson it teaches.
  19. Read an article in a magazine. Write the 5 Ws and H of the story.
  20. Read a book, then write a letter to someone telling them about it.
  21. List 15 different careers. Write about the ones you might like to do someday.