As March rolls around, you can look forward to a month full of fun activities that will engage and excite your students. From favorite read-aloud books to creative lesson plans, there are plenty of ideas to keep the classroom energized throughout the entire month. Whether you’re looking for something new or just want to spice up your regular routine, there are so many great March activities for your upper elementary classroom!
March brings hope for the arrival of spring, warmer temperatures that allow you to get outside again, and longer days that bring new beginnings. And with the excitement for spring, comes excitement in the classroom. March can be filled with meaningful and engaging activities that will help your students as you prepare for the month ahead as well as the test prep season. Here are some favorite March activities and books for upper elementary students.
1. St. Patrick's Day
Celebrating St. Patrick's Day in the classroom is a great way to get students excited about learning! There are lots of fun activities to do with students to mark this special day, from themed reading passages to educational games and activities that teach important concepts. Not only will these activities keep your class engaged, but they'll also help them learn more about Irish culture and history.
St. Patrick's Day has a lot of fun themes that can create fun content for the day: sneaky leprechauns, pots of gold, rainbows, lucky clovers, and more all make for fun activities that still align with your learning goals.
Foldable books are always a favorite to complete on special days because they are easy to assign in the morning and use to guide morning meetings. This allows kids to talk about St. Patrick's Day while completing some really fun writing prompts, and the book becomes a cute keepsake to send home too.
It's the perfect way to start off “the top o' the morning.” (See what I did there?)
Another great way to work the luck of the Irish into your day is to write lucky limericks. Limericks have Irish roots, which makes them the perfect writing activity for St. Patrick's Day!
You can also create a fun display where students can display the books that they are “lucky” to have! It's a great way to get students excited about the books that they are reading and to find recommendations from their friends.
Students can read more about the history of St. Patrick's Day, watch a short video about St. Patrick's Day, and answer questions about the holiday. Reading a nonfiction passage about St. Patrick's Day is an important way for students to learn more about this special day and its history. Nonfiction texts can provide students with valuable information that will help them understand the meaning behind the holiday, as well as why it's celebrated in different ways around the world. By exploring these texts, students can gain a better appreciation of Irish culture and traditions while also expanding their knowledge on other topics related to St. Patrick's Day. Reading nonfiction passages can be especially beneficial for upper elementary grades where students are beginning to explore more complex topics beyond the sneaky leprechaun.
A few favorite books that you to on St Patrick's Day:
Jamie O'Rourke and The Big Potato | How to Catch a Leprechaun | There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover | Fiona's Luck | The Leprechaun Trap | Discovery in the Woods: A St. Patrick's Day Surprise | Magic Tree House: Leprechaun in Late Winter | O'Sullivan Stew
2. Women's History Month
March is Women's History Month, and it’s the perfect time to celebrate the amazing contributions of women throughout history. It is also a great opportunity to teach students about notable female figures from different cultures and backgrounds who have made a difference in our world.
From reading books that feature strong female characters to engaging activities that help students explore the accomplishments of prominent women, there are plenty of ways to bring this special month into the classroom. It is a great time to dive deep into the contributions, struggles, and triumphs of women that have worked to make the world a better place for women.
What a great way to encourage and empower girls, by learning about the trailblazers that have come before them! Students can research and write short biography reports about a famous woman or an important woman in their lives.
You can read more about activities for Women's History Month in THIS POST.
3. Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras is a fun and festive celebration that can be enjoyed by students of all ages! From the colorful costumes to the delicious treats, it's the perfect way to get your class excited about learning. There are lots of creative ways to bring the spirit of Mardi Gras into the classrooms, from themed decorations to interactive activities.
You can read a favorite Mardi Gras book and then have students read more about Mardi Gras with this article. You can decorate masks, talk about traditional food, or even create your own floats!
A few favorite books for Mardi Gras:
Beignets for Breakfast | The Bourbon Street Band is Back | The Runaway Beignet | Mimi's First Mardi Gras
4. March Madness
Sometimes March feels like Madness, lol! But the basketball tournament is a fun theme to incorporate in the classroom too. Cinderella stories, bracket busters, the Final Four, buzzer-beating shots…they are all exciting ideas to bring to your kids. March Madness can create excitement, hope, and a little bit of drama in the classroom.
You can use brackets to have your students debate and choose their favorite books, or any topic of your choice. Your students will love debating and choosing their favorites to get down to the “Final Four” and choose the winner.
You can do fun “basketball” themed games, have book brackets, read about March Madness, famous basketball players, and more!
A few favorite basketball books to read during March Madness:
Salt in His Shoes | Bravo, Tavo! | Slam Dunk: Top 10 Lists of Everything Basketball | B is for Baller | Game Time, Mallory | Dream Big: Michael Jordan and the Pursuit of Excellence | Crossover | Above the Rim
5. The Beginning of Spring
The excitement of spring is here! I love the fresh beginning that spring brings. As the days get longer and temperatures start to rise, it can be difficult to keep students engaged in classroom happenings.
Spring fever is real, and with all of the distractions that come with warmer weather, it can be a challenge to keep students focused and on task. But there are plenty of ways to combat spring fever while still having fun!
Here are a few ideas for beating spring fever:
- Begin student-led book clubs to keep students engaged in their reading while encouraging higher-level thinking about the text.
- Take your learning outside (when the weather allows).
- Engage students with read-aloud books that will keep their attention.
- Create an outdoor art project. Let your students express themselves through materials they can find in the area, such as twigs, rocks, leaves, etc.
- Take advantage of warmer weather by having lunch outdoors. This is also a great opportunity to discuss safety rules when it comes to eating in public spaces and being mindful of littering the public space.
Here are a few books to read to welcome Spring:
The Gardener | Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring | Stuck | Inch by Inch | Outside In | Spring Stinks | And Then It's Spring | Waiting | Busy Spring | Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt | A Way with Wild Things
Holi is a vibrant and joyous Hindu festival that celebrates the arrival of spring. It's a time to come together with family, friends, and neighbors to enjoy music, dance, special foods, and colorful decorations. The expression of togetherness and friendship are the roots of the festival as it marks the end of the cold winter and the welcoming of spring.
For upper elementary students, this is an excellent opportunity to learn about different cultures and traditions while also expanding their knowledge on other topics related to Holi such as religion, geography, folklore, literature, and art.
By engaging students in activities during Holi season, you are fostering an environment of cultural appreciation among your students.
Here are a few books to read during Holi:
Festival of Colors | Tai and the Festival of Color | Holi Hai
7. Cesar Chavez Day
Cesar Chavez Day is celebrated on March 31st to celebrate the life of Cesar Chavez and his fight for equal rights for migrant workers. His life as a labor leader and civil rights activist who dedicated his life to fighting for the rights of migrant workers is one that will have a lasting impact on your students.
Through engaging activities and read-aloud books, you can bring this important figure into the classroom and teach students about Chavez’s legacy as an advocate for social justice.
By examining stories from Chavez’s own life, exploring the history of farmworker movements, or delving into literature related to Latino culture; upper elementary students can gain a greater appreciation for what it means to stand up for one's beliefs.
Here are a few books to read about Cesar Chavez:
Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez | Who Was Cesar Chavez? | A Picture Book of Cesar Chavez
I hope you found some new books and activities for March. I also hope that your classroom is filled with lots of luck, learning, and light as the days become longer and you welcome spring.
Check out these must-have March favorites:
March Themed Digital Agenda Slides, Digital Stickers, Book Reviews & More$3.00
St. Patrick's Day Activity| St. Pat's Day Writing Activity | Foldable Book$1.50
Spring Break Writing: Spring Break Memories Foldable Book Activity$1.50
Close Reading Comprehension Passages & Activities for March$5.25
St. Patrick's Day Bulletin Board: Story Elements Bulletin Board for March$3.25