Are you looking for a unique, memorable activity for your 2nd grade class? Look no further than this list of must-do 2nd grade events and activities! The teachers in our amazing Lucky 2nd Grade Teachers Facebook Group shared their favorite, student-friendly events and activities that they return to year after year. Students will remember these days long after they have left 2nd grade. This is the ultimate list of magical, memory-making, fun events and activities for 2nd grade. Let’s take a look!
Remember: When planning these events and activities, you know the needs of your students best. Adjust these activities to make them work for your class. A simple, no-frills class project can be as fun and memorable as an over-the-top room transformation!
Jump to Event Type
Any Time Activities
1. Poetry Cafe
Wrapping up a poetry unit, or want to celebrate National Poetry Month? Host a poetry cafe in your classroom! *snap snap snap* Allow students to sip on their favorite beverage while their classmates share original poems with each other, or share one of our favorite poetry read alouds together.
2. Classroom Talent Show
Your class is filled with fantastic students, each with their own special talents and gifts. Let them show off their skills to the class by hosting a classroom talent show!
3. Teach the Teacher
Turn the tables, and allow the students to become the teacher! Each student will pick a subject on which they feel they are an expert (building a Minecraft world, playing Happy Birthday on the keyboard, showing how to take care of a goldfish – really, anything goes!). The students must prepare a lesson plan and a five-minute presentation on their topic of expertise, and teach the class! This is great for practicing oral presentation skills, building confidence, and sharing individual interests with peers.
4. Make your own board game/Board Game Day
Did you know that students who play board games regularly have stronger math, problem-solving, and communication skills than those who don’t? We should all be playing board games regularly!
For this activity, have students design and make their own board game. To start, have a board game day in the classroom, where students can take turns playing board games (from your classroom collection or they can bring in their favorites from home).
Study the different types of board games, and think about what a fun board game needs (game pieces, cards, dice, spinners, etc.). Then students will design their own games. When the project is complete, have another board game day when they can teach their game to the class and take turns playing together.
5. STEM Arcade Day
Have you heard the story of Caine’s Arcade? A boy used his imagination and building skills to make an arcade – entirely out of cardboard! Watch the inspirational video with the class, then have each student create their own cardboard arcade game. When all the games are complete, let the students have a “fun pass” by trying out each other’s games!
6. Book Character Parade
This event can be done around Halloween, Read Across America Day, or any time of the year! Students will dress up as a beloved book character for the day, and parade around the school. Encourage students to bring in the character’s book. This can also be a great exercise and review about character traits! Each student can write a small list or give a presentation about their favorite character and why they chose to dress like them.
7. Dance Party
Get grooving with dance party day! Make a playlist of students’ favorite songs and listen throughout the day. Play a setlist of favorite Go Noodle Dances. Learn how to do a group dance (think Electric Slide, Cupid Shuffle, etc.). Do you have a parent or community member who teaches dance? Invite them into the class to give a lesson. You can even hang up a disco ball or dance lighting to set the mood for the day!
8. Field Day
Take the fun outside with Field Day! Students can participate in classic relay games (potato sack, three-legged race, balance the egg on a spoon, water balloon toss, etc.), obstacle courses, and team games like kickball. Invite parents to help out and have a ball! Students will benefit from physical activity while practicing teamwork and fair play!
9. Weather Report Day
Today’s weather forecast is sunny with a chance of fun! Have each student research a different area in the United States, and some of the extreme weather that can be found there (think hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, blizzard, and extreme heat). Have students dress to impress, then give a live weather report to the class! For added fun, use a green screen and record students’ reports. Then they can add special effects videos! For tips on how to use a green screen, check out this video.
10. Fort Day
This simple class reward is always a big hit! Have students bring supplies from home (sheets, pillow, etc.) and allow them to create their own desk fort for the day!
11. Pajama Day
Dream big with pajama day! Students will dress in their pajamas. For extra fun, they can even bring in a stuffed friend. Then kick back, relax, and learn!
1. Thanksgiving Parade Floats
Read the book Balloons Over Broadway and have students create their own parade float. For step-by-step instructions on how to include coding and STEM design into this classroom project, check out our post on Thanksgiving Read Alouds and Activities.
We had so much fun with the original Tuesday on 2/2/22, that we plan to celebrate it every year! Which “Twos-Day” will you celebrate? 2/2, or 2/22? Either way, we’ve got you covered with tons of fun activities to celebrate this day!
3. March Madness Book Bracket
Not a big basketball fan? You can still get involved with the excitement of March Madness by doing a Book Bracket. You can follow this annual book bracket contest, or create your own list (or check out our awesome list of Best Read Alouds for 2nd Grade!) Books will face off head-to-head, with students voting for their favorites in each round. The bracket continues until an ultimate book winner has been chosen! This is also a great unit to teach fractions and percentages (How many people chose this book? What percent of the class likes this book best? etc.)! Celebrate with a reading party!
4. End of Year Countdown
Time flies when you’re having fun in 2nd grade! Keep the fun going with Riddle Bags for an end-of-the-year countdown. Each day when students arrive at school, a new riddle bag will be on display. Once students solve the riddle on the outside of the bag, they get to open the bag and see the surprise inside – often a fun activity or event to do that day to celebrate the end of the school year! You can check out our post on Riddle Bags here.
Can you imagine the joy and surprise on your students’ faces when they walk into school, and their classroom has been transformed? With a little bit of creativity, all these classroom transformations can be done on a low budget or at no cost at all.
1. Camp Read-a-Lot
Camp Read-A-Lot is the perfect activity for Read Across America, or any day of the year when your students deserve a break or reward. Click the image below to see how to set up Camp Read-A-Lot in your classroom.
2. Restaurant Day
We’ve cooked up a fantastic classroom transformation with Restaurant Day! Click on the image below to dig into this delightful dining day, with everything you need to know about Restaurant Day Set-Up.
3. Beach Day
Surf’s up! Learning is a breeze when you make it a Beach Day transformation. Click the image to find the step-by-step guide and several awesome decorating ideas.
4. Glow Day
Black lights, glowsticks and bracelets set the scene for a fun-filled day! Students will be glowing with anticipation for Glow Day! Check out the chit-chat about Glow Day, with tips and tricks from the amazing teachers in our 2nd Grade Teachers Facebook Group.
2nd Grade Writing Projects with Extension Activities
1. Directed Drawing Calendars
Teachers and students alike look forward to this project! Students will create an illustrated calendar using directed drawing prompts. Students can keep this calendar, or create it as a gift for someone special. To learn more about how to use directed drawing prompts in the 2nd grade classroom, check out this blog post.
2. Write a Class Book
Every class has a story to tell! Write a collaborative story, with each student taking a turn to write and illustrate a page. Copy and bind the book so that each student has their own edition of the book.
3. Animal Reports/Presentations
Ready to dig into informational writing? Create your own classroom zoo! Each student will choose an animal, create a model of the animal and its habitat, and share the information about their animals with the class.
4. Biography Report
Informational writing doesn’t have to be boring! For this biography project, have students participate in a wax museum! Students can have the option to dress up as the famous person they are reporting on, and share important facts about the person’s life. Invite parents and other classes to attend your “museum.”
5. Class Scrapbook
At the end of each month, print out a selection of photos from your class activities. Set them out on the table and allow students to choose their own photos. Using paper, stickers, and any other fun craft items, let students create their own scrapbook page filled with memories of that month. At the end of the school year, they will have a collection of all the amazing things they did in 2nd grade! Now that’s something worth celebrating!
What are your “can’t live without” events and activities for 2nd grade? Let us know in the comments!