Spring is in the air! It’s always fun compiling my favorite teaching themes and topics for classroom activities each month. When I sat down to make a list of April topics and May themes, I realized that there was so much overlap! Since spring tends to be such a busy time for teachers and families, I thought I’d sum up favorite spring themes here which would be great for either March or April!
I love that thematic units give us, as teachers, a way to engage our students in high interest lessons, projects, activities, and even purposeful play!
Check out 13 of my favorite spring themes and topics here:
Ok, I know that this one seems obvious, but there are so many great stories and activities just related to the changing of seasons that are great for students! At the beginning of spring I love to read one of my favorite spring season stories , or go on a nature walk, and then complete a Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring sorting and writing activity! You can get this one here! (or here on tpt) I also love to use basic spring literacy centers for first graders to keep them practicing literacy skills in a relevant way as the seasons change!
We have all heard the saying about April showers! April is a great time to pick up some of your favorite rainy day book, like The Rain Came Down and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs! My first graders always loved to pull out Henry and Mudge in Puddle Trouble as well!
I created this general set of rainy day activities, with some pages to go with popular stories as well, so that I could have them on hand to keep kids learning on those dreary days!
Our school garden is coming to life! If you don’t have one already, it would be a great time to check into picking a small patch of land that you could use to plant some flowers or vegetables!
Some of my spring literacy centers are also flower themed and are great for this time of year!
Going along with seasonal changes is always noticing the weather. Spring is a great time to do some weather research or learn about weather. This is especially true since the temperature is usually tolerable to students, and you see such a variety of weather, especially in early spring here in New England for us! I have a set of early readers from Scholastic, and also showed some great videos and placed some library books about different types of weather into a research center and used it along side this Extreme Weather Research Companion. Students loved being able to research and write about the weather type they chose with the graphic organizers and report template! (you can also get it here on tpt)
Rainbow theme is great for St. Patrick’s Day and March, but any time there are rainy and sunny days, you have a chance of getting lucky and seeing a rainbow! That’s one of the reasons that Rainbow Observation activities are great to include in the spring. My favorites are the color changing white flowers, and the fizzy rainbow science experiment. Check out the printables that I use with the two activities below here! (or here on tpt)
If you haven’t already studied caterpillars and butterflies, spring is a great time. I’ve used the unit in both the fall and spring, and just made modifications with the first graders for the amount of writing I expected from them since so much changes during that first grade year. This is another great time to watch a life cycle in action! Students can see the caterpillars grow and change, notice their body parts, observe behaviors, and then watch the magic of metamorphosis.
This Butterfly Life Cycle resource helped to guide my students through the unit!
You’ll start to see those creepy crawlies emerge and hatch and buzz around this time of year. Bugs and insects are another great theme for a research station. Place some books, show some videos, and then provide students with graphic organizers and report writing pages to help them to share what they have learned.
It’s also fun to include the theme into math with a printable spinner station that you can use with any basic math facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division).
Ducks are one of my FAVORITE themes for springtime. I think this was definitely especially exciting for us at our school since we have a duck family who through the years always raises ducklings in our school courtyard.
Reading Make Way for Ducklings, researching and learning about ducks, learn about how ducks grow, or do some other duck themed writing are all ways to incorporate duck. The reason I love this theme is because there are so many fiction and informational books about ducks, so it’s a great opportunity to do some paired text studies as well!
We can’t forget rabbits in the springtime! Rabbits are an animal that most students are familiar with, but they are also a great one to have come visit from a local farm or shelter like we do in our town, so you can really make a study about rabbits come to life! Here’s the research companion and life cycle resource I created to use during our thematic unit! (you can also get it here on tpt)
I love doing this study near Easter since it’s a way to learn about nature and animals, engage students who are excited about Easter, but also have equally meaningful learning for students who do not celebrate!
I also created a set of emergent readers to use with students in the springtime. They are printable booklets with follow up comprehension activities. Two of them are narrative and two of them are informational readers for students. You can check these out here!
Frogs are another great animal to research about in the springtime, especially if you have the ability to have tadpoles in your classroom, or have a nearby pond you can visit with students. They grow and change so quickly and the stages of the life cycle are so distinctive.
We also can’t forget about how much students love to read Frog and Toad books this time of year! I find that this is the perfect time for my first graders as well. They are ready to read beginning chapter books, so these Frog and Toad comprehension resources keep them engaged during reading time!
Earth Day is in April! It’s a great time in spring to do some clean up, or even plant a tree or plant some flowers! Students love to feel empowered to know ways to take care of our earth!
If you have kids in your class who play baseball in the spring, you might already know that it can be pretty consuming this time of year. They are often buzzing with excitement over games, spending evenings at practice, and afternoons tossing a ball with a sibling or friend. Consider adding some fun baseball themed stations into your classroom to keep kiddos excited and engaged!
Easter is sometimes in April (and other times in March). If it’s appropriate for your students, including some Easter Word Problem practice (free), or sequencing and writing about how to dye Easter eggs, might be fun curricular activities for this time of year!