Back to School: Gearing Up for the First Week

First week of school toolkit image

We know that the first week of back to school is a crucial time for teachers to get to know their students, and to establish welcoming and inclusive classroom communities. To support teachers as they lay the foundation for a reflective and courageous community, we are pleased to launch the “Back-to-School Toolkit: Building a Student-Centered Learning Community for the First Days of School.


About the Back to School Toolkit

The Toolkit contains five lessons for the first week school, centered around the essential question: “How can we work together to create an open, supportive, and reflective learning community?”  

Although designed for an 8th - 10th grade US History classroom, the lessons and their handouts can be easily modified to support any middle school, high school social studies, or ELA classroom. 



Children prepared for the first week of back to school!


Back to School: First Week Lessons Feature:

  • Detailed plans with activities and assessments

  • A “SEL Competencies and Pedagogical Moves” section that offers a rationale for classroom routines, strategies, and activities 

  • “Teacher Reflection Questions” to help you reflect on the lesson and assessment data, and to plan for the next class

  • Editable handouts and PowerPoint slide decks

  • Editable “Plan on a Page” - an abridged version of each detailed lesson plan - for teachers to refer to in class as needed


Free Back to School Webinar

There is also a free on-demand webinar, Beyond Day One: The Importance of the First Week of School, where we explore the social-emotional learning competencies and pedagogical moves that are the foundation of the lessons in the Facing History Back-to-School Toolkit. 


Get the Toolkit here


TopicsTeachersLesson Plans

Written by Jen Langley, Director of Marketing at Facing History and Ourselves.

This post was originally published on the Facing History and Ourselves site and can be found here.

Facing History and Ourselves
Facing History and Ourselves is a nonprofit international educational and professional development organization. Its mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice and anti-Semitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed...