3 Back-to-School Ideas You’ll Love

By Lauren Salisbury
August 9, 2019

Welcome back to school! As you set up your classrooms and meet your new students, we hope you're feeling pumped and inspired for the year ahead. We’ve taken some of our favorite features from the September issue of Scope and whipped up a few fun ideas just for you and your students. Check them out below!

Read the poem “Would I Still Be Me?” by Jennifer Dignan and then have students write their own poems. (Use this great writing planner to help them organize their ideas.) Encourage them to decorate or doodle their work. 

At your school’s first open house, place each student’s poem on their desk. Give parents a few minutes to write a response to their child’s poems while sitting at their child’s desk. Even better? Ask parents to write their own “Would I Still Be Me?” poems in response.


The September issue of Scope will take your students around the world—from the Ethiopian desert to the lush rainforests of Borneo.

Post a large world map in your classroom. Throughout the year, after reading an issue of Scope, place a push pin on each place you journeyed to in the pages of the magazine. You may want to post some essential questions for students to discuss as they place a new pin on the map. Here are a few:

  • Why should we care about things that happen in faraway places?
  • What can we learn from different places and peoples?
  • In what ways are all people on Earth connected?


This is a quick and powerful way for students to reflect on the day’s reading, thinking, and learning—and one I loved using in my classroom when I taught 7th grade. If you’ve got a little empty wall space, use a bulletin board as a place for students to place sticky notes responding to quotes, essential questions, Do-Nows, and exit tickets. It’s a great strategy to use with anything you read in Scope this year.

For the September issue: Every Scope lesson plan begins with a Do-Now activity to engage students and prepare them to read and learn. The lesson plan for the Paired Texts in your September issue has a Do-Now that we think is perfect for a sticky note wall. Check it out here.

Happy reading, and happy new school year to you and your students!

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