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Back to School Activities for Upper Elementary: Classroom Procedures Charades

If you are looking for back to school activities for upper elementary that keep kids engaged and go over important classroom information, then you’re going to love these classroom procedure charades.

If we aren’t careful, back to school time can be a real bore for our students. It’s all about rules, setting expectations, and walking through classroom tasks and activities.

That is exactly why I’ve tried to get really creative with how information is shared with my students at the beginning of the year, and even when we are doing something that could be considered boring… like going over classroom procedures or (even worse) reviewing classroom procedures, that I have a whole lot of tools and games at my disposal to make them more interesting, and maybe even more fun the more times we go over them.

In a previous post, we discussed 7 classroom procedure games that you can play at the beginning of the year using these Classroom Procedure Task Cards, and today we are going to add to that list with even more back to school activities for upper elementary… classroom procedure charades (+ a few fun variations)! 

Playing Classroom Procedure Charades

Classroom Procedures Charades Back to School Activities for Upper Elementary Pin with a photo of a group of students playing charades outside

Before you begin playing this game, you’ll want to make sure that you edit the cards and add the procedures that you have already gone over with your students. We have included a bunch of common classroom procedures, but if anything doesn’t match what you do in your class, or if you do something in addition to what is on the cards, you’ll want to add all those.

If you are just getting started in upper elementary, then you may appreciate taking a closer look at this blog post that covers the 14 classroom procedures that we suggest you cover with your students.

Next, prepare the cards by laminating them. By laminating the cards, they can be used repeatedly for both this game and any other activities that you are going to try with your classroom procedures. Another reason to laminate the cards is because you’ll be able to cut down on prep time next year or any time that you review your classroom procedures.

For example, we suggest using this game or another game to review classroom procedures after any long breaks (like the holiday/winter break or spring break). You can check out our post on reviewing classroom procedures after break by clicking here!

Now, before you start, you have some decisions to make.

Do you want students to be in groups, so they can discuss the procedure and answer together or do you want students acting alone? This is totally up to you, and you may want to decide based on how early this game is in your review season. If you have been going over the procedures daily for a week, then students may be perfectly capable of answering with confidence on their own. However, if this activity is at the beginning of the week, you may want to provide them with a little more support (i.e. grouping them).

Another decision you may want to make at this point is how students will answer or respond. Are they going to use whiteboards, have to raise hands, etc? If you don’t establish clear rules for this, then shouting chaos may ensue…you’ve been warned.

Playing the Game

  1. Shuffle the Classroom Procedure Task Cards and place them face down.
  2. A chosen student/group will go first and pick up the first card. 
  3. That group or student will demonstrate the appropriate procedure without making a sound!
  4. The rest of the students will respond by identifying what the procedure is (and what the correct procedure is) in the method you decided on (and instructed on) earlier.
  5. Next, spend some time discussing the procedure and make sure everyone understands the process.
  6. Randomly pick a new student/team to go next
  7. Repeat steps 1-6

When it comes to back to school activities for upper elementary, the games don’t have to be complicated. A game like this that gets students up and moving can be enough to keep them engaged and learning.

Back to School Activities for Upper Elementary Classroom Procedure Charades FB Image with a child looking excited in the image


We have a couple additional suggestions for this back to school activity that you can use to mix it up a little.

  1. Let students who are not comfortable with acting opt out of the activity, and let those who like, want, and/or need the attention shine here.
  2. Add in a point system. If the class is able to guess the correct procedure, the team who performed gets 2 points, and the team with the correct guess gets 1 point.
  3. Set up an ‘answer board’ on a portable whiteboard, and play the game outside. When students know the correct answer, they run to the board and write their answer. This will give you an opportunity to really get the kiddos moving and give them a little outdoors time as well.
  4. Do the same game, but rather than correctly acting out the procedure, have them do it ridiculously wrong. Then the other students will have to respond by explaining how it should be done. (This can get a little silly, and if students are working in groups, you can give them a little rehearsal time before they perform their misinterpretation.)

We hope you have a truly wonderful back to school time. Take some time to look around or search in the blog because we have a whole bunch of back to school activities for upper elementary that you may want to consider as you begin preparing for the year! 

Happy Planning!

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