As teachers, we want our students to be engaged in their learning, but what do you do when they finish their work early? This post has 15 fun and engaging early finisher activities that 4th graders can do when they finish their classwork early.
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How do you engage early finishers?
For 4th graders, finishing class work early can be both a reward and a challenge. On one hand, they have extra time to explore their interests and pursue new projects. But on the other hand, they can quickly become bored or disruptive without engaging activities to keep them focused.
Early finisher activities must be relevant to current classroom learning, with no prep or very low prep for the teacher. Additionally, they must allow students the opportunity to choose. It is so important to give students a range of options so that each student can find something that keeps them engaged and learning while their classmates complete their work.
What are good activities for early finishers?
Below is a list of 15 fun and engaging early finisher activities that are PERFECT for 4th graders! This list of 4th grade early finisher activities comes with reading, writing, and math activities that your students will LOVE to complete independently.
Plus, there are a bunch of engaging technology-based activities. These activities provide students with meaningful learning experiences while learning to use technology in the classroom.
#1 – Independent Reading with Book Review or Book Recommendation
Independent reading is a great classroom activity for early finishers because it allows students to explore a book at their own pace and to think deeply about it. A book review or recommendation is also a great way to reflect on their reading experiences. After reading a book independently, students can share their findings with their peers by creating a book review or recommendation.
These Book Talk Prompt Cards are perfect because they will help your students to discuss the books they read and make recommendations to classmates.
#2 – Journalling with Writing Prompts or Story Writing
Journalling with writing prompts or story writing can be an effective early finisher activity in the classroom. Writing prompts allow students to explore creative and imaginative writing, while journalling enables them to reflect on their own experiences. Story writing encourages students to think outside the box and create interesting and engaging narratives.
This BUNDLE of Literacy Centers comes with an engaging Spin and Write activity that will help students write engaging sentences!
#3 – Literacy Centers & Math Centers
Centers can be a fun and interactive way for students to review and practice essential skills. For example, a literacy or math center can be comprised of worksheets, activities, and games, with each station providing students with an opportunity to explore and learn through a hands-on approach.
Your students will also enjoy these hands-on Math Centers that review various math skills!
#4 – Grammar Practice
Grammar is an essential skill for students to learn throughout the year, so why not always give students the option of more practice? For example, using grammar activities such as color-by-codes, worksheets, or digital games as early finisher activities will give your students valuable daily grammar practice.
#5 – Spelling Activities
Along with grammar activities, your students need extra support with spelling. Setting up an early finisher activity that allows students to practice spelling will set them up for success. Spelling activities, like word-finds, crosswords, spelling codes, and hangman, are great for getting students to practice their spelling in a fun, interactive way.
Need a print-and-go spelling activity? Check out my Spelling Codes Activities that work with any word list!
#6 – Seasonal Activities
It’s important to have activities ready for students that are both engaging and educational. Seasonal activities can be a great way to keep students engaged while teaching them about the world around them.
During the fall season, students can research the changing colors of leaves or create unique and fun fall decorations out of construction paper.
In the winter, students can explore the history of snowflakes or make winter greeting cards for family and friends.
When spring arrives, students can learn about the life cycle of a butterfly or create plans for a mini garden.
As summer approaches, students can create art pieces with sun prints or explore the science of clouds.
This BUNDLE of Seasonal Reading Passages will make the ideal early finishers activity for your classroom to keep students engaged and learning new content.
You can also set up holiday-specific tasks that students will love. This way, you can stick to your regular classroom learning while also introducing students to holidays and celebrations around the world.
You may like these holiday activities:
- St. Patrick’s Day Spelling Activities
- Earth Day Activities
- Chinese New Year Activities
- Mother’s Day Craft
- Thanksgiving Writing Prompts
#7 – Biographies
Biographies can be an excellent activity for early finishers in the classroom, as they require critical thinking and research skills. Students can select a historical figure of their choice, research their impact and legacy, and then write a short biography. Doing so allows them to explore the subject of their choice in greater depth and teaches them to analyze better and interpret information. Additionally, it encourages an appreciation for history, research, and a deeper understanding of how specific figures have shaped the world.
Alternatively, students may enjoy reading about important figures to learn more about them. Try using these Women’s History Month Biographies or Black History Month Biographies in your classroom as an early finisher activity.
#8 – Passion Project
A passion project is a type of project that encourages students to explore something they are interested in or have a personal connection to. Also, this kind of project allows students to use their creativity to develop something unique and meaningful to them. Through a passion project, students can explore an area of their interests, develop research skills, and express their creativity in the classroom.
#9 – Choice Boards
Choice boards effectively provide early finishers autonomy in selecting an activity to complete during their free time. They typically consist of a board, poster, or chart that contains various activities and tasks. Choice boards can be used for multiple activities, such as reading, math practice, science projects, art projects, and more. With choice boards, students can engage in meaningful and self-directed tasks and stay focused during their free time.
These Literacy Center Choice Boards will help your students gain independence as they complete their work in your classroom.
#10 – Digital Writing
Digital writing activities are a great way to engage students and motivate them to practice their writing skills. These activities range from creating stories and poems to creating digital posters and presentations. Additionally, digital writing activities offer students the chance to practice their writing skills in a low-pressure environment while having fun.
Click here to see my engaging DIGITAL Descriptive Writing Prompts!
#11 – Mystery Pictures
Mystery pictures provide a fun and challenging activity to work on because they can help students practice their problem-solving skills and creativity by using the information provided to guess the image. Mystery pictures are perfect for early finisher activities because students reinforce essential skills while having fun.
Check out these interactive mystery pictures!
- Martin Luther King Jr Day Mystery Pictures
- Winter Holidays Around the World Mystery Pictures
- Famous Landmarks Mystery Pictures
- Harriet Tubman Mystery Pictures
#12 – Directed Drawing from YouTube
Allowing students to be more creative and practice their art skills is another great option for early finishers. Let your students complete direct drawing activities from YouTube to keep them engaged while others finish their work. This is an excellent incentive for some students as they love drawing.
#13 – Partner or Small Group Games
Partner and small group games are an excellent way to engage early finishers in the classroom. In addition, they are super low-prep activities that you can always have stored in your classroom. These games can be used to help practice a skill, such as mathematics or reading comprehension, or to review previously taught knowledge. In addition, partner and small group games help foster collaboration and communication, enabling students to practice these critical skills.
These Math Games will have your students begging you for more early finishers time!
#14 – Online Games
Allowing students to play online games is a great way to keep them focused while their peers complete their classroom assignments. So many amazing FREE educational websites have games for students to practice reading, writing, and math skills.
Check out this list of websites with some of my favorite online games:
- Math Playground
- Kids National Geographic
- Fun Brain
- Learning Games for Kids
- Nasa Kids
- Wildlife Explorers
#15 – Classroom Organization
Some students love to help out in the classroom and enjoy feeling a sense of accomplishment when they help out. Try offering small and quiet jobs that students can complete around the classroom when they finish their work before others. This could include organizing the book corner, checking on classroom supplies, or setting up resources.
Engaging early finishers and keeping them actively learning can be challenging, but it is an important part of teaching to ensure students use their time productively.
With this comprehensive list of 4th-grade early finisher activities, your students will be racing to complete their assigned work in your classroom.
Also, if you want more early finisher activities, check out these other blog posts!
- 15 MEANINGFUL EARLY FINISHER ACTIVITIES FOR 3RD GRADE STUDENTS
- 15 FUN AND EASY 5TH GRADE EARLY FINISHER ACTIVITIES FOR THE CLASSROOM
Let me know which early finisher activities you will use with your 4th graders!