First Day of a New School Year

Subject: SEL (Social-Emotional Learning)

Lesson Length: 45 mins - 1 hour

Topic: Empathy, First Day of School

Grade Level: 3, 4, 5

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: Students will think about how they and others are feeling about the return to school.

Know Before You Start: The comic prompts students to empathize with a number of feelings kids may have about returning to school, and consider how to be a good friend to their classmates.


  • Read and discuss the sample comic.

  • Have students discuss how they felt on the first day of school.

    • Were they nervous?

    • What kinds of things made them feel better?

    • How can we help others feel better on the first day?


  • Have students imagine that they have been placed in a group with two of the characters in the comic. 

    • How do they think the conversation might go?

    • What would each student need to hear in order to have a great day? 

  • Using the sample comic as a guide, have students make a comic that includes themselves and two friends talking on the first day of school.

    • How do they think the conversation might go?


  • Organize students in groups of four to share and discuss their comics before giving groups an opportunity to share with the class. 

  • Encourage students to share how they're feeling about being back in school and ways to support classmates.


  • Allow students to use speech-to-text feature.
  • Allow students to work in pairs or groups as needed.
  • Provide printout of the sample comic for student reference.
  • Allow students to use the voiceover feature to read their comics aloud.


  • Comic to print or display: Comic.