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Morning Message Ideas
for Preschool and Elementary Classrooms

In any classroom, the morning message can be so much more than a greeting. Written strategically, it can be a powerful instructional tool that establishes a routine to start the day and offers an opportunity for students to learn more about written language.

Messages can be written on an easel pad or a white board, and offer a quick and engaging way to welcome learners. These morning message ideas include elements to make them an effective way to also start the day with literacy learning.

Classroom setting with a teacher using visuals to welcome learners showing morning message ideas.

Five Elements to Include in a Morning Message

To establish a routine, consider using a framework that includes these elements:

1. A greeting. Using the same greeting every day at the beginning of the school year, such as “Dear Students” or “Good morning!” to establish predictability. Later in the year, the greeting can be an opportunity to be playful with language. You can introduce new vocabulary words such as “Salutations” or even teach saying hello in different languages (hola, bonjour, ciao, etc.).

2. The date. As with the greeting, using the same written format for the date in the opening days of the school year establishes a routine. As the year progresses, it’s helpful for students to see the date represented in different forms: DD/MM/YYYY, MM/DD, DD/MM, etc.

3. The body. Ideally, the body is brief: three to five sentences long. Here’s a helpful formula to follow:

  • Opening Sentence(s): About today (the weather, current events, anniversaries, etc.)
  • Body Sentence(s): The body is usually three sentences long. Including a sentence about classroom news, a sentence about the past or future, and a question to facilitate discussion.
  • Concluding Sentence(s): A question to facilitate discussion (can be related to current curricular content or can be more lighthearted, e.g., “Is cereal also soup?”)

4. The closing. The closing is where you sign the letter and include all the adults who work in the room.In the beginning of the year, it can be helpful to write the names of every adult in the room. As the year goes on, you can change the name of the signature every day; often, students get excited about this element of surprise.

5. An interactive literacy-focused activity. This can be anything from identifying punctuation and parts of speech to building vocabulary and phonemic awareness. Any element of print can be discussed – anything that helps reinforce learners’ understanding of print and/or any part of writing they are interested in.

Infographic showing a 5-part framework for Morning Messages including a greeting, the date, classroom news, a question, an interactive literacy-focused activity

Reading the Morning Message with Students

Use the message to help students learn about conventions and patterns in written language. Unlike predictable chart writing, where you write with students watching, it’s helpful to have the morning message written before students arrive so you don’t feel rushed

Consider this example:

Hello Learners!

Today is Tuesday, February 6th and the sun is expected to shine all day. Today we will be making book covers for our book party in two days. What else do we need to do to get ready? If you’d like to participate in the Valentine’s Day card exchange, please sign up.

Ms. Adair

The first step is to read the message aloud. Point to each word as you read it. Not only does this show how language is represented in writing, but it also helps students understand how our tone or inflection changes as we read. It’s fun to use a pointer. You can make one with a wrapping paper tube or use a yardstick if you don’t have one.
Next, ask students if there are any words or concepts they don’t understand. It’s important they know what the morning message says!
Then it’s time to answer the question. Notice that the question in this morning message doesn’t have a “yes” or “no” answer. Its purpose is to prompt students to think and communicate. Depending on the question and the independence level of the learners, you could use this time to do a timed turn-and-talk.
Now’s the fun part: analyzing part of the message! You could ask students what they notice in the morning message. They may say, for example, that the first sentence has two words that begin with a capital “T.” As a class, you could work together to identify all of the capitalized letters in the message.
For users of ReadtopiaGO, this structure will feel familiar. Every topic’s Teacher Guide includes instructions and tips for using the morning message as a learning opportunity where students can exercise their understanding of written language.

Writing Effective and Engaging Morning Messages

The note that you write every day can be so much more than a predictable routine. By integrating literacy skills, teachers can create a consistent way to start the day with practical context that everyone can look forward to reading together.

Not sure how to get started? Check out our free templates to use with your own students.

Cheers to many bright and educational mornings ahead!


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Karen A. Erickson, Ph.D.​

Karen A. Erickson, Ph.D. is Director of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies at University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill. Her focus is on understanding the best ways to assess and teach reading and writing to children with the most severe disabilities. As a special education teacher, Dr. Erickson has worked to support students with a range of disabilities in a variety of classroom settings, particularly students who do not use speech as their primary means of communication.


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