Easy and Effective ELA Test Prep Ideas for Upper Elementary

As students across the nation gear up for the standardized testing season, teachers are tasked with helping their students prepare for the tests. While some students may be ready for the tests, others may not, and upper elementary teachers need to find ways to make the test-taking process easier. Here are some easy ELA test prep ideas that you can use to help your students get ready for their state tests!

Easy and Effective ELA Test Prep Ideas for Upper Elementary

*This post contains affiliate links to Amazon for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, which do not cost any extra for you. Please see the full disclosure here.*

How do I make test prep fun?

Test prep for kids doesn’t have to be boring or overwhelming. There are plenty of ways to make it fun and engaging, so kids are more likely to participate and retain the information.

Here are some quick tips to make ELA test prep fun for kids:

  • Make it a game.
  • Use technology.
  • Make it interactive.
  • Allow for breaks.
  • Have fun together.

Following these tips can help make test prep fun and help students do better on tests. Additionally, your students will approach the testing season with a positive attitude.

How do I prepare my classroom for state testing?

Preparing your classroom for state testing can seem daunting, but with careful planning and preparation, you can ensure that your students are adequately equipped to do their best.

Preparing your classroom for state testing - ELA test prep ideas for kids

First, make sure to inform your students of the basic information about the test, including the date and time, the format of the test, and what is expected of them. Then, give them any necessary materials, such as calculators, extra paper or pencils, or a ruler. Remember to remind the students to get a good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast before the test.

You can also create a calm and relaxed atmosphere in your classroom. For example, you may want to try playing calming music or introducing calming scents like lavender or peppermint. Try to reduce distractions and use positive reinforcement to motivate your students.

Finally, make sure to review the material covered in the test beforehand. You can create practice tests or review material with the students to help them feel more confident and prepared.

Following these simple steps can help your students feel more comfortable and prepared for their upcoming state tests.

What are some easy ELA test prep activities?

Test preparation is an integral part of any upper elementary class. To ensure students are ready for tests, there are a variety of activities and games that you can do in your classroom. Your students will thoroughly enjoy these ELA test prep activities and games as they prepare for state testing this year!

ELA Test Prep Ideas for Kids

Dry Erase Boards

Dry-erase boards can be great for preparing for an ELA test. Students can quickly review and analyze information by writing out complex vocabulary words and definitions, key concepts, and practice questions. Additionally, dry-erase boards provide a fun and interactive way to practice. You can use dry-erase boards to answer multiple choice and true or false questions to help you gain a quick assessment of students understanding.

Multiple Choice – 4 Corners

The game 4 Corners is an excellent tool for students preparing for multiple-choice questions. It can help them practice and strengthen their analytical skills. To play this game, you must set up each corner of your classroom as an answer (A, B, C, and D). Then, read a question and the possible answers and ask students to move to the corner of their chosen answer. Finally, students can have a mini-conference in their corner to discuss why they think their answer is correct. This activity encourages students to practice reading comprehension and develop the skills needed to make educated decisions during multiple-choice exams.

True or False –This or That Game

This game gets students out of their seats and moving! In this interactive game, students must answer a true or false question by completing an action. Start by assigning a movement to each answer. For example, if the answer is true, do jumping jacks; if the answer is false, do lunges. After each question, you can select students to explain their reasoning until everyone agrees on the correct answer.

Extra Editing Practice

Extra editing practice is essential to success in ELA testing. Developing the skills to edit and revise written work is a crucial part of the writing process, allowing students to evaluate and improve their work. Editing practice helps students recognize their errors, identify patterns in their mistakes, and learn how to fix them. Furthermore, when students can practice their editing, they develop a deeper understanding of the conventions of written language. Also, extra editing practice gives students more confidence and a sense of accomplishment in their written work.

Try including this Weekly Paragraph Editing set in your ELA test prep!

ELA Test Prep Ideas for Kids - weekly paragraph editing

Game Shows

You can use game shows to help your students prepare for ELA tests by incorporating the structure of game shows into your lessons. For instance, you can create questions related to a specific ELA concept or text and have students compete against each other in a game show format. Games like Jeopardy or Who Wants to Be a Millionaire work perfectly for this!

Card Games and Board Games

Similar to using games shows, you can also use popular card games and board games for ELA test prep. For board games, set up questions or use task cards that students must solve before moving their game pieces around the board. This allows students to practice while having fun and interacting with peers in the classroom.

Check out this Parts of Speech Go Fish game that will engage your students in meaningful practice during your ELA test prep!

ELA Test Prep Activities - Go Fish

Dedicated Read-Aloud Time

Before and during test season, set aside time on a regular basis to read aloud to your students. Reading aloud is a great way to introduce new words, improve reading fluency, and practice comprehension skills. Reading aloud also helps build student confidence. Check out this blog post with a list of read alouds for upper elementary students that you can use in your classroom.

Your upper elementary students may also enjoy read alouds related to taking tests and test anxiety. Try reading The Anti-Test Anxiety Society by Julia Cook to help ease your student’s anxiety around state testing.

Other read alouds related to taking tests your students will LOVE:

Practice Tests

Due to the changing nature of standardized tests, practice tests can give students a good idea of the types of questions they may encounter on state tests. Practice tests can also help students identify areas that need improvement.

You can make this fun by cutting up questions and taping them onto the walls of your classroom. Then, students can move around independently or in pairs to solve the questions around the room.

On top of practice tests, you can use nonfiction reading comprehension passages with questions to help prepare your students for ELA testing.

Check out these Reading Comprehension Passages for Upper Elementary that you can include in your ELA test prep sessions!

ELA Test Prep Ideas for Kids - reading comprehension passages with questions

Creative Writing Assignments

Assign creative writing tasks for students to practice their grammar and writing skills. Encourage them to be creative with their assignments and practice their writing skills as much as possible. You can set up a bell ringer each day with a different writing prompt for students to complete.


Kids are used to using technology for entertainment, so why not use it for test prep too? Utilize online games and apps to make studying more fun and engaging.

Here is a list of some useful websites you can use in your classroom:

In addition to online games and apps, you can use Google Apps to support your students in their test prep. Google Forms are a fantastic way to engage students in topics that they may find boring. Make grammar practice fun with this set of Google Forms for 4th Grade students!

ELA Test Prep Ideas for Kids - Grammar practice Google Forms

Overall, there are a variety of activities teachers can do in the classroom to help students prepare for tests. Practicing writing, multiple choice questions, and reviewing material regularly are all great ways to ensure students understand and are ready for tests.

Good luck during this state testing season!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.