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You survived another school year. Your students accomplished so much over the past several months. How will you reward their success?
Every job well done deserves a pat on the back. Here are nine fun end-of-the-school-year activities to celebrate your students.
1. Field Trip Friday
Depending on your student’s age, your district might have allowed a return to in-person field trips. If that’s the case, now’s the time to explore. Demand will be down, reducing crowds and making it less problematic to keep all of your students together.
However, you can still treat your class to a virtual field trip even if your area remains on partial shutdown. Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro without leaving your seats or explore the world from above at one of the NASA space centers.
2. Summer Reading List Book Circle
Doing a book report on something you have to read smacks too much of regular schoolwork. Sharing something that you absolutely adore with friends? Now, that’s fun!
Instead of only passing out the official “college student recommended reading list” at year’s end, give your students ownership over creating a list for the class. You can make a bulletin board featuring titles and allow each student to share why they chose the selections they did in small groups. You get a bonus as their teacher — you will probably discover some juicy new reads you can’t wait to dig into during the break.
3. Scavenger Hunt
You can turn a scavenger hunt into an activity that’s educational and fun. It can also help the youngest learners with their research skills.
Book some library time and pass out a list with items such as, “Identify a reference book. Write the title and publisher and a 1-paragraph summary of what it contains.” They won’t know they’re laying the foundation for writing an annotated bibliography in their later years — they’re happy to scour the stacks with a friend.
4. Alphabet Learning Ladder
The volume of knowledge you gained this year can fill every letter in the alphabet. Why not use it as a ladder for your students to showcase what they learned?
You can do a simple version of this activity by listing the letters down a sheet of paper and having students write one thing they learned for each letter. Alternatively, use large pieces of posterboard and old magazines to make collages of what your students mastered.
5. Create Farewell Videos
Knowing how to use technology is a critical skill. In today’s TikTok era, your students will love the chance to shoot videos.
Have students record a 1-minute farewell video reflecting on what they learned the past year. You can edit these into one long stream to add to your classroom’s website or YouTube channel.
6. Make a Time Capsule
What will your classroom look like 50 years from now? You can provide future students with a blast from the past by creating a time capsule.
Start by brainstorming items indicative of the present era. Then, enclose your items in a tightly-sealed container and place them in a safe, cool and dry place until it’s time for the reveal date.
7. Write Thank You Notes
You and your students have a lot to be grateful for. Why not end the year on a positive note by writing thank you notes?
You can provide any art supplies you like for creating their cards. When your students finish, you can distribute their notes to the intended recipients.
8. Publish an End-of-Year Newspaper
Another way to highlight your accomplishments is by publishing an end-of-the-year newspaper featuring stories of all you’ve learned throughout the semester. Elementary students can do this in small groups, using construction paper to make the pages and pasting stories and photos.
Older students can use the computer lab to produce a more formal newsletter. Imagine how impressed their parents will be with a digitally designed reminder of everything their child accomplished.
9. Good Old-Fashioned Pizza Party
Finally, there’s nothing wrong with the classic end-of-the-school-year standby: a pizza party. You can foot the bill or have students and parents contribute if they can.
If you go this route, please ensure you send home permission slips asking parents to identify any food allergies or dietary restrictions. You should also check whether your district has altered rules about eating in classrooms due to COVID-19. Perhaps you can have your event outdoors on the playground?
Celebrate Your Students With These 9 End-of-the-School-Year Activities
Your students brought you so many smiles and happy tears over the course of the semester. Celebrate their efforts with these nine end-of-the-school-year activities.