It’s May. Students are restless, longing for long, lazy summer days. You are exhausted, yearning for a much-deserved respite as well. While squeezing in some last-minute skill review may be tempting, use your time and energy may more wisely by providing much-needed opportunities for students to be introspective through deliberate, purposeful (and fun!) activities. Intentional activities will allow you to understand what students considered to be most meaningful throughout the year. As a result, you will support the development of reflective practices and gain valuable feedback that will assist you as you prepare and plan for the next school year.
The following activities are intended to provide students with opportunities to be creative and to connect to year-long learning in meaningful ways.
Allow each student to create a scrapbook page. Topics for scrapbook pages may vary.
- most valuable lesson learned
- most memorable experience
- greatest success
- unexpected achievement
- proudest moment
Pages might focus on one topic or include a variety of reflections. Compile the student pages into a classroom scrapbook students can cherish for years to come. Be sure to snap a pic of each page and create a digital presentation to share with your students.
Equip your classroom with adequate technology, then allow students to complete the activity using creativity software, such as Adobe Spark, Movie Maker, YouTube, or Superimpose.
2. Top 10 Lists
Top 10 Lists are a fun way for students to reveal what they have learned throughout the school year. Guide students by providing several ideas for Top 10 List topics.
- Reasons Why Reading Rocks
- Mathematical Marvels
- Scientific Discoveries
- Historical Happenings
- Notable Performances
Group students and allow them to create lists using provided or self-generated ideas. Have groups present their Top 10 Lists to the entire class.
3. Advice Letters
Have students write letters to next year’s students. These letters can include a variety of different focuses.
- What life lessons were learned during the school year?
- What were the favorite classroom activities?
- How can a student be successful in the class?
- What made the class interesting?
- Make a list of the most valuable skills and strategies learned.
Writing in a friendly letter format will prompt students to use a casual and friendly tone in their letters, allowing for greater insight.
4. End of the Year Olympics
Divide students into “countries.” Each “athlete” from the country will choose a “sport.” For example,
- English Language Arts class: each country might have a Vocabulary athlete, a Grammar athlete, and a Literature athlete.
- Social Studies class: each country might have a Geography athlete, a Government athlete, and a Culture athlete.
- Science class: each country might have an Earth Science athlete, a Physical Science athlete, and a Life Science athlete.
- Math class: each country might have a Multiplication athlete, a Measurement athlete, and a Fractions athlete.
Prior to competing, the teacher prepares questions for the content learned throughout the school year, based on the represented “sports.” “Athletes” then compete in their assigned “sports” and earn gold, silver, and bronze medals.
5. Graffiti Wall
Cover a classroom wall with butcher paper for students to get creative with graffiti. Guide students to use words, images, or symbols to depict their greatest learning experiences during the school year. Encourage students to explore their artistic talents as they reflect. Allow students to pose in front of the graffiti wall for pictures and then post the photos on the school website. Invite classes and school staff to visit the graffiti wall and leave comments and feedback.
Read more about end of year activities! A Summer Reading Challenge for Teachers