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, your time and energy may be used 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 be provided with 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.

Scrapbook

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 that can be cherished for years to come. Be sure to snap a pic of each page and create a digital presentation to share with your students.

If your classroom is equipped with adequate technology, allow students to complete the activity using creativity software, such as Adobe Spark, Movie Maker, YouTube, or Superimpose.

 

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.

  • Top 10 Reasons Why Reading Rocks
  • Top 10 Mathematical Marvels
  • Top 10 Scientific Discoveries
  • Top 10 Historical Happenings
  • Top 10 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.

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?
  • What is required to be successful in the class?
  • What made the class interesting?
  • What were 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.

End of the Year Olympics

Divide students into “countries.” Each “athlete” from the country will choose a “sport.” For example,

  • in English Language Arts class, each country might have a Vocabulary athlete, a Grammar athlete, and a Literature athlete.
  • in Social Studies class, each country might have a Geography athlete, a Government athlete, and a Culture athlete.
  • in Science class, each country might have an Earth Science athlete, a Physical Science athlete, and a Life Science athlete.
  • in 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.

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.