Each June, my students and me, get to celebrate all of the learning, hard work, and progress that we have made with end of the year activities, in class.
After a long school year, creating and planning activities for an end of the year celebration is the last thing on my mind. There are always end-of-year assessments, data entry, deadlines, assemblies, and the usual chaos that stands at the forefront, but I still want to do some special activities with my classes. I have tried several awesome activities that work, all these years! I save time by providing end-of-year activities for my students that are ready to decorate! Sharing here, some exciting ideas that double as great keepsakes:
Most of these ideas, which I have tested in class, with huge success, come from this site.
BALLOON TOSS: GOALS FOR THE FUTURE
I give each of my older students, a slip of paper and invite him or her to write one goal for the future.
I have students slip the notes inside balloons and then inflate them. Later, I have them toss balloons (like graduation caps), keeping one to pop and share its (anonymously) written message aloud –with the rest of the class.
(Actually, work the last part out in a way that the majority of the group likes—read one message, several messages, or all or no messages)
My 6th graders, simply love this activity! Alternatively, you could try the…
“Fortune Cookie” Balloon Toss
I have a brainstorming session with students about the adventures of summer and all of the good things that might happen. I have every student write one positive “fortune” on a pre-cut slip of paper such as “You will go on a marvelous adventure,” “You will achieve your goals,” “You will make a new friend,” etc. Each student will put his or her slip into a balloon, inflate it and tie it off. We make a large circle and play a song. I have students toss balloons around until the music stops. Each student should end up with one balloon. Using whatever means they like (sitting on it, using a sharp pencil, hair clip, etc.), students pop their balloons and read their fortunes. I go around the circle and have each student share his or her fortune aloud.
THANKS FOR THE COMPLIMENT
(A nice way to end the school year! Especially with older students or the ones who graduate)
Need: Paper, markers, tape
1. Everyone gets a piece of paper taped to their back. (Make sure their name is at the top of the paper.)
2. Each person is given a marker.
3. Each person in the group must walk around the room and write a compliment or positive remark about that person on their back….. NO PEEKING!
4. When everyone has written something positive on each others back, they return to their seat and read what was written.
5. With a smaller group, everyone exchanges papers without looking at their own. Each participant can take a turn at reading aloud from person’s list they have.
This is a great self-esteem booster for kids! If some children still don’t know each other very well…they can write such things as: You have a great smile; You’re hair always looks nice; Great blue eyes; etc.
At the end of the year I have each younger student make an autograph book. They pass around their books and get everyone’s signatures and special notes ,for a summer keepsake.
IDEA: TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS DURING THE YEAR and put together a slide show.
1. Of course we can show this as PART OF A YEAR-END SCHOOL EVENT—but it would also be a wonderful “WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION to the new children we will have the next school year.
2. We could use it to show children and families some of the things we do-how they’re done–and what to expect!
I do it, every single year! Both parents and students, appreciate it!
‘Indoor or Outdoor FIELD DAY’ ideas
All children love playground games and some movement is crucial, when it comes to young learners. I usually, pre-teach the instructions and basic English games vocabulary in class, before we move out to play.
- Potato Sack Races (using old pillow cases or sacks purchased from Oriental Trading or similar supplier)
- Shoe Mix-Up: Have children take off their shoes and mix up the whole pile; have them race to put the shoes back on.
- Tug of War: Using a huge rope have Kids vs. Kids and then play with Kids vs. Adults (They’ll like that one!)
- Sock Throw: Put a tennis ball into a long sock and have kids throw it to see who can throw it the furthest!
- How about the games played in ‘Summer Olympic Games’ such as:SOFTBALL, FOOTBALL, BASKETBALL, HANDBALL, HOCKEY, TENNIS OR VOLLEYBALL? They’re all Summer Olympic Games!!!
A LETTER TO PARENTS AT THE END OF THE YEAR…
This letter below, is just one example. It’s a tradition for me, to write a letter to all parents, both at the beginning and at the end of each school year! I include all our goals and achievements. It works well, so far.
I give you back your child ~ the same child you confidently entrusted to my care last fall. I give him/her back pounds heavier, inches taller, months wiser, more responsible, and more mature then he was then.
Although he would have attained his growth in spite of me, it has been my pleasure and privilege to watch his personality unfold day by day and marvel at this splendid miracle of development.
Ten years from now if we met on the street, we’ll feel the bond of understanding once more, this bond we feel today.
We have lived, laughed, played, studied, learned, and enriched our lives together this year. I wish it could go on indefinitely, but give him/back I must. Take care of him, (or her) for he (she) is precious. I’ll always be interested in your child and his destiny, wherever he goes, whatever he does, whoever he becomes.
This school year, I made up some fun and unique awards for my older students. Together with the students in class, we found something unique about EACH CHILD and recognized them for that unique quality.I created the awards myself on a PC but you can also download a template from the internet.
A suggestion I have found here and we loved, in class:
We made up awards to match candy bars (I personally, adapted the names a bit…Had to match candy bars, we can buy in Greece ). Here are the names, in the original post :
- ALMOND JOY AWARD: For the person who is always happy
- BIT-O-HONEY AWARD: For someone very sweet
- BUTTERFINGER AWARD: For the person who broke the most things
- DOVE AWARD: For the program/class peacemaker
- GUMMY BEARS AWARD: For a very lovable child, who is always laughing
- JOLLY RANCHER AWARD: For the person always telling jokes
- KIT KAT AWARD: For the student always at the teacher’s side
- LAFFY TAFFY AWARD: For someone with a sweet disposition
- LIFESAVERS AWARD: For the person, who is always helping someone in need
- MILKY WAY AWARD: For the group daydreamer
- MR. GOODBAR AWARD: For the student who exhibits the good qualities of friendship
- NESTLE CRUNCH AWARD: An alternative to pencil chewing
- NUTRAGEOUS AWARD: For an outstanding personality
- NUTRAGEOUS AWARD: for the wild and crazy person in class
- SKOR AWARD: For athletes in the class
- SNICKERS AWARD: For having an outstanding sense of humor
- SWEET TARTS AWARD: For a sweet girl/boy
- SYMPHONY AWARD: For anyone musical
- TEDDY GRAHAMS AWARD: For the most huggable
- THREE MUSKETEERS AWARD: For the one always with the group
- WHOPPERS AWARD: For the best storytelling
- ZERO MATH AWARD: For outstanding performance in Math
I have each student write out one memorable moment from the school year on a slip of paper. I collect all the slips in a bag, hat, etc. I divide kids into teams and have them come up one team at a time, choose a slip and act out the memory for the group. No need to keep score—the goal is just to relive all the happy memories from the year and…use their English , of course…
Alternatively, I have them write their “End of School Year Reflections”-my own favourite end-of-school-year read!
“I Remember When …” Mural
This is a great activity when we have a few extra minutes to fill or when kids need a short brain break. I always use it ,on the very last day in class. I decorate the top of a long piece of butcher paper with the words “I Remember When …” -older students – or ” I want to say goodbye to…” -younger students- in large print. I allow students to write and draw favorite memories from the school year until all the space is filled. We display our banner proudly in our classroom or out in the hall for others to enjoy.