Three End of the School Year Activities for Older Elementary Students
You have been hard at work all year, teaching and teaching some more; it is time to give the kids a chance to teach for a change. Brainstorm ideas of topics that students can teach. It may be anything from how to make a recipe that they like, to how to solve a Sudoku or other math-related puzzle, to how to complete a craft project.
Make sure students prepare adequately for their teaching time, creating handouts with directions on them or bringing in manipulatives as needed. Students will enjoy teaching their classmates about topics that they are the experts in, and you might learn a thing or two yourself!
Some of the best end of the school year activities require very little preparation on your part. For example, you can easily divide students into groups and schedule a rap competition. Groups of students work together to create raps about your classroom, the material they learned throughout the year or other students in the class.
If you would prefer to keep it more academically oriented, you can assign each group a section of the material that you learned this year and use the rap demonstrations as a method of review. Otherwise, let them get their creative juices flowing, and encourage them to have fun making up their own raps.
Dear Next Year's Class
The end of the school year is also a good time for your students to think about what they would tell next year's class. Write several general ideas on the board that students might want to use. Your list might look something like this:
- Introduction to the teacher
- Introduction to the classroom and school
- Introduction to the material
- Studying advice
- Social advice
- Tips for class discussions
- Warning about upcoming school events
- What it's like to be part of the class
- Highlights of the year
Then instruct students to write a letter to an unknown student who will be in the class this coming year (you could also write the story as a class). Tell them that next year's students will actually see the letters; they will be hanging on the bulletin board when the new class comes in September.
Round Robin Writing
Brainstorm a list of topics about the school year with students and narrow the list down the four favorite topics of the class. (You can also create a list of four topics on your own.) Possible topics might include "The First Day of School," "Why I Will Miss This Class," "The Science Fair," "The Day the Pipe Burst" or "How This Class Affected My Life."
Divide your students into groups of four and assign one topic to each member of the groups. Give students several minutes to write about the topic and then have them pass the paper to another member of the group to continue from where that member left off for several minutes.
At the end of four rotations, encourage the last writer on each topic to tie up the loose ends and finish the essay. Then have each group pick the best essay and read it aloud to the rest of the class.
These end of the year ideas will help students to feel a sense of closure and they’ll give you an educational activity to do when students' attention spans start to wane as summer nears.