Did I catch you trying to find just the right end of school year activities?
Maybe you’re tired.
I’m there, too.
Maybe you’re aware that purposeful activities for the end of the school year can help students to reflect and make connections, to gain closure and a sense of purpose and belonging to propel them forward.
Or maybe you’re just trying to fill a couple of days like a tired teacher boss.
Don’t worry. I’ve got you.
End of School Year Activities for High School Students
My first goal at the end of a school year is to provide a sense of closure for students through self-reflection.
Whether it be through a Google Form survey, an informal poll on Google Classroom or a roundtable discussion, students can provide valuable feedback for my instruction!
It’s also fun to have students create a playlist for the year. You can have students choose songs to represent memorable moments in class, what they have learned, or to represent their school year in general. You can, if you wish, use these songs to create an all-class playlist and play it during an end of year celebration (so long as the lyrics are clean).
Lastly, I know that many teachers have students put together a portfolio of their best work from the year. To align with standards, I’ve created a digital portfolio. Students drag-and-drop standards that they want to discuss, select portions of their work to show off, and write a self-reflective paragraph.
Alternatively, you can ask students to create a screencast identifying how they’ve grown and discussing specific evidence from assignments to prove it. A simple planning sheet is all you need to help students get started, and then they’re off. In the end, you have an artifact that not only demonstrates their growth but also helps them to further practice important speaking skills.
Activities for End of School Year
➡️ You might want to have students create Flipgrid videos to share about their favorite books read during the year and how they’ve grown as readers. If you build reading time into your lesson every day like I do, this is a great way to celebrate a culture of reading in your classroom.
➡️ In past years, I have had students listen to Randy Pausch’s “Last Lecture” and write / share their own last lectures as a way of ending the school year on a personal AND reflective note.
➡️ A colleague of mine celebrates each student during the course of the year by having classmates write a note of appreciation and acknowledgement of the individual. She then puts these cards together on a ring and gives them to students at the end of the year. Years later, she still has students telling her that they’ve held onto their ring of happy messages through moves in and out of dorm rooms, etc.
➡️ You might also like to take a day to have a class party. Play a team Goosechase. Play board games. Try some team-building games (who says they’re just for the beginning of the year). Have a dinner table conversation about different debatable topics or texts.
In the end, end of school year activities don’t have to be “fluff” and “filler.” There’s a way to have your cake and eat it, too. So, I hope you try one or two of these activities (or are inspired to come up with your own!).
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