End of the Year Activities
What end-of-the-year lessons or activities do you do with your class on the last few days of school?
Submitted by Melanie from Tennessee, Second Grade Teacher
The last couple of days we explore changes in solutions and mixtures, variables, hypothesis and predictions. We spend the whole morning outside incorporating: Science, Writing, Math and Art through bubbles. We begin by making bubbles using different solutions, testing and changing variables to improve the bubble size and strength. Several activities are incorporated:
Comparing and contrasting bubble size - Students are in groups of four, then blow a bubble and pop it on a black piece of construction paper then they must measure the diameter of the bubble and get in order from greatest to least.
Bubble Art - Students remain in their groups and pie tins are placed around the area, tempra paint is added to the bubble solution and mixed in the tins. each child is given a straw. Students are instructed that they can rotate at will, but there can only be four at each station at a time. Students put one end of the straw into the paint and begin blowing bubbles (like blowing bubble into a milk carton) when the bubbles begin raising students will take a plain white sheet of paper and lay it on top of the bubbles. The bubbles/paint will pop leaving spatters on the paper, students can go to as many stations as needed to collect different colors on the paper, students will observe the different shapes, mixtures of colors and designs.
Writing - Each student is given a small container of bubbles and a strip of white paper. The students must create a new label with a logo and name to wrap around the bubbles. Students also enjoy giving a sales pitch to promote their bubbles.
Word Find - Using:mixture, solution, solvent, variables, changes, etc.
Students are given time to explore and play using different tools to make bubbles like straws, hula-hoops, plastic rings and card stock (using card stock, you bend it to make a funnel, tape it, and sit the large opening into the solution and blow through the small opening).
Another fun activity to try is while the bubble is dangling from the cone, dip a straw into the bubble solution, insert it through the small opening of the cone, when you see the tip of the straw enter inside the large bubble begin blowing, the kids are amazed to see the double bubble.
Another trick to try: While the large bubble is hanging from the cone put bubble solution on a straw and insert incompletely through the side of the bubble, the large bubble should not pop when the straw goes through it if enough glycerin is used in the solution.
Submitted by Lisa from South Dakota, 6th Grade Teacher
Our school held field day for our students where we were able to take part in activities outside of the school. We had a fun, rewarding movie for the students as well. We also hosted a school wide Quiz Bowl challenge and gave out all special awards at a ceremony as well. All students participated and enjoyed the days.
Submitted by Jean from Delaware, Third Grade Teacher
Our grades close out a few days before school lets out. I like to keep the students guessing about the activities we will be doing.
We will be having a beach party for the kids. The students will bring in a beach ball to get autographed by classmates and enjoy rootbeer floats.
Another day, we will play baseball with the other third grade classes. With a twist, of course. I add the soak balls (those balls that soak up water). I am at the pitchers mound with a bucket of water and the balls. We use a plastic bath and have a great time.
We also do Movie of the Month. My class has been reading survival trade books for the past two months, one of which is Sign of the Beaver. They are chomping at the bit to see if the movie is just as good as the book. We will compare, contrast, and discuss the two together. Great fun will be had and that's just a few things!
Submitted by Margaret from California, 4th Grade Teacher
My students create a scrapbook from lunch bags. In the scrapbook is all about themselves. The students have already typed up their writings and now they shrink them down to size and and paste in the scrapbook. Finally they add photos, clipart, stickers to the point they personalized the scrapbook.
Submitted by Laura from Ohio, First Grade Teacher
I take a photograph of my class sitting in front of the school and enlarge it to 8x10. Each student writes what they liked most about first grade, or words of advice for kindergarteners on easy to read sentence strips. We then put the photograph and sentence strips outside the kindergarten classrooms, with the banner "First Grade is Fantastic!"
Submitted by Angelica from Missouri, Homeschool Family
(Grades: PreSchool, 1, 3, 5, and 6)
We do fun art projects, read books have contests with stories and do an awards assembly. Also we get together with the other homeschoolers in our group and try to have a end of the year field trip. And we only do fun things the last day of school like art, and playing fun educational games.
Submitted by Katy from North Carolina, 4th Grade Teacher
Describe the last couple days of your school year.: We make a class scrapbook. Each year, I take a picture of each child. All I do is give them their picture and a piece of cardstock, then they have at it! I always ask for donations, but also collect stickers, string, etc. throughout the year and have several pairs of the scissors that cut in different ways. They spend a good hour decorating their pages, then we just put them in sheet protectors and put it all in a binder. They love looking at each other's pages and also those from years past.
Submitted by Katie from Minnesota, 4th Grade Teacher
The last couple of days of our 4th grade school year are filled with excitement and wonder! A sense of accomplishment fills the air of our 4th grade classroom as we reflect upon the many achievements we have made throughout the school year. At the end of the year we sit in a small circle. In this circle, we tell the person next to us one wonderful thing we learned about he/she this year. I feel this is a great way to help others feel good about themselves and to help each student remember how special he/she is. We also have a celebration of a compliment party!!! All school year, my class works on having good behavior and everytime we are spotted behaving in a good way we put a marble in the jar. Once our jar is full we have a compliment party.
Submitted by Crystal from Arizona, Grades 1 and 3 (Homeschool Family)
I am a home schooling parent so right now I teach 1st and 3rd grade. The last couple of days they have been taking test. I know that doesn't sound fun at all but we need to make sure they remember and don't need anything else to be redone. We live in Arizona so it is hot now, so they will have a water party the last day of school.
Submitted by Diania, Seventh Grade Teacher
Our last lab of the year is a review of Chemical and Physical Changes. We make smores!
tea light candles (one for every two kids), lighter, marshmallow (1 for each student), Hershey chocolate bar (1 full size bar is enough for 4 kids), graham crackers (1 cracker broken in half for each kid), paper towels for clean up, bamboo skewers.
Each kid gets their own smore materials. We talk about open flame and candle safety before we begin. We then review chemical and physical changes. One indicator of a chemical change is a change in color. We notice that when we roast the marshmallow over the candle the outer layer of the marshmallow changes color. Thus a chemical change. When we break the cracker in half it is a physical change, when the chocolate melts it is a physical change. When we eat the smore it is a chemical change and a physical change, plus great fun!
Submitted by Heather from California, Third Grade Teacher
Scrapbooking - using pictures from throughout the school year. Camp read a lot - Kids dress in PJs and bring sleeping bags and read all day. We have guest readers and partner reading with younger classes.
Submitted by Whitney from Missouri, First Grade Teacher
This year, I took all the pictures I had accumulated from the school year and scanned them or put them on my computer. Then I arranged them into a slideshow and put music behind it. We watched it as a class the 2nd to last day. I wrote a letter to the students and a separate ones to the parents and put it at the end of the slideshow. After we watched it I passed out a copy to each child to take home. The kids and parents loved it!
Submitted by Kimberly from Indiana, Second Grade Teacher
We pick a scene from our favorite book we read during the year and put on a puppet show. We make our own puppets by using the childrens drawings and popsicle sticks.
Submitted by Cheryl from West Virginia, 3rd Grade Teacher
We hold an Olympics with math and reading skills. The children receive olympic ribbons for completing math obstacles courses with measuring playground equipment, determining how many chinups they can do, etc... and completing reading scavenger hunts.
Submitted by Amy from Georgia, High School Special Ed. Teacher
This is a fun activity that all levels enjoy. As a review activity for the material learned in any subject, either in groups or individually, students create ABC books. The books can be completed in a computer based program like PowerPoint or paper pencil. The students enjoy coming up with the terms to complete each letter of the alphabet. I have several samples that I share with students to help them understand what they should do. The students brainstorm words or terms for each letter of the alphabet that relate to the subject area taught.
An example might include...A is for alliteration. Alliteration is the repetition of initial consonant sounds. The author's use of sink or swim is an example of Alliteration. B is for...Blank verse. Blank verse has regular meter, but no rhyme. Shakespeare wrote many of his plays in blank verse. Students should continue writing ___ is for ___________. Then students should continue defining term identified, and they should include some type of information about the topic. Their books should also include some type of image or illustration for each letter. This is where teachers can see a student's ability to think outside the box. Students may use any resource available, and they always have fun with it.
Submitted by Sarah from Tennessee, Student
We do these contests were our teacher writes something like Schools out We have to find a word in the word like Hut. I use the h, u, and t. You can only use each letter once in each word. Who ever comes up with the most words wins.
Submitted by Rhea from Mexico, Third Grade Teacher
On Friday we went to the park and had water balloons.
Submitted by Stacy from California, Fifth Grade Teacher
Something we do on the last days of school is have the students teach themselves. They each are an expert in something and it is their job to teach the rest of the class how to do it. They need to write up directions as if they are a recipe ( which some of them are). Some choose art (drawing a fave cartoon character) or sports (shooting a basketball). I've even had one student instruct us on writing in Chinese and the student had written everyone's name too.
Submitted by anonymous email entry
I ordered large red envelopes and gave one to each student. Then I asked them to tell me about their favorite kinds of written activities we had done during the year. After listing their favorites, I went to the computer and searched for printables that covered the kinds of materials they had described. Students were allowed to choose as many of the different copies they wanted. We discussed each one and went over the directions, reminding children that they would have to ask their parents to help with directions once they got home.
We placed them in the big red envelopes and allowed the children to write this title on the envelopes "Work To Keep My Mind Sharp All Summer." They drew pictures on the front and added their names. It actually took 3 days to find the varied activities and review directions. I divided all the used crayons among the students for them to take home. They placed these in their red envelopes as well. Students were delighted that they could still "do lessons" during the summer without having to come to school.