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End of Year Activities for the Classroom

End of the Year Activities

As the school year comes to an end, I know many of you are scrambling to keep kids engaged and learning, all while just trying to hold your head above water in the madness that is the end of the year. So I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite end of the year activities that can be a life ring, helping you stay afloat until summer comes!

  1. Memory Book: Have the students create a memory book of their favorite moments and memories from the school year. Provide them with a blank notebook or have them create their own from construction paper and staples. Here’s an easy Last Day of School Memory Flip Book already done for you if you don’t want to bother with making your own.
  2. The Important Book: A really sweet option for anyone leaving (or for a student keepsake) is creating a The Important Thing About ____ book (we had students make one for a retiring teacher once and it was the sweetest thing! Start off by reading The Important Book and let each student create their own page to add to our Class Important Book. Put their pages in a binder to keep in the classroom library, send home a completed and stapled version for a keepsake, or create as a gift for someone else. The writing prompt is partially editable so you can change what you want students to focus on. You could have them write The Important Thing About (whatever grade level you teach), focus on things that are unique to your classroom, or just general school stuff.end of the year memory book
  3. ABC Countdown: A fun way to build on that already existing end of the year excitement is to have a countdown until the last day of school. An ABC Countdown to Summer is a great way for younger students to review their letters (and/or sounds). The basic idea is that for each of the last 26 days of school, you work your way through the alphabet one letter at a time. For instance, L would be on day 12, so you could pick any word that starts with the letter L. B is for Bubbles (have a “bubble day” where you make bubble solution, learn about the science behind bubbles and blow bubbles outside). You can do something simple, like a Lego building contest, or dress like a Lion, or have a Lemonade party…you get the idea. You can also laminate a countdown to make it dry erase like the Summer countdown below. The ABC Countdown you see below is editable, so you can change any of the things you focus on that day. You can find both of these resources in my End of the Year Activities pack.end of the year abc countdown
  4. Awards Ceremony: Have an awards ceremony where each student receives a personalized award for something they excelled at during the year. This can be something academic or personal, such as “Most Creative Thinker” or “Best Sportsmanship.” Here’s a set of Editable Award Certificates that you can also use any time of year.
  5. Reflection Time: Have the students reflect on the year by writing a letter to their future selves. Ask them to include things they learned, things they enjoyed, and things they want to remember as they move on to 3rd grade. Every year I taught 2nd grade, I had my students write Letters to My Future Self near the end of the year. I put their letters in their school records folder (the one that’s kept under lock and key in the office that will go with them as they move all the way through high school, as well as if they move to another district). This year was the year my first 2nd grade students graduated from high school, so I contacted the local high schools and made sure their letters would be pulled from their cumulative folders and given to them (they put them in their diplomas) because I can only imagine their sweet faces when they read them and remembered what their 7 year old minds were like (I remember one student wanted to be a “Pokemon” when he grew up–so cute!). These Future Self Letter templates come in a variety of writing line options so you can choose the ones that work best for your grade level.
  6. Class Time Capsule: Have the students create a class time capsule by bringing in items that represent their year in 2nd grade. This can include photos, artwork, writing samples, or any other items that hold special memories.
  7. Scavenger Hunt: Create a scavenger hunt for the students to complete around the classroom or school. This can include clues that lead them to different locations or items that relate to the school year.
  8. Pajama Day: Have the students come to school in their pajamas and spend the day doing fun activities, such as reading books, watching movies, or playing games.
  9. Field Day: Have a field day with outdoor activities and games such as a relay race, tug of war, and other fun activities.
  10. Class Party: Have a class party with snacks, drinks, and games. You can also have the students bring in their favorite snacks to share with the class.
  11. Talent Show: Have a talent show where each student can showcase a special talent or skill they have developed throughout the school year.
  12. Thank You Notes: Have the students create thank you notes for their teacher and any other staff members who have helped them throughout the year. This is a great way to teach them the importance of showing gratitude and appreciation.
  13. Last Day Photos: Another fun last day of school activity is taking a photo of your student (this is my own kiddo below) with a Last Day of School Poster. The one on the left is made to be more personalized for each student, and the one on the right can be reused for all students in your class (as well as a group photo). Both of these last day signs are editable and you can find them here.last day of school poster
  14. Summer Crafts: I love these simple summer crafts because they are color, cut, paste and done so the focus can be on the writing portion of the activity rather than cutting out templates (if you’ve ever done a craftivity like that, you know how excruciating it can be). They’re also easy to throw up onto a bulletin board (or a clothesline like me). You can find the Lemonade Craft here and the Hot Dog Craft here.lemonade craft
  15. Student Gifts: I am 100% not the teacher that spends a small fortune on end of the year gifts for students. I can’t be alone on that either. We already spend a ton on our own classrooms, so I don’t feel the need to send them home with a ton of junk that’ll probably end up in the trash anyway. I like to keep it simple, folks. I love giving away chalk at the end of the year because it’s pretty cheap, and you can have your students create a collaborative mural outside! You can find the Free Summer Bookmarks, Summer Chalk Tags, Free Summer Writing Paper and a Free Summer Activities Checklist in the Free Resource Library after you subscribe to the newsletter below.free summer bookmarks writing paper

  16. Reading: One more last week of school activity I like to do is read a book about Summer vacation (this one by Natasha Wing is one of my favorites) and then have students make some goals for their summer. We finish by creating Summer Reading Goals and I give them a Summer Reading Log that they can bring back to me at the beginning of the year to earn a small prize (I let them choose any book from my classroom library to bring home and keep). You can find both the Summer Goals and Reading Logs here. You can find my favorite last week of school books for kids here.summer reading log
  17. Get Yourself Organized: I fully admit to being a Type A person most of the time. And I also blame a lot of that on my terrible memory. My answer to remembering everything that needs to be done at the end of the year? Checklists. Everything I need to copy, file, organize, clean, and turn in before I leave the building on various checklists. Everything I want to make sure I do with students those last few weeks of school? Assessments? Report cards? End of the year memory books? Checklist. Checklist. Checklist. I keep my various checklists stapled together on my teacher clipboard and check off the tasks as I complete them in the last weeks of school (they’re usually not done in order, but that doesn’t matter to me). I made a free Editable End of the Year Checklist that you can find in my Free Resource Library.

So that’s it! I hope you are able to do some of these end of the year activities with your class and if you have any suggestions or questions, feel free to leave them below!


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