Summer is almost upon us, and the end of the school year is in sight. What can you do in the last few weeks of school? Aside from what you already have scheduled in your syllabus, here are seven great year-end activities you can consider doing with your students. These activities can help add some fun to the classroom and channel the impatience of students who are wishing it was already summer.
1. Have a multicultural potluck.
Ask students to bring a multi-cultural dish to school that their parents can make. If you don’t have a very diversified class, then assign students sections of the world so their parents have options. Don’t forget to make a list of everyone’s food allergies so no one brings foods with allergens!
2. Create a final project.
Have students participate on a group project that will be due the last day of school. Some ideas are: have groups of students create lists of their favorite books and movies to share with the entire class, have students create a picture depicting what they hope to do over the summer, or assign students to write a short fiction story and share them with the class.
3. Jumpstart Summer.
By jumpstarting summer, we mean you should try to channel the kids’ excitement for summer into something productive. Task each student to come up with a list of ten books they’d like to read this summer, and then have them start reading the first book on their list during the last week of school. Give them a tangible reward for doing this. In addition, research summer reading programs that your local library might be offering this year. Then give your students all the details on how to sign up for the reading program and what prizes are being offered. The best thing is the students know they can meet the library’s reading requirements since they have a list of books they want to read!
4. Assign an Art Project.
Have students think of the favorite lesson they learned from your class this year, and then assign them to each create a collage, sculpture, or other piece of art depicting this lesson. You can even make this activity an extra credit incentive so it can boost their grades for their final report card.
5. Teach the Teacher.
As the maxim goes, “the Best way to learn is to teach.” Help the students design a lesson plan for the last day or two of school, where the students will teach the teacher and each other by summarizing what they learned the past semester and trying to teach new things related to their lessons!
6. Give the Gift of Giving.
Have students brainstorm ways they could give back to the community through a charitable donation. Students might do a recyclable drive to raise money for a local charity, or host a canned food drive. This gets students to think about the community at large and teaches responsible citizenship while they are getting excited over their summer plans.
7. Have a Movie Day.
Allow kids to bring their favorite snack to school. As a class, watch a movie or TV show. This is a fun activity that doesn’t require a lot of hard work from you or the students, but it can still can be educational, especially if it ties into your class subject or something your class studied this year! Afterwards you can add a class discussion, or a brief homework assignment.
The above suggestions are just several ideas of many possibilities that can add fun to a year-end class, showing students that fun and education sometimes go hand-in-hand!