So your grades are due a week or so before the actual last day of school, and now you’re just trying to keep from losing your mind with a classroom or Zoom room full of restless kiddos who are DONE. I'm sharing five more great ideas for ending the school year. Did you miss part one of this post? Read it HERE for five other awesome activity ideas.
Message in a Bottle
Why not turn on some beach music, allow kids to bring a small snack, and let them have some fun with this message in a bottle activity. Give each student one empty plastic 16-ounce water bottle and 1x3 strips of colored paper (lighter colors work best). I cut fluorescent index cards in half or use colored copy paper. The task is to write messages to next year’s incoming students - helpful tips, how to survive your class, encouraging notes, and more. Collect these and pass them out to your new students for a back-to-school surprise! Change the activity up by having students create a personal time capsule in the bottle. They can include their favorite things, photos, drawings, physical mementos, and current events.
Picture Prompts Progressive Story
How many of you remember writing a progressive story in school? The idea is each student begins with a piece of paper or document, writes the beginning of a story for a certain amount of time, and then passes it to the person to their right or shares it with the next person in the lineup to continue the story. Do this several times until the stories are complete. You’ll want to start by grouping students in either rows, around a table, or in breakout rooms. Display a photo picture prompt with a starter sentence you provide. Here’s a FREE picture prompt for you to use. When the story comes back to the original owner, students share out. You’ll want to prepare for lots of smiles and laughs because the stories turn out great.
Go cross-curricular engage your students with a science, reading, and writing digital or print activity that is Google Classroom distance learning ready! Questivities are bite-sized, technology-integrated assignments in which students the opportunity investigate and create. This Questivity on Endangered Creatures is perfect because kids of all ages love animals. Skills include research, comprehension, summarization, and writing. A teacher resource page is included with ideas for differentiation. Download the questivity resource.
Take the blah out of writing poems with Poem Generator. Students choose two different styles of poems and start creating. Everyone loves magnetic refrigerator poetry and blackout poems, too, so take your poetry up a notch with the digital versions! Try this FREE digital tile poetry activity or grab the complete Digital Blackout Poetry resource.
Be the Expert
I’ve learned when I ask students to teach the class about something they are good at or have a passion for, the results are fantastic. Poll your class about topics they could “teach” in a five-minute (or more) presentation. Have them brainstorm a few topics and choose one. Give them the option of creating a presentation or preparing a simple show and tell. All topics should be approved ahead of time. Designate one class period for students to prepare their presentation and encourage them to make speaker notes. Many students are fearful of speaking in front of the class, so ask for volunteers. If a student is not comfortable being in the spotlight, they can choose to simply show the presentation. At the end of each expert lesson, your student audience will record one fact they learned or remembered on a piece of paper or document. Students will also offer one positive feedback comment to the speaker. This activity works well in addressing the listening and speaking standards.
What are some of your favorite May activities? Do you have one that is a go-to each year?
Here's to a great end-of-year with your students and a wonderful summer break!