Here in Turkey and I guess in some other countries as well, we say good-bye to school and welcome the summer holiday on Friday. We all had a tough year and ready for the summer! But before they start enjoying the holiday, I want my students to enjoy the last days of the school.
So I’ve collected these ideas some time ago and already began carrying them out in the class. They work just fine, and I wanted to share my favorite ones with you.
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Here it goes:
1. Write a ‘Top 10’ List
Making lists is a great way to get kids writing. Younger students will benefit from making the list in no particular order while you may want to require older students to rank their choices. Choose one page, such as Top Ten Books or Top Ten Ways to Help the Planet and have every child complete it. Then bind the pages into a class book so that students can see each others’ lists. If you require students to use their best handwriting, this could be a fun handwriting activity. I you have time for that, A Top Ten List makes a great jump-off point for further writing or discussion. Students can write or talk about why they choose what they did or take one of thing from the list to explore further.
2. Let the Students Become the Teachers
Something that can be done on the last days of school is to have the students teach themselves. They suppose that 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).
3. Make graduation arts& crafts
Paint paper plates and drew on facial features, fringed some construction paper the color of their hair, and cut and glued on a grad cap. These might decorate the walls the graduation program or simply the walls of the classroom.
4. Memory Booklet
A ten page book for students to fill in personal information, such as current favorites of all categories, goals made and met in the past year, friends, etc. A great way to encapsulate the past year, as well as create a lasting memento.
5. Make Posters
Make a poster about your school year. Highlight the fun activities, and happenings in your room.
6. Advice from Grads
At the end of the school year, you may have your fifth graders write a paragraph offering advice to incoming fifth graders for the next year. When the new school year starts, you can read their advice to the new students.
7. Goodbye Game
This activity is great for last lessons of a course, but could be used in other contexts too. Click for the lesson plan.
8. Write a poem for your students.
You can personalize the poem with “To Child’s Name” at the top, and with your name signed at the bottom.
I’m glad I was your teacher
I’ve come to love you so
I can’t believe the end is here
I hate to see you go!
Remember all the fun we had
In all the things we did
But most of all remember…
You’re a very special kid!
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You’re a very special person, and
__name of student__ you should know
how I loved to be your teacher,
how fast the year did go.
Please take the time to think of me
as through the years you grow,
try hard to learn all you can,
there is so much to know.
The one thing I tried to teach you,
to last your whole life through,
is to know you are special
just because,_______,you are you.
9. Compliment Party
Sit in a small circle. In this circle, tell the person next to you one wonderful thing you learned about him/her this year. A good way to help others feel good about themselves and to help each student remember how special he/she is.
10. Teach Them a Good-bye or Graduation Song
You can find lots of good-bye songs for kids when you google it.
Just as I was about to publish this post, I saw a friend’s blog post about the same topic. Check out her ideas on A Journey in TEFL by Ev Büyüksimkeşyan.
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