It can be challenging to keep students motivated, but with a little planning, the last few weeks of school can be meaningful and fun. Here are some time-honored end-of-year literacy activities you may want to consider.
These last few weeks of the school year can be very challenging to keep your students motivated, especially when it comes to putting together quality writing pieces that require thoughtful steps through the writing process. With a little planning, the last few weeks of school can be meaningful and fun. Here are a few “grand finale” ideas to consider for your writers:
Class memory books-Encourage your kids to reflect on their favorite memories from the school year. Have them brainstorm about special class celebrations, concerts, field trips, books they read, or just a funny or memorable event from class. You can provide a template with space to draw and write for younger students or encourage your older students to free-write a few paragraphs. Enlist the help of a parent volunteer to photocopy and bind them and you’ll have a lovely keepsake for you and your kids!
Dear Future ___ Grader-Have students write a letter to the incoming students of their current grade level. Remind kids of the first few days of the school year and how nervous they were. Have them think back to the things that caused them the most stress, confusion, or questions and encourage them to give some helpful advice on those topics. Have them share their favorite units, trips, or events from the year as well. They’ll love sharing their wisdom with other students and it will be a nice way to welcome students to your room in the fall.
ABCs of Summer-Have students create a booklet or, for older students an online slideshow with their plans for the summer using each letter of the alphabet. Your little ones can color pictures and think of some simple activities like “B is for Beach” or “I is for Ice cream” while your older students could research a variety of different vacation destinations, books/authors they’d like to read, or new hobbies they’d like to try and create a presentation for the class or link to your classroom blog. Consider talking to your colleagues in the next grade level about having students share their work in the fall. Kids should be encouraged to update their work throughout the summer as they accomplish the tasks they set out to do and can have their first writing assignment for the fall ready to go!
Do you have some tried and true methods for keeping your writers motivated in the last weeks of school? If so, please share in the comments section below!