Hopefully, by the last day of school, you have already had your students clean lockers, desks, and shelves. You’ve probably taken advantage of the last week of school to rearrange the classroom and try out some new strategies. If you haven’t and need more detail take a look at this blog post to help you get going.
Are you ready to spend the last day of school with your students celebrating because all the work is already done? You need to have a plan and a schedule or it will turn into chaos. I have compiled a list of activities perfect for grade 4, grade 5, and grade 6.
You can have kids share autographs in many ways and all of them are fun. If your school already has yearbooks then writing in the yearbook is a classic tradition. You can also go to the dollar store to purchase beach balls and have the kids sign them for each other. Finally, you can have kids wear a t-shirt to have the class sign. If you’re really organized you can tie-dye shirts a few days before so they can sign them.
- Treat Bags or Gift
It’s common practice now that teachers give students a gift of some sort on the last day of school. It can be anything like candies, books, gift cards, letters, or photos. Don’t kill yourself trying to get this done, but it can mean a lot. If you’d like some more ideas on how to do that read my blog all about End of Year Gifts for Students.
- School Year Walk of Fame
I have seen and read about different versions of this. Here is how I would keep it simple and fun for the classroom. Buy a fluffy boa, big Hollywood sunglasses, a top hat, and jacket. Figure out something that can work as a red carpet like a roll of red paper, a plastic table cloth taped down, or some fabric.
Put on your journalist hat and get the camera out. Your students are going on a Hollywood walk of fame. Have the rest of the class cheer and clap for each other while you take some silly picture. Then interview each student for two minutes. Fill it with compliments and ask them about their best moments or accomplishments of the year.
If you’re school allows it you could use Facbook live or just post it on your class website so parents can see.
- Time Capsule or Photo Comparison
Some teachers create a time capsule at the beginning of the year. Maybe you had your students put in a picture of themselves or something that was really important to them. Maybe you had them write down a goal at the beginning of the year.
If you love this idea, but didn’t make an actual time capsule you might have something you can use. There are goal sheets or questionaires, maybe one of their first projects or writing pieces. Make a big deal of unveiling it by sending them on a scavenger hunt.
There is another way to catch the magic here. Find a class picture from the beginning of the year and take one now. Have the kids compare the photos to see how much they have grown. If you are really organized you can print them out, mount them on cardstock and write the school year dates and your name at the top.
- Letter of Introduction to Next Year’s Teacher
Have your students write a letter to their teacher(s) next year. It can include things they love and hate. They can write about their families, pets and best friends. Anything they want to share with their teacher they can include in this letter. Check out my lesson that makes this easy to assign or print.
Minute to Win It
- Look up a few Minute to Win It Games that guarantee silly fun.
Mini Field Day
- Go outside and have the kids run a few races that you organize.
Paper Airplane Contest
- What designs can your students come up with to make their plane go the farthest? Just because it’s the last day of school it doesn’t mean you can’t have some STEM fun that is sure to be memorable.
Paper Ball Battle
- Save your recycling for a few days. Give every student a stack of papers and tell them that they have two minutes to make as many balls as they can. At the end of two minutes start the battle.
I once worked with a strict teacher who always had a schedule and sometimes lost her temper. She did this with a class once and it was seriously so fun and unexpected.
- You can play regular charades or you can have your students write down memories from the school year, or it could be a mix. It’s sure to be funny.
- Talent Show
Set up a small stage area and have kids show off some of their talents to the rest of the class. If the auditorium is free, use it. Or even do it outside. It’s a great idea to have a sign up a few days before. You can even leave some practice time if you have free time in your schedule.
- Pat on the Back
Personally I love to do a similar activity on valentine’s day, but it’s also a perfect last day of school activity. Tape a paper, preferably cardstock, to each child’s back. Give each student a flare pen or marker and tell them to write something kind and positive on each person’s back. Turn up some music and let them have fun.
I’ve also done this activity with the paper on students’ desks, but I think putting them on their backs makes it extra fun.
- Photo SlideShow
Pulling together photos of your students from the school year is getting easier and easier with all the different apps and programs available. Take those photos and make a slideshow to share with your students.
One teacher I worked with burned cds with the slideshow on them to send home to every student. Now you can just share it with parents using Google.
- Class Awards
I love giving the kids some sort of awards at the end of the school year that recognizes their individuality and what they brought to the classroom. There are so many options available that can meet any teacher’s needs. I loved giving my students candy awards, with the candy included.
If you love this idea you can read a full article on how my school presented end of the year awards here.
I hope you found a new and interesting idea to try out in your classroom. I’d also love to hear about some of the things you’ve done in your classroom in past years in the comments.