As the end of the school year approaches, it can be more and more difficult to keep your students engaged in and excited about learning. It’s a chaotic time! You’ve got a million things to do and not much time to do it! But I know that you STILL want to make sure that these days are memorable for your students. Luckily, there are tons of different, fun ways to keep your students learning right until the last day of school! Here are 25 end-of-the-year classroom activities to make the year-end memorable for both you AND your students.
1: Do passion projects. Have students choose a topic that they are passionate about. This can be ANYTHING – soccer, dogs, the environment, or fashion. Have students decide on a topic and guiding questions, and then complete research. Then have students create a PowerPoint presentation, poster, or lapbook in order to present their information.
2: Create a memory book. Reflecting on all the things that have happened over the year is sure to bring pride and laughter to your students. This memory book is created lapbook style, allowing your students to make their books unique.
3: Try a room transformation. Bring a small tent, some checkered tablecloths, and flashlights, and you’ve got yourself a fun camping-themed room transformation! Use this free math project to align your curriculum with the camping theme!
4: Have a bake sale! Have students bring in baking to sell to raise money for a local charity. Use this as an opportunity to work with money in a real-life setting.
5: Do a “Meet the Teacher” day when next year’s class comes to meet the teacher and do an activity together.
6: Have the students write a letter to the upcoming students. Have them include their favorite part of the year as well as tips to be successful.
7: Plan a picnic lunch! Take your class outside for a special picnic.
8: Hand out classroom awards! Use PowerPoint to make your own awards to suit the students in your class, or try these pre-made classroom awards that focus on positive character traits like optimism, curiosity, persistence, leadership, and kindness!
9: Have a pizza party and let students make their own personal pizzas! Add an ELA and Math component by writing about “How to Make a Pizza” and incorporating fractions. This Pizza Place Math Project might also come in handy!
10: Create a time capsule to open when your class graduates! Include a “Letter to My Future Self” as well as any memorable items from the year. Have students write down memories to include as well.
11: Pass a ‘Graffiti Page’ for each student around the room; all kids write a compliment for each of their classmates. Your students will love reading all the compliments when they get their own graffiti page back!
12: Try an Escape Room! Escape rooms are fun for any time of the year, but are especially wonderful for keeping your students engaged in those last days of school. This Trapped in the School for Summer Escape Room will have students jumping with excitement as they try to overcome the obstacles and get out of the school! See my best tips for doing an escape room with your class here.
13: Have a Writer’s Workshop celebration! Put out all the books your students have written over the year and give them time to read each other’s books. Hand out hot chocolate as they read to make it extra special!
14: Write thank you notes to someone in the school. This could be another teacher, the custodian, the principal, or anyone else who has made an impact on your students over the year!
15. Play games! Salute, Knock off the Clock, and High Low are just a few examples of fun games you can play with minimal prep and materials. Multiplication Bump is another fun one your students will love!
16. Have a ‘secret’ Random Acts of Kindness Day. Without telling anyone that they’re doing it, have your students do random acts of kindness like holding doors open, giving compliments, etc. throughout the day. At the end of the day, have a conversation about how it felt.
17. Invite a local animal shelter to the classroom to talk about what they do and how you can help. There’s no denying that kids love animals, and I’ve heard from a lot of teachers who have had great success with a talk from a local animal shelter after completing this Run a Pet Shelter Math Project.
18. Hand out End of the Year Activity Books to use as early finisher activities, Friday Fun activities, or just in those times between special events at the end of the year. This activity book includes fun activities like jokes, acrostic poetry, math squares, word search, crossword, code cracking, and more!
19. Reinforce growth mindset. When reflecting on the year, don’t just limit it to favorite activities and memorable experiences. Be sure to reflect on how students grew over the year. What did we get better at? What obstacles did we overcome? What did we accomplish as a group?
20. Do a book project. Have students choose the best book they read this year, and use it to create a diorama. Students can do a book talk and present their diorama to the class. Have other students leave a positive comment for each presenter.
21. Do an A-Z Autobiography, where students write something about themselves for each letter of the alphabet. Get a free template for this activity HERE.
22. Make ice cream sundaes! Here’s another great opportunity for a How-To writing piece. If you’d like to incorporate math as well, try this Run an Ice Cream Shop Fraction Project.
23. Get some fresh air! The end of the year is the perfect time to take your students outside to read, have an outdoor class, or even plan an outdoor scavenger hunt! Being outside feels like a “treat” on a beautiful day!
24. Have a snowball fight! Have each student write their favorite memory from the year on a piece of paper, and then crumple it up into a ball. Split the students into two groups, and position the groups at opposite sides of the classroom. Then (when you say “Go!”) have students throw their snowball to the other side. A student should pick it up, read it, and then crumple it up again and throw it for another student to read. This can also be used to review content for any subject!
25. Have a board game afternoon! Have students bring in their favorite board games, and spend the afternoon playing them!
Have ideas to add? Leave them in the comments below!