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3 End of the School Year Activities That Will Keep Kids Engaged

It can be difficult to keep kids engaged at the end of the school year.

Most of the required skills have been taught for the year. So now what? Here are some ideas for keeping your kids engaged until the last day of school.

Kids Become the Teacher

Kids love showing other kids how to do something. They love being the expert. 

After testing is over try having a day or a week where kids are the experts on something and they teach the class something they are passionate about.

In order to make this meaningful and not just have kids stand in front of the class and be silly, I have them apply for the job. I create a job application and have kids fill it out in order to be selected to be the teacher. 

3 questions I put on the application:

  • What do you want to teach the class about?
  • Why do you want to teach the class about your topic?
  • What are 3 things about your topic that you’re going to teach the class?

I explain to the students that I will be taking these applications seriously and they will be selected by the answers they provide.

After I get all the applications turned in, I go through and select students that I know have taken the time to fill it out correctly and given thoughtful answers.

I choose a day or a week depending on how many students will be the “teacher” and let the kids know what day they will be teaching so they can prepare.

I love seeing the different styles of teaching from the kids and how their classmates respond to them. To make it a little more realistic, I sit in as a student and sometimes behave like some of the 8 and 9-year-olds behave on a regular basis for me.

So I may interrupt the teacher or start talking to another student while the “teacher” is speaking. The class gets a kick out of this part and it helps them see and kind of understand my point of view when I’m teaching.

End of the School Year Tablet, Donut and Markers

End of the Year Mystery Rewards

The last 10 or 15 days of school tend to be a wild time. Both kids and teachers know summer break is near and they’re ready. 

To help with behavior I like to do end-of-the-year mystery rewards. 

To set it up, I create a list of rewards that I know will work for my class (and my budget). Popcorn and a movie, PJ day, shaving cream fun, and a paper airplane contest are always favorites. And cheap or free!

Next, I create cards that have QR codes with those rewards on them. I post the QR code cards somewhere in class and explain to the kids how they can earn the mystery rewards.

The class is eligible to earn one reward each day if they follow the class rules. At the end of the day, if they have earned their reward, I choose a student to pick a QR code to scan. 

We scan the code and find out the mystery reward! The reward is given the following day so that I can prepare for what it will entail. But you can always just give them the reward that very same day.

It’s such a fun way to end the year and keep misbehaviors at bay.

End of the School Year Board Game

Kids Create Games to Review the Content

Now that all the content has been taught for the year, kids create games to review it.

This activity is super easy to prep because you don’t have to do much except provide the kids with materials. 

To make the actual game, kids will need paper (printing and construction) and markers at the very least. To play the game they might need dice, playing cards, counters, etc. 

You can decide which skills would work best for kids to create games around. Make a list of those skills and have kids sign up to create a game for one of the skills.

Things you’ll want to make mandatory as part of their game:

  • rules for how to play the game
  • must review the skill they signed up for
  • must be able to be played by 2 or more players.

Kids can work in a group or in a partnership or even on their own if they prefer. I like to provide as much choice as possible, especially at the end of the year so that kids are more likely to buy in and do a good job.

Determine how long the students will have to create the games. After the games have been created, choose a day for the kids to play each other’s games.

The students will be reviewing skills not only when they play the games but when they make them as well. So lots of great reviewing in a fun way!

End of the School Year Box with Addition Problem and Sports Erasers

Themed Review Game Week: 

Pick a week at the end of the school year and have a themed week. Each day can be a different theme and all your lessons are somehow connected to that theme. 

For example, one day can be a sports theme. You can read a passage about football and have the students answer questions during your language arts block. Then kids can write about a sport they love playing or a sport they wish they could play.

During math, they can answer math problems as they move a paper football across the football field that is drawn on the board.

Do a STEM activity where the kids have to create a football out of paper that can go over the handmade goal post. 

Do this every day of the week with whatever themes you choose. Be creative and ask your students what themes they would like. You’ll get tons of ideas from them. 

Have fun at the end of the school year!


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