The summer holidays are fast approaching and for both pupils and teachers, it’s a time of excitement and anticipation! However, it can be challenging for teachers to keep students engaged in learning activities during these last few weeks. In this blog post, we take a look at six great activities that you can add to your lessons that will keep your students actively engaged through all of the summer excitement and help teachers manage any unsettled behaviour!
#1: Compose an end-of-year playlist
Songs have the ability to bring back all kinds of memories once you listen to them again. Give students the task of compiling a list of songs that they can relate to and remind them of the past school year (either as a class, in groups or individually). Ask them to write about why each song belongs on the list. Then, put the playlist on for your students during the last days of school to help them celebrate and reflect on the year gone by.
#2: Create a travel plan to an exciting destination
The school year ending means many children will be heading off on their holidays! Have your students choose a place to ‘travel’ to – this could be a place they visit often or a place they dream of going to one day. Have them research all about the place and make a report with things such as how to get there, the best places to see, fun activities to do when you’re there etc. Students can research this at home, prior to class, or in school with IT/ computer time slots, if available. This can be used as a learning activity by applying certain skills learned throughout the year, for example maths skills to calculate how long it takes to get there, meal plans, spending money etc, or their history and science knowledge by including the history of the location or what animals you may find there.
#3: Create a Summer bucket list
Get your students to write a summer bucket list of the ten top things they would like to do this summer with places they want to visit, books they would like to read, hobbies they might want to take up or things they hope to accomplish. Allocate some time for them to spend on this and give your pupils the opportunity to present them to the class at the end. Students can decorate these lists any way they choose and when they go home they can hang them on their bedroom wall and tick them off as they go along!
#4: Serve up a scoop of memories
A fun way to celebrate the school year coming to an end is to make paper ice cream sundaes with each scoop representing a different memory from the past year. You can either have your students draw these or find a printable version online. This activity is a great way to let your pupils look back on all their favourite memories with their friends from the year, and when it’s finished the drawings can be laminated and kept as a keepsake! There are a host of ice cream related activities to choose from.
#5: Compose an end-of-year continuing story
At the top of blank pages, write numerous story titles such as “The Great Summer Adventure,” “How My Teacher Lost Her Mind,” or “My Teacher, My Hero.” Then, have each student write a portion of the story and hand it to their neighbour who will continue writing the story. Each student will have five minutes to write their portion of the story before passing it on to someone else. This activity could be done in pairs, at table groups etc. Continue writing for as long as needed until you have a number of stories to read to the class. You could have the children read their stories to each other in pairs, or read them out to the class individually.
#6: Reading activities
Some students, particularly younger classes as well as those moving on to secondary school, might have a hard time with the end of the school year. Many things will be different next year, which can be a nervous and exciting thought for some. Books such as The Old Woman Who Names Things by Cynthia Rylant or The Egg by M.P Robertson are great books for younger children to help them come to terms with missing their friends or growing up, and helps them reminisce on their memories of the year. There are also several books ideal for students transitioning into secondary school such as Splash by Charli Howard and Everything All at Once by Steven Camden which address topics of fitting in, making friends and celebrating who you are.
We understand it can be difficult to keep children engaged during these last few weeks as their excitement and anticipation builds. We hope our list of end of year activities has sparked some inspiration and will help you make the most of these last few weeks of the school term!
For the next school year, why not consider using the Primary Planning Tool. We can help with making your classroom planning much more manageable and convenient, whether for individual classes or the whole school!
Wishing you all a safe and happy summer, and we look forward to the new school year!