Over here on Obsessed with Learning, my mother and I have school until the week of June 11th. Both of us also must turn in grades before that week, so we are left with a couple of days to entertain our students without academic expectations.
What do we do? With some schools canceling field day or other last-day events due to Covid restrictions, it’s been a bit of a challenge piecing together fun, entertaining activities, without being the teacher that plays movies non-stop. Don’t get us wrong! We have a movie or two planned for our students! But even students get tired of movies. (Believe me! We’ve learned the hard way.)
We thought of some quick and easy ideas that can keep your students entertained and help keep you sane. Some don’t even require you to download any type of resource!
Grab a sheet of copy paper, fold it into three parts, and have students make a brochure to write all about the grade they just completed. You can make the requirements up for your kiddos, such as: write all about the teacher they’ll be getting, or the specific expectations for this grade level. You can have your students include what types of projects they’ll be doing or some things the upcoming students have to look forward to in their new grade.
Art for Kids Hub on Youtube has so many directed drawing videos. There is Greg’s directed drawing video from Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Charlotte and Wilbur have a directed-drawing video from Charlotte’s Web. Complete a directed drawing of a character from a book you’ve read this year, or for your younger students, read a picture book and complete a directed drawing from the book. There are tons of Gerald and Piggie directed-drawing videos from Mo Willems’ books. Kids love these activities and it gives them a chance to be creative.
S’mores are synonymous with summer camp and bonfires. Why not bring smores into your classroom in a fun and interesting way? We have a “How to Make Smores” E-book and graphic organizers to help students create their own procedural writing. This is a perfect way for students to show, in their writing, something they know how to do well! If your school allows, you could even serve s’mores, made in the microwave. What a perfect end-of-year treat!
Pineapples make me think of summertime too! (There is just something about tropical fruit and warm weather.) Reflecting on the school year and thinking about a growth mindset is a great end-of-year activity. We combined the two! How can your students be a pineapple? By writing lots of examples of how they can demonstrate Growth Mindset by “standing tall, wearing a crown, and being sweet.” Your students will love this adorable hands-on writing activity to reflect on their school year, whether through Distance Learning or In-Person Instruction.
Fireflies caught in mason jars make me think of summertime. This writing craftivity is so cute! Furthermore, they will end the school year with a writing activity exploring how they will act, speak, and treat others in such a way that “Let’s Their Light Shine.”
With many students having an email address these days, it makes this activity even more doable. Have students compose an email to themselves. In the email, they should write about what they hope one year from now will look like. Then, simply teach them how to schedule an email to themselves one year from now.
I have completed this activity with high schoolers, and it’s so neat when they reach out to tell me they received their “one-year” later email. Many of them had even forgotten they had sent it.
Create a quick Kahoot or Blooket all-about-you quiz! Quiz them on information about yourself to see if they have truly gotten to know you this year. This always incites laughter and surprises as students learn even more about you during the quiz.
Speaking of Kahoot and Blooket, there are so many pre-made games on these two websites. Just search through and find a fun quiz!
Blooket is a recent website that my principal passed along that has been amazing! It’s like extreme Kahoot. The best part is you can set it up and walk away as the teacher.
This is a great idea if you need some quiet time from your class so you can fill out those end-of-year forms or clean up your classroom. Audible on Amazon will give you a month for free if you sign up. All you need is a month for that last stretch of school. There are tons of picture books read aloud on youtube as well as novels. If you already subscribe to Epic, this is a wonderful resource for books online as well.
We just finished reading Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis and I plan on having my sixth-grade students listen to Bud, Not Buddy by the same author as an extension.
If you’re worried about your students getting antsy during an audiobook, offer them some coloring pages to complete as they listen. We have some great ones here!
Minute to Win It
If you want an especially memorable time with your kiddos, there are so many minute-to-win-it game ideas online. Some require just a few items, such as a ping pong ball and a piece of bread with jam. (The challenge is to bounce the ball once and have it stick to the piece of bread.)
No matter how much longer you have left of the school year, these ideas are sure to keep students busy and to keep you sane, as well.