*Grab one of my writing test prep units for free!

End of the Year Activities to Keep Students Engaged

Share:

As the school year comes to an end, it can be challenging to find activities that keep students engaged right up until the last day. And while classroom contests or wacky countdowns can be exciting for kids, they typically lead to clamor and chaos, not to mention requiring tons of prep on my part!

In fact, I’ve found that the best way to keep students engaged at the end of the year is to keep the activities simple. We focus on reviewing grade-level standards using a summer theme to tie together our learning. This year, I put all my favorite activities into one huge workbook that will fill up our last week of school. And I’m sharing a free sample of it with you!

Activities to Review Standards at the End of the Year

Although I create one packet for all my end of the year activities, my students still complete each section according to our regular schedule. So, they work on the reading review during our reading time, and complete the math pages during our math block. By sticking to our regular schedule, students are less likely to act out.

I want my students to enjoy this time, so I try to stay away from boring, repetitive worksheets. Instead, they complete fun activities such as color-by-code and math mazes. I also like to use hands-on sorting games, which work well for a variety of topics. Each activity is rooted in a grade-level standard, so I know our time is well spent.

end of the year activities: color by code

Using Choice Boards

Another key element in my end of the year activities is the use of choice boards. These consist of a set list of tasks students can choose to complete. From creating a comic book to writing a letter, students select an activity to complete each day. Research shows that giving students a degree of autonomy in the classroom increases motivation, effort, and learning.

Here are some of my favorite tasks to add to student choice boards:

Reading:

  • Write a book review to share with classmates.
  • Illustrate a scene from a book in a comic strip.
  • Create a new ending for your favorite book.

Writing

  • Compose a letter to special teacher.
  • Write a movie review.
  • Make a list of summer goals.

Math

  • Create a board game to review a math topic.
  • Make a poster illustrating a specific math skill.
  • Create a set of math vocabulary flash cards.
end of the year activities: choice boards

End of the Year Memory Book Activities

One of my students’ favorite end of the year activities is working on their memory book. Although our school does sell yearbooks, many students cannot afford one, so this is a special way to celebrate their memories of the school year.

I include several pages at the end of their workbook for students to reflect on the current school year, recalling their favorite activities and significant moments. Students can add pictures as well, if they choose. Most importantly, there’s a page for students to collect their friends’ autographs. This is always the most popular page!

end of the year memory book activities

Be sure to download the free sample of this amazing workbook! It’s got 4 of my favorite end of the year activities included. Want the whole workbook? Find your grade level here!

Related Resources

Share:

April Smith

Curriculum Writer and Online Professional Development Coach. 

GET MY 44-PAGE GUIDE + TOOL KIT... FOR FREE! 😍​​

Join my email list to get this guide and additional free online training & resources throughout the year.

SHOP RESOURCES​

Tour the SIMPLIFY WRITING® PROGRAM​