It’s close to the end of the school year, and you’re seeking end-of-school-year activities that will keep students engaged, focused, and learning.
Well, you’ve landed in the right place.
Here you will find a collection of end-of-year activities that serves the purpose of keeping students occupied until the very last day of school.
These activities, for indoor and outdoor use, cover a wide variety of subjects and topics plus tap into different skill sets.
Students will have opportunities to practice math, reading, writing, drama, art, … just about anything.
You’ll never again be without ideas for end-of-year activities and games.
No matter the grade or subject you teach, you will find ideas and printables here to meet the needs of your class. Adapt these activities as needed.
So as you’re planning for the end of the year, include some of these fun and engaging end-of-school-year activities in your lesson plans.
Your end of the year will be much smoother. You and your students will also be much happier.
End-of-School Year Activities
Following you will find fun last week of school ideas and end-of-term activities that students of all ages enjoy.
1. Write a Book of End-of-Year Poems.
Practice a variety of poetry forms by having students create a book of poems.
While acrostic poems are arguably the most popular with students, encourage them to explore other poetry styles such as diamond poems, limericks, haikus, and sonnets.
It’s helpful to first complete a few poems as a class. Doing so helps students learn the elements of each and provides guided practice.
Afterward, they write their own independently, compiling the poems into a book. Download a poetry book template here. The last page in the template may be used with any poetry form.
Consider having a Poetry Day where students recite their poems to the class, or simply ask them to share one or two during author’s chair.
2. Fill a Time Capsule.
Time capsules are a fun way to keep students engaged. That’s why they make great end-of-school-year activities.
With this activity, students will preserve memories of the school year by making or collecting “souvenirs” that they will then place into a shoebox or manila folder time capsule.
Once sealed, this keepsake is opened sometime in the future at the students’ and/or parents’ discretion.
Grab a copy of the time capsule end-of-school-year activity.
3. Decorate an End-of-Year Bulletin Board.
Title a bulletin board, “How Our Class Blossomed This School Year!”
To make their contribution to the board, students will complete a flower template.
In the center of the flower, they will write their names or sketch their faces. On each petal, they will write personal and/or academic accomplishments from the school year.
After students color and cut out the flowers, make a garden of flowers on the bulletin board using every child’s flower.
4. Answer End-of-Year Writing Prompts.
One of the simplest end-of-school-year activities for students is responding to end-of-year writing prompts.
These prompts encourage students to reflect upon the school year and look ahead to new beginnings.
5. Make an ABC Book.
Inspire students to reflect upon and reminisce about their school year by having them create an ABC book of memories.
The book will contain 28 pages: one page for each letter of the alphabet, a cover page, and an ending page.
See the instructions for completing the Alphabet Book project, and grab the ABC book template.
6. Write Thank You Notes.
Show appreciation to those in the school community who may not receive much recognition throughout the school year.
Have students brainstorm who they would like to honor. Think cafeteria staff, custodian team, counselors, parent volunteers, bus drivers, security guards, etc.
They’ll neatly write a letter of thanks and deliver them during the last week of school.
Download a simple letter-writing template.
7. Organize an Awards Ceremony.
Celebrating the accomplishments, achievements, good deeds, and talents of students should definitely be on your list of end-of-school-year activities.
Award each student one or two certificates that recognize a positive attribute or deed. Invite parents, and/or other classes as guests.
For a bit of light humor, consider distributing, too, mock awards that recognize students’ silly traits.
See editable end-of-year awards for students.
8. Perform a Reader’s Theater Play.
Many teachers incorporate reader’s theater plays during the holidays, but they also fit well during the end of the school year.
In addition to the many benefits of reader’s theaters, these short plays offer engaging learning experiences that are helpful for filling teachers’ end-of-school-year lesson plan calendars.
A quick search online for a subject or topic of interest will yield reader’s theater script ideas.
9. Sequence the School Year.
Prompts students to think about the biggest and/or best events of the school year.
While each student will have his or her own opinions, the goal is for every child to brainstorm six events and sequence them on a graphic organizer.
Download the sequencing graphic organizer here.
10. Start a Reading Challenge.
Motivate students to read more using a reading challenge.
Provide each student with a board of reading challenge ideas, and give them two weeks or so to complete all.
11. Create an End-of-Year Memory Book.
One of the most popular end-of-school-year activities is a memory book keepsake. It’s fun, meaningful, and keeps students engaged.
With a memory book, students will remember their school years forever.
Grab a copy of a low to no-prep end-of-year memory book.
12. Participate In an Obstacle Course.
How fun it would be for students to not only create but participate in a fun obstacle course outdoors.
Get hold of materials such as hula hoops, chairs, bean bags, rope, balls, pool noodles, jump ropes, etc.
Note: The physical education teacher is a great resource when searching for materials.
Go outside, and collaboratively set up a fun obstacle course with students.
In two teams, they’ll race to see which group can complete the course the fastest while also adhering to safety measures.
13. Video Classroom Routines and Procedures.
This end-of-year activity takes time to complete, but it’s well worth it.
At the beginning of the school year, teachers introduce and review classroom procedures and routines.
Take this exercise to another level by having current-year students make a video for next year’s students.
Here’s how it works…
- Divide the class into two groups. One group will be the “appropriate behavior” group and the other will be the “inappropriate behavior” group.
- With a camera and checklist of classroom routines and procedures in hand, give students a routine or procedure to perform.
- The “appropriate behavior” group will demonstrate the correct way to do that task. Video-record their actions.
- The “inappropriate behavior” group will demonstrate what NOT to do. Video their actions, too.
- Provide another procedure or routine. Each group will show what it looks and doesn’t look like, respectively. Video all examples.
- Continue until you have given all classroom routines and procedures that you wish to record.
- Edit and polish the video footage so that everything flows. You may even want to add captions and labels. Consider soliciting help from the technology teacher or a parent volunteer who is good with video.
- At the start of next school year, you’ll now have a rules and procedures video to show new students. Students will be delighted to see their peers on video!
14. Revisit SMART Goals.
Include reflection on SMART goals in your collection of end-of-year activities.
Did students achieve their SMART goals for the school year?
If yes, have them document the strategies they used to reach them.
If no, ask them to reflect upon what actions they could have taken to accomplish them. What steps can they make moving forward to improve upon their action plan?
They may record their thoughts on sticky notes (to be collected by the teacher as informal data) or in a journal.
15. Make a Solar Oven.
Include fun science projects as one of your end-of-school-year activities.
A good activity to start with is an easy solar oven. Students love it, and they can even make s’mores with it.
16. Plan a Spirit Week or Day.
Get into the school spirit with a week full of fun themes and daring tasks.
Consider having a hat day, 70s day, mismatch day, pajama day, dress like a teacher day, etc. The possibilities are endless.
17. Set Up a Meet and Greet.
Communicate with the teacher in the next grade level about a time when your students may visit her students in order to discuss the happenings and expectations of the next grade level.
The purpose of this end-of-year activity is to help students become acquainted with their new grade level.
Doing so helps to reduce jitters as the new school year approaches.
18. Participate In Classic Childhood Games.
Though technology has changed our lives for the better, it has also brought along a number of disadvantages with one being less time spent outdoors.
While we can’t change what students do at home, we can support their physical and social development with a variety of childhood outdoor games during school time such as Duck Duck Goose, Red Rover, 1-2-3 Redlight, Simon Says, Hopscotch, Dodgeball, etc.
These fun games build social confidence, improve motor skills, promote critical thinking, and develop good listening skills.
19. Discuss Books In Literature Circles.
Book clubs, also known as literature circles, provide opportunities for students to discuss with a small group of classmates how they apply reading skills.
It’s helpful to complete a literature circle together as a class before sending groups of students on their own to work in one.
This way, they understand the expectations and routines of how one works.
20. Make a Papier Mâché Hot Air Balloon.
Include art in your end-of-school-year activities.
Though it takes a bit of preparation and time to complete, having students make a papier mâché hot air balloon is so much fun. It’s a craft that students will keep in mind for a lifetime.
See the steps for making a papier mâché hot air balloon.
21. Put On a Living Museum.
Bring science, social studies, and history to life with a living museum project.
A living museum is a “live-act” presentation performed by students from the perspective of a historical figure.
Dressed in character and speaking in the first-person point of view, students share facts and information about a historical figure with an audience.
Not only do living museums prompt students to put into practice what they have learned in class, but these acts provide visitors with a lively interpretation of history.
See the steps for organizing an awe-mazing living wax museum project.
22. Complete a Service Project.
Students think about what areas in the school or local community need attention.
Is there a need for a recycling campaign, litter pick-up, reading support for younger students, library help, or more greenery?
Whatever the needs are, students devote some time each week to helping out in some way.
23. Plan End-of-Year Party.
Include in your end-of-school-year activities a chunk of time when students can collaborate to plan for the end-of-year party.
This makes a great project-based learning activity. Some questions to kickstart students’ planning…
- What foods, games, and activities will students have?
- How much/many of each type of food is needed?
- Who will bring what?
- Where will the party take place?
- Who will be there?
- What day and time will it occur?
- Will it be themed?
Put students in groups, allow them time to collaborate, and then gather as a class to finalize ideas.
Another option is to plan the end-of-year party as one class with the teacher serving as the guide.
24. Have a Water Balloon Fight.
When the weather becomes hot, splashes of water are a great way to stay cool and have fun.
Water balloon fights make a great last-day-of-school or end-of-year activity because students have a chance to play, throw water, get wet, and just let loose.
Consider asking the physical education teacher or parent volunteers to help set up and/or manage the water balloon fight.
25. Sign T-Shirts.
Keepsakes make lasting memories, and an autographed T-shirt is a great example.
Have students wear a white T-shirt to school, and ask them to bring a permanent marker.
Sometime during the school day, give classmates an opportunity to autograph each other’s shirts. They may also write short, farewell messages.
26. Make Friendship Bracelets.
Friendship bracelets make great keepsakes and are cool to wear.
What’s more, they help students to sharpen their fine-motor skills and coordination of movement.
Students may follow along with this tutorial about how to make friendship bracelets.
27. Concoct Slime.
Make science time more fun by devoting a block to making slime.
Students of all ages love slime, and everyone will have a chance to take some home. Here’s a recipe for making slime.
28. Create Charts and Graphs.
Easily integrate math into end-of-school-year activities using this collaborative task.
Divide students into groups of 3 or 4 students.
Each group will be assigned a different task which should ideally prompt students to reflect upon the school year.
- What was your favorite field trip this school year?
- How tall are you now? (Students will have to measure themselves.)
- What was your favorite event of the school year? (Choices = field day, talent show, science fair, etc.)
- Which summer activities will you be doing? (Choices = sleeping, reading, playing, swimming, vacationing, visiting relatives)
- What is your favorite subject from this school year?
- Where do you plan to go on vacation? (Choices = another city, another state, another country, place in the same city, staycation)
- What is your favorite nonfiction book genre?
Each group will survey classmates to gather information.
After collecting data, group members will compile the data on a chart or graph and then present the findings to the class.
29. Write Knock Knock Jokes.
Telling knock-knock jokes is one thing but writing them is another. Challenge students to compose original knock-knock jokes.
For inspiration, have them read a few funny knock-knock jokes before drafting their own.
30. Share School Year “Loves”.
This fun end-of-year activity prompts students to share all the things they loved about this school year.
In each segment of the heart, students write and/or sketch a fond memory. Afterward, they color their heart.
If desired, each child may share his or her heart with the class.
Download a heart template here.
31. Pair Up for Reading Buddies.
Coordinate with another grade level, and have each student in your class read to or be read to by another student.
32. Compare and Contrast the Beginning to End-of-School Year.
This list of end-of-school-year activities would not be complete without a graphic organizer activity.
Students compare and contrast the beginning and end of the school year using a Venn Diagram.
For more creativity, use hula hoops to create a Venn Diagram. Students write their information on notecards.
Alternatively, students may compare and contrast using sticky notes.
33. Tie-Dye T-Shirts.
One of the most exciting end-of-year activities is making Tie-Dye T-shirts. Solicit the help of parent volunteers to make this task a success and less messy.
34. Design Summer-Themed Bookmarks.
Encourage students to read enthusiastically this summer with the help of summer-themed bookmarks.
Provide students with a bookmark template and let their creativity run wild.
35. Present Student Portfolios.
Student portfolios showcase students’ learning growth over the school year.
These artifacts provide valuable insight into what students mastered and what areas they are still looking to improve upon.
During the process of creating portfolios, students evaluate their strengths, weaknesses, and accomplishments of the school year.
After collecting data, they present the information to peers and/or parents.
Download the instructions for creating student portfolios.
36. Draft Diary Entries From the Perspective of…
This fun, creative activity reinforces the skill of point of view.
Students will write a series of five diary entries from the perspective of an inanimate object during the last week of school.
Ideas include a school bus, backpack, classroom, pencil, pencil sharpener, school, recess ball, playground, etc.
- How are these items feeling on the last day of school?
- What thoughts do they have during the last week?
- What are they expecting this summer?
37. Make Ice Cream.
Head outdoors, and guide students in making ice cream from scratch.
Afterward, have students retell the sequence of steps for making it using a sequencing graphic organizer.
38. Brainstorm Top 10 Lists.
Assign students the task of making a series of Top 10 Lists related to the current school year.
- Top 10 Nonfiction Books
- Top 10 Best Pizza Toppings
- Top 10 School Events of the Year
- Top 10 Attractions In the City
- Top 10 Science Experiments From This Year
- Top 10 Funniest School Moments
- Top 10 Cafeteria Menu Items
- Top 10 Things To Do This Summer
39. Draft Letters to Future Students.
Make sure one of your end-of-year activities is having current students write a letter to their future selves, focusing on future goals.
One day, students will be able to look back and see if they achieved what they dreamt.
40. Play Find a Friend Who.
Students do a “scavenger hunt”, looking for a classmate who matches a statement written on a bingo-type board.
Once they find that person, the other person initials the box.
Download the end-of-year scavenger hunt board here.
41. Write an Autobiography.
This is one of the best end-of-school-year activities to do with students because it centers around their lives. They love sharing personal experiences.
In their writer’s notebooks or using a sequencing graphic organizer, students write a short autobiography (no more than 8 phases ideally) of their lives.
42. Host a Spelling Bee.
Reinforce good spelling by hosting a class spelling bee comprised of spelling lists from the current school year.
The spelling bee need not be anything fancy.
Simply have students, one by one, attempt to spell a word without making errors. If they make a mistake, they sit down. The last one standing is the winner.
43. Research Interesting Topics.
Have students conduct research on a topic of interest to them. They’ll find facts about their topic and then share the information with a partner or the class.
Download a research sheet for students to record their findings.
44. Make an End-of-Year Word Search.
This is one of those end-of-school-year activities that stretches students’ thinking.
After providing students with a word search template, students brainstorm words and phrases associated with the end of the school year.
They write those words in the word bank section of the template.
They then fill in the word search with the words they brainstormed – a combination of horizontal, vertical, and diagonal positioning.
Afterward, they fill in the leftover empty spaces with random letters and then give to another student to solve.
45. Summarize New Discoveries.
This activity reinforces the skill of summarizing.
Students summarize in their reading notebooks all the new things they learned this school year.
46. Do 3D Book Reports.
Instead of a boring book report, ask students to make a mobile or diorama about a recently-read book.
47. Create a How-To Guide.
Encourage students to explore a different writing genre by having them create a how-to-guide that explains how to reach SMART goals.
Grab a how-to-guide template for students to publish their work.
48. Recommend Summer Reading Lists.
Have students make their recommended summer reading book lists. Afterward, students may compare lists.
49. Make Positive Affirmations Booklet.
Include growth mindset exercises in your collection of end-of-school-year activities.
Distribute a positive affirmations coloring booklet to students, and have them complete it independently.
50. Complete a Glow and Grow Exit Ticket.
Self-reflection is a powerful exercise that nurtures a growth mindset.
Have students reflect on their strengths and weaknesses using a GLOW and GROW exit slip.
Prompt them to notice how their strong and/or weak points have evolved throughout the school year.
Discuss how this task may guide them in setting future SMART goals.
51. Construct an All About Me Quiz.
Students will make a quiz as one of their end-of-year activities.
For this task, students write 10 statements or questions about themselves. Each statement/question will have a true/false or multiple-choice response option.
After creating, students give to a classmate to answer.
It might be helpful to do this activity as a whole class (using the teacher as an example) before students construct their own.
Final Thoughts On End-of-School-Year Activities
Now you have a variety of end-of-school-year activities, ideas, and resources that keep students engaged plus keep your lesson plan full until the very last day.
If you liked these end-of-year activities, you may also find helpful an end-of-year playlist. (coming soon).