As the school year draws to a close, one thing that teachers have anxiety about is how to keep middle school students engaged and focused until the last day of school.
Well, that’s no longer an issue with these middle school end-of-year activities.
Not only do these end-of-year activities for middle school students continue the learning process, but they also nurture a growth mindset, encourage collaboration, engage meaningfully, and expose students to a variety of different learning styles.
That’s why they make a great addition to your list of last week of school ideas.
You’ll find ideas for end-of-year games for students in addition to ideas for end-of-school-year outdoor activities.
There’s an activity here to fit every type of student preference.
So whether you teach 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th graders, schedule into your end-of-school-year lesson plans a few of these fun middle school end-of-year activities.
Middle School End-of-Year Activities
Here you will find fun end-of-year middle school activities and projects that keep students engaged until the last day.
1. Create an End-of-Year Word Search.
Students review vocabulary in a fun way by creating a word search.
To do the activity, students choose a favorite unit of study completed during the school year.
They’ll then brainstorm all the vocabulary words associated with that unit.
Now they choose 15-20 of the words to place on a word search template either diagonally, horizontally, or vertically.
They write the selected words in the word bank. Afterward, they exchange their word search with a classmate and complete it.
2. Autograph Yearbooks.
This task is considered one of the classic middle school end-of-year activities.
If the school gives yearbooks to students at the end of the school year, schedule a block of time one day for students to sign each other’s books.
If the school doesn’t provide them, consider asking parent volunteers to help create a class yearbook that students sign on the last day of school.
3. Respond to End-of-Year Questions.
One of the easiest middle school end-of-year activities is to have students respond to end-of-year reflection questions.
End-of-year reflection questions prompt students to think about their successes, areas in which they need to improve, plus future goals.
This growth mindset exercise serves students well as they transition to the next grade level and/or to the next phase in their lives.
4. Write a News Article.
Have students practice summarizing events by having them write a news article.
For this activity, students choose a favorite end-of-year event.
Using the 5Ws news article template, they will generate a news article that summarizes the main points of that event.
5. Make a How-To Manual.
Encourage middle schoolers to show off their skill sets.
For this activity, students create a how-to manual about something that know how to do well.
Alternatively, ask students to write a how-to manual about how to survive (even thrive!) in their current grade level.
Download here a how-to manual template.
6. Host a Poetry Open Mic.
The study of poetry usually takes a back seat to other literary genres during the school year.
So during the last weeks of school, dive deep into poetry, guiding students in drafting a variety of poems.
Then host an open mic day for students to share their poems with classmates.
7. Create an End-of-Year Comic.
This fun activity is sure to engage middle schoolers.
Ask students to create a comic related to an event that occurred during the school year.
Consider completing a comic as a whole class first so that students observe the thought process behind creating one.
To avoid starting from scratch, take a look at this end-of-year comic strip activity.
8. Explore Origami.
Integrate art and promote critical thinking with your middle school end-of-year activities by having students explore origami.
Not only is it therapeutic, but origami also strengthens mental concentration, develops hand-eye coordination, and sharpens fine motor skills.
What’s more, it’s a great exercise in reinforcing the importance of following instructions closely.
Take a look at these fun origami projects for beginners.
9. Design a Board Game.
Motivate students to apply skills they have learned this school year by having them create a board game related to a favorite subject, theme, or unit.
Afterward, they’ll play their game with their classmates.
10. Do Community Service.
Encourage students to serve their school and/or local communities.
First, students conduct research to determine needs that exist in their community and then decide to focus on one.
Ideas include collecting litter, starting a recycling campaign, reading books to younger students, raising money for a local charity, etc.
With the teacher’s guidance, middle schoolers devote an hour or so each week to giving back.
50+ End-of-School-Year Activities That Keep Students Engaged
11. Plan a Vacation.
For this project-based learning activity, give students a budget and a number of family members such as $5,000 for a family of four, $3,000 for a couple, or $3,000 for a single traveler.
In small groups, students will choose a destination and plan a trip. They must research and calculate costs for transportation, lodging, food, excursions, etc.
Consider completing this assignment as a whole class first before having students do their own.
Doing so serves as a model for helping them to think about how to conduct proper research and estimate costs.
12. Write an Advice Column.
For this fun middle school end-of-year activity, students will create an advice column, giving tips to middle school students about something school-related.
To do this activity, students will generate a story question that they think a middle school student would ask.
- What’s the best way to study for an exam?
- How do I make new friends?
- In what ways can I nurture a growth mindset?
- What do I do if I disagree with a grade I received?
- How do I gain the confidence to participate in the science fair?
- I’m having trouble choosing between two after-school activities. How do I decide?
They will then write a response to the question.
Download an advice column template here.
13. Complete a Self-Evaluation.
One of the best middle school end-of-year activities is to have students complete a self-evaluation.
Students rate themselves on academic and/or social-emotional standards.
Download a student self-evaluation in PDF form, or download an editable version.
14. Organize and Run a Fundraiser.
For this activity, students will brainstorm a need in the local community and raise funds to help that local charity.
Consider candy grams or flower grams as fundraiser ideas for middle school students.
15. Create an Advertisement for Your School.
What makes your school so great?
Have students create an advertisement that showcases or highlights their school’s best traits.
The purpose of the advertisement is to convince prospective parents and students to choose their school over others in the area.
16. Record Farewell Videos.
Integrate technology into your end-of-year activities for middle school by having students create farewell videos.
Each child records him or herself making a 10 to 20-second farewell video to their friends and classmates.
Then, with the help of the technology teacher or parent volunteers, combine all the videos to make one. Send a copy to each student when complete.
Students will cherish this digital keepsake forever.
Debates offer middle school students a great opportunity to exercise their persuasion skills.
Provide students with a debate topic.
Then divide the class into two groups: those who agree with and those who disagree with the opinion statement.
Allow time for students to research information, find evidence, and brainstorm personal experiences that will support their stance on the topic.
Afterward, moderate a friendly debate between the two opposing sides.
18. Write a Summer Bucket List.
Middle school students look forward to summer because it’s a time of relaxation and new memories.
Help them get into a summer mindset by having them create a bucket list of summer activities that they want to tackle or explore during the break.
19. Build a Geometric City.
Motivate students to apply their knowledge of geometry and other academic skills with the project-based learning activity Geometrocity.
Through collaboration and critical thinking, students design their own city out of geometric shapes and figures.
20. Make a Metaphorical Recipe.
Ask students to compose a metaphorical recipe. Complete one as a class before assigning students to do their own.
- How to become a good reader
- How to have a great summer
- How to accomplish SMART goals
- How to have a growth mindset
Example recipe: How to have success in the 8th grade…
- 1 ½ cups of discipline
- 1 cup of studying
- ½ cup of confidence
- 2 tsp of motivation
- A dash of collaboration
In pairs, groups, or individually, students write their own metaphorical recipe.
21. Participate in Bingo.
Provide students with a Find Someone Who Bingo board.
Each child will then go around searching for another student who matches one of the descriptions on the bingo board.
The student that matches one of the descriptions will initial inside the respective square.
The seeker student then continues looking for other students that match other descriptions until the board is completely filled with initials.
22. Interview a Classmate.
If you’re looking for middle school end-of-year activities that encourage students to learn more about each other, this activity fits.
Simply provide students with an interview sheet. As they interview each other, they’ll record responses on the sheet.
23. Play Can You Guess Who I Am.
Determine how well students have learned about their classmates throughout the school year using this fun activity.
On a notecard, students jot down five sentences about themselves that classmates would be not able to easily figure out.
After every student has written their personal five facts, the teacher collects all the notecards.
The teacher takes a notecard and reads it one clue/fact at a time. The class tries to guess the mystery student after each clue is given.
24. Create a Scavenger Hunt.
At the beginning of the school year, some teachers do a scavenger hunt around the school in order to familiarize students with the school and their class.
Why not have your current year middle school students work in pairs or small groups to create a scavenger hunt for next year’s students?
25. Do Minute Challenges.
Middle schoolers love doing minute challenges because they are fun, encourage teamwork, and involve competition.
- For one minute, students determine who can balance a pyramid of marshmallows on a popsicle stick the longest.
- For one minute, pairs toss a balloon back and forth without it touching the floor.
See more fun minute-to-win-it challenges for teens.
26. Make Top 10 Lists.
Ask students to create Top 10 lists of their favorite things.
Examples include favorite movies, events during the school year, TV shows, foods, non-fiction books, songs, etc.
After students have fun comparing lists, use the top 10 lists as bulletin board display decorations.
27. Send Notes of Appreciation.
Be sure to include in your collection of middle school end-of-year activities an appreciation task.
Have students write thank you notes to the custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, counselors, aids, parents volunteers, and anyone else in the school community who deserves recognition for all their hard work.
28. Conduct a Survey.
Have students work in pairs to conduct a survey.
Survey ideas include…
- Favorite school event
- Best cafeteria lunch item
- Favorite field trip
- Favorite class/subject
- Most memorable project
Each pair will have a different topic.
After collecting data from classmates, pairs create a graph and share their findings with the class.
29. Draft a Letter to Your Future Self.
One of the most powerful middle school end-of-year activities, this task encourages students to look ahead.
Ask students to write in response to…
- Where do they want to be 5 or 10 years from now?
- How are they now compared to how they will be in the future?
- What do they want to tell their future selves about their life today?
- Which moments from this school year do they want to remember?
30. Design a Positive Affirmations Bulletin Board.
Support a growth mindset by having students help create a positive affirmations bulletin board.
On an 8.5 x 11-inch piece of white paper, each student writes a favorite positive affirmation.
After adding a bit of decoration to their papers, collect all the papers, and use them on a bulletin board display.
31. Fill a Time Capsule.
For this activity, students collect artifacts that represent the school year and place them in a time capsule (shoebox or manila folder).
Students write a short note that describes what each object is and its importance to the time period.
After collecting all items, seal them.
At a future time determined by the student and his parents (ideally at least a year out), students open the time capsule and reminisce.
32. Make a Monthly Cafeteria Menu.
In pairs or small groups, students create a month-long cafeteria menu plan. Each meal must contain an item from each of the food groups.
This project takes research, but the effort is well worth it as students will be creating food options that are nutritious, delicious, and attractive to students in their age group.
This is arguably one of the most popular middle school end-of-year activities.
33. Reflect on SMART Goals.
Set aside time for students to reflect upon their SMART goals.
In journals, have students respond to the following questions…
- What strategies and/or actions did I implement to accomplish my goals?
- When during the day was I most productive?
- What could I have done differently to have better results?
- Which strategies should I have used instead of the ones I actually implemented?
- Why did certain strategies work or not work for me?
- What actions were not productive to my success?
- Who helped me the most?
- Did I meet my goals in a timely manner?
- What hindered me?
- How will I improve next school year?
34. Have a Themed Spirit Day.
Students choose a day and theme. On the assigned day, they come to school dressed according to that theme.
- Favorite sports team
- Memorable books
- Favorite authors
- Current events
- International day
35. Discuss Quotes.
If you’re seeking middle school end-of-year activities that are academic-focused, this one is for you.
Provide students with an end-of-school-year quote to interpret, analyze, and discuss.
36. Hand Out Silly Awards.
One of the best end-of-year activities for middle school is an awards day that recognizes students’ quirky traits.
While formal award ceremonies are meaningful and nice, mock awards serve to inject a bit of humor into the last days of school.
37. Organize a Class Field Day.
If your school doesn’t offer Field Day, guide students in creating their own.
Brainstorm a few simple, fun-filled activities that students may enjoy performing outdoors.
Then work as a class to make it happen.
38. Create a Selfie Collage.
Take advantage of the fact that middle schoolers love to use their cell phones.
Have each take a selfie of him/herself and then send it to you via electronic device. After printing, place all on a bulletin board to create a collage of selfies.
What an attention-grabber this end-of-school-year activity will be!
39. Have a Hula Hoop Contest.
Add movement to your collection of middle school end-of-year activities with a fun hula hoop contest.
Head outdoors, and have pairs of students compete to see who can hula hoop the longest without the hoop falling to the ground.
40. Design a Summer-Themed Bumper Sticker.
Encourage middle schoolers to showcase their creativity by having them design a bumper sticker that advertises summer fun.
First, show students a variety of bumper sticker examples and explain their purpose.
Then give students an 8.5” x 5.5” inch piece of blank paper (which is half of an 8.5 x 11-inch sheet of paper cut horizontally) to design their sticker.
After everyone completes a bumper sticker, place them on a bulletin board that looks like the bumper of a car.
41. Compile a Playlist of Songs.
Include music in your collection of end-of-year activities for middle school with this cool activity.
Students reflect on their year, and then choose songs that best represent it.
Go here to grab the instructions for the end-of-year music playlist activity.
Final Thoughts On Middle School End-of-Year Activities
No longer worry about keeping middle school students engaged, focused, and learning during the end of the school year.
Now you have a collection of exciting ideas, projects, and activities that are sure to interest even the most reluctant students.
For more great middle school end-of-year activities, see these “sponge activities” that appeal to middle school-aged students.