Unfortunately, this school year didn’t go as planned. It’s been a tough school year – but you can look at these past few months as an opportunity. This is a whole new experience for you and your students, and this is your chance to make the end of the school year memorable in a positive way. Below are some ideas for virtual graduations and celebrating the end of the year remotely with your students.
Activity Idea 1 – Remote Graduations and End-of-Year Celebrations
There are so many fun ways that you can celebrate the last day of school with your students, whether that’s through a graduation or an end-of-year party. Of course, this is much more difficult to do remotely, but Really Good Stuff has resources to make this day extra special.
On our free resources page, we have a variety of diplomas and signs for the end of the school year. Before your end-of-year celebration, choose the diploma that best suits your class, fill one out for every student, and send them to their parents to print out for this special day.
If your class uses social media, you can also have your students choose a sign from the free resources page to take a picture with and post for their friends to see. Be sure to put parents in charge of posting.
Another idea – send your students graduation caps. Encourage them to decorate their graduation caps and share their designs during one of your distance learning sessions.
Activity Idea 2 – Create Dream Boards
Dream boards create a source of inspiration or motivation. Create a collage with a variety of things, such as pictures, sayings, quotes, words, or anything else that motivates you. This is a fun activity for children because it allows them to show off their creativity and uniqueness.
This activity is also great for adults. Encourage your students’ parents or guardians to create a dream board, and you can create one, as well. Then, have everyone share their dream boards remotely.
Below is an example of a dream board that was created by a third grade student.
Activity Idea 3 – 10 Days of Kindness
Create a list of ways that your students can be kind during the last 10 days of school. During each morning meeting, discuss which acts of kindness your students have accomplished. This is a great way to get parents involved, as well. Come up with 10 acts of kindness or use the examples below:
- Write a thank you letter to an essential worker. You can email the letter, deliver it without contact, or wait until it’s safe to deliver it in person.
- Tell someone in your home why you appreciate them.
- Do an extra chore at home without being asked.
- Give a compliment to a friend or classmate.
- Donate an item to a charity.
- Ask a friend or sibling how their day was.
- Draw a picture with a kind message and give it to someone.
- Say “thank you” to a person that made you a meal.
- Help clean up a mess that you did not make.
- Wave to a neighbor that you know from a distance.
This is a thank you letter that a second grade student wrote for the nurses at his local hospital.
Activity Idea 4 – Create Memory Books and Have a Celebration
This idea was inspired by an event that I had with my second graders at the end of their writing unit.
We had a Tea Party Writing Celebration in our classroom. At the event, students presented their favorite pieces of writing. Parents, grandparents, and caregivers were invited to come in for the event.
Of course, this event would have to take place remotely. To prepare, tell parents ahead of time that you will be holding an end-of-the-year celebration. You can choose to make it themed by encouraging parents to decorate their homes (the area that will be on camera), and if they want to, that they can prepare a special snack for their child.
Then, give each student a turn to share their memory books with their classmates and parents. This will bring laughter, happiness, and a sense of community for everyone involved. Most importantly, this will be a great end-of-school-year memory for students.
These books can be homemade, or you can order Celebrations Activity Journals™ – End-Of-Year Memory Makers and mail them to your students.
If you choose to have students create their own memory books, give them some ideas of what the book should include, such as:
- an unforgettable memory from this year
- their current favorites (foods, sports, books, etc.)
- new friends that they made
- a new talent they have
- field trips they went on
- what surprised them most about this school year
- goals for next year
Activity Idea 5 – School Year Trivia
Just like any trivia setup, create rounds of questions with specific topics. You could have fun questions and/or academic questions. I recommend that you do four rounds with five questions per round. If you have a way that would better suit your class, do what is best for them.
Your rounds may be: Math, Reading, Writing, and Who Am I? You will have to come up with your own questions that align to what your students learned this year. Below you will see an example of what the questions could be for each category:
What is another word for the total amount you get when you add two numbers together? For example, 15 + 2 = 17. What do you call 17?
What word means, “Where the story takes place?”
In writing, what are words like first, next, then, after that, and finally called?
Who am I?
Give multiple clues about a classmate while students try to figure out who you are talking about. For example:
I have short brown hair. My favorite sport is football. I have a sister and a pet dog. I moved here from New Jersey. Who am I?
No matter what activities you do, the most important thing is creating memorable experiences for your students. Have fun, be creative, and enjoy celebrating the year you had with an amazing group of kids.
As always, our Really Good Stuff® team is here to help. For free resources to help teachers, parents, and children navigate this unprecedented time, check out the Really Good Stuff® Resources tab. You can also search our blog for more free tips and ideas from real teachers.
By Nicole Morelli
Nicole Morelli formerly taught first, second, and third grade. Before teaching, she was a paraprofessional, where she assisted in multiple elementary grades and a special needs class. Nicole has worked at Really Good Stuff for a little over two years as a Product Developer and Content Manager. Her specialties are STEM education and social-emotional learning. She has a lot of fun developing products for those topics!