#32-Concluding the Academic Year
Meaningful Closure Activities
While Memorial Day weekend marks the end of spring semester for some schools, many are still in session until mid-June. Before I take my summer hiatus with the weekly tips, I want to share some ideas I have used in the classroom as year-end closure activities for students. These activities will provide some excellent insight into the content that resonated with your students, in addition to the social-emotional aspects of having you as their teacher.
Culminating Activity: Our Story
Assign students to small groups (no more than 4 per group). Provide the following instructions:
- Your group’s task is to develop and tell a story, in first person tense (“I” statements), about your experience this year in (name of your class/course).
- Each member of your group will write a story about their experiences this semester/year in (name of your class/course). Be creative and include fun examples to make your story come alive!
- During this quiet time, there is NO TALKING between members of your group.
- After each member completes his/her own thoughts, the TEAM will discuss and gather together the best parts of all four stories. Re-write the group thoughts into one final story.
- Be ready for a group share
FINAL FEEDBACK: Hand out three Post-it notes to each student. Provide the following instructions: On separate Post-it notes, write a WORD, a PHRASE and a SENTENCE to describe your learning experiences in (name of your class/course). Place your three Post-it notes on the chart provided or on the classroom whiteboard.
|Post-it Note w/ WORD||Post-it Note w/ PHRASE||Post-it Note w/ SENTENCE|
Closing Activity- Yarn Toss
- Class forms a circle, with everyone facing towards the center.
- The first person will toss a ball of yarn to a fellow classmate, making sure to hold on to the end of the yarn—he/she then offers a compliment to their peer–something that stands out or is unique about this fellow student that makes them special.
- The person that caught the ball of yarn now tosses it to someone else, also making sure he/she holds on to the yarn—he/she follows the same instructions and so forth…
- Once all students have received a compliment and are holding on to the yarn, the teacher might say, “This web of yarn represents our community and the warm feelings we have for one another.”
- Passing a pair of scissors around the circle, the teacher instructs each student to cut a piece of the yarn for a personal keepsake– a poignant memory of our year together in (name of your class/course).
Have a wonderful summer break!
Stay healthy and safe, Dean