Reflection upon milestones in students’ lives is very meaningful and memorable. End-of-the-year closure activities help students to reflect upon the school year, and are important for them. End-of-the-year closure activities help to support transitions, build the skills needed for advancement, recall favorite memories, and identify accomplishments.
Elementary School End-of-the-Year Closure Activities
In an elementary classroom, students reflect on the relationships. The relationships are between themselves and the teacher, and with other students. They are very impressionable, and various types of activities are necessary to celebrate accomplishments, and reward students. Teachers need to consider the end-of-the-year activities they do with their students, and ensure they are student-centered.
One of most significant ways to express closure in an elementary classroom is to create a slide show or movie of pictures from throughout the year. Students grow physically, emotionally, academically, and relationally in elementary classrooms. Displaying this in photographs and videos is very special for students, parents, and teachers. Elementary students grow and change dramatically in one school year, and capturing this in pictures and videos allows everyone to embrace their growth. Students learn best from being actively involved, and they should take pictures, upload them, and assist with the video. This activity can also be academic in nature as you can use this experience to expand their learning in a myriad of ways.
Another idea for closure events in an elementary classroom would be to have students write a letter to a student they learned from the most. It would be important to ensure all students were included. This type of activity promotes high engagement levels and increases morale and rapport in your classroom. Teachers could use this activity for a cross-curricular lesson including writing and other subject areas. This type of activity also creates a sense of belonging. Students want to build relationships and belong beginning in elementary classrooms.
Middle School End-of-the-Year Closure Activities
Middle school students enjoy activities with friends, and end-of-the-year activities are significant at this time in their lives also. The most middle school students have adopted interests and are most likely more involved in academic and extracurricular activities. An example of an end-of-the-year closure activity would be to write, create a video, or give a speech on a “top ten” list. Students would write their top ten lists about the year. This includes academic and other activities that students enjoyed throughout the year. This type of activity would be something that will be memorable in that they are discussing personal growth, and it involves things they have enjoyed.
Middle school students experience transitions throughout these years, and field trips are another type of end-of-the-year event that allow students to experience learning and socialization. Experiential learning is one of the most beneficial types of learning, and they enjoy these experiences as a reward and closure for the school year.
Another activity that middle school students enjoy at the end of the year is field day. This outdoor experience is one that many students look forward to and remember throughout their careers. Field day is a chance to allow students to enjoy physical activity, competition, recreation, socialization, and fun. These also allow students to feel a sense of closure and togetherness at the end of the school year.
High School End-of-the-Year Closure Activities
High school students experience closure activities that are oftentimes their last. Among some of the most important are prom, commencement, senior trips, baccalaureate services, and athletic banquets. As these are all highly favored activities, students also enjoy reflective opportunities in their classes. As students are preparing for their futures, it is imperative to consider their goals, desires, strengths, and weaknesses. These ideals can be captured in speeches, essays, videos, journals, and discussions.
An example of an end-of-the-year high school closure activity would be a speech given in class or for a formal celebration such as graduation. Students express their feelings of accomplishment, future goals, and the desire for a successful life after high school. These types of activities allow students to inspire and challenge each other and provide closure to a chapter in their lives.
Prom and commencement are two of the most significant closure activities in high school students’ careers. Prom is more social in nature, and commencement is a result of their academic career. Both of these activities are necessary for students to experience the finality of their elementary and secondary career. Banquets, final competitions, and field trips are also activities that capture the essence of their experiences within clubs, sports, and all areas of academia.
End-of-the-year closure activities help to support transitions, build the skills needed for advancement, recall favorite memories, and identify accomplishments. Elementary, middle, and high school students experience the desire and necessity to express closure at the end of the school year. Students, teachers, administrators, and parents need closure to transition successfully to the next phase in their careers.