Home Adobe Five End-of-Year Activities for the Last Days of School

Five End-of-Year Activities for the Last Days of School

by Emily Horn
Explore five low-prep to no-prep end-of-year activities for the last days of school!

It’s that time of year when everything is wrapping up, things are winding down, desks are being cleaned, and supplies are being organized for summer storage. In the middle of the hustle and bustle, here are a few no-prep or very low-prep end-of-year activities to use! Have a little fun taking strategies, games, or tools you may already know and love and giving them a little twist. Let’s dive in!

1. Mix-Pair-Share 

Have fun with the beloved and simple-to-use Kagan strategy, Mix-Pair-Share. Add in some end-of-the-year questions, and you have a simple, prep-free activity for the final days of school. Have students spread out around the room or stand by their desks. Play music and prompt them to walk around the room to “mix up.” When the music stops, students can high-five the person closest to them. If you’d prefer not to use music, you can use a timer and say, “Pair up!” when it’s time for students to find a partner. Each time they partner up, choose a different question to ask, and students share their answers with their partner.  Here are some questions you can use, or edit this document to create your own! Read them over before using them to be sure they’re a good fit for your class.

Extension: Display the template with your projector and come up with questions as a class! Students can also create questions in pairs, and you can compile them for this activity.

2. Elbow-to-Elbow Read Alouds

Take students of any age to an elementary library! Have them choose their favorite children’s picture book to read with a partner. Even older students love to revisit favorites from their childhood! Ask the students to sit elbow to elbow, switching off the reading by page so that both get the opportunity to read aloud. If you don’t have access to an elementary school library, you can pick up some favorite picture books from the local library to bring in.

Extension: Have students write a brief notecard book review and summary of their book like some bookstores do! These can be given to the librarians and displayed with the books to add interest. Or, students can record their reviews using Flip! These videos can be turned into QR codes to be displayed, scanned, and watched in the library.

3. Adobe Express Creative Challenge

Adobe for Education just dropped a brand new creative challenge for May, “Top 5 From the School Year.” Here’s a rundown of how it works:

The contest will close on May 31, 2024. This activity provides you with the link to an editable template to use with your students. Click the link, edit the template, explore generative AI features, customize the design, and even add voiceover if you’d like! You can also submit a post-challenge survey and enter to win Adobe Express-branded Stanley H20 Tumblers!

4. Commit and Toss

Commit and Toss is a great formative assessment that allows students to answer questions anonymously. With a twist, it can also be used as a fun end-of-year activity! Display these made-up words and definitions for students to see. Go over each one before beginning the activity.

  • Whimsyhop: (Noun) A fantastical shop that sells bottled laughter, jars of dreams, and bouncing clouds as pillows.
  • Scribblefluff: (Noun) A fluffy creature made entirely of colorful scribbles that comes to life when a child uses their imagination.
  • Sniffersnack: (Noun) A delicious snack that can only be smelled, not tasted, but fills your mind with happy memories.
  • Blinkhopper: (Noun) A tiny creature with enormous ears that can jump from story to story in a book by using illustrations as stepping stones.
  • Moonbeam Weaver: (Noun) A magical spider that spins shimmering webs of moonlight that grant wishes when touched.
  • Gigglegrass: (Noun) A type of grass that tickles your toes and makes you erupt in uncontrollable laughter when you walk on it.
  • Worlybabble: (Verb) To speak in a language only understood by clouds, creating beautiful shapes in the sky.
  • Moonsnooze: (Noun) A peaceful lullaby sung by the moon, guaranteed to send anyone into a restful sleep.
  • Fuzzgle: (Verb) To snuggle up with something so soft it makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
  • Doodlekins: (Noun) A tiny insect with wings made of colorful doodles, that leaves behind a trail of creativity wherever it flies.

Fill up a bowl or cup with pieces of paper, each with a made-up word written on it. Have students pick a piece of paper from the cup or bowl, keeping the word they drew a secret. Set a timer and have students draw an illustration for the word they picked, but they should not include any text in the illustration. When the timer is up, students crumple the drawings and toss them into the middle of the room (or a bag, box, etc.). Then, you pick up each crumpled piece of paper, open it up, and have the students guess which word the drawing represents.

Extension: Have students come up with their own made-up words and definitions. This can be done individually or with partners. Shake it up even more by having half the class make up words and the other half make up definitions; then, they can mix and match the words to the definitions for some funny, new vocabulary.

5. Connections

If you’ve not yet played the second most popular game from the New York Times, you should definitely give Connections a try. In this game, you sort 16 words into four groups of four based on an unknown connection. For example, you might choose the words cow, zebra, dalmatian, and panda. In this case, the connection might be “Animals that are black and white.” TCEA’s Peggy Reimers explains the game in her recent TechNotes article.

Additionally, Peggy outlines the benefits of Connections for students and provides three resources for quickly and easily creating your own Connections games! Make Connections for your students to solve or have them create their own to share with their peers. This is a fun and simple way to get students thinking. Plus, these puzzles can be solved individually, in pairs, or even as a whole class activity.

Which of these activities will you try? Maybe you have an idea for another twist or extension to add. Let us know how it goes in the comments, and have a great last month of school!

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