{November 12, 2008}   End-of-Year is Here!

Classes in Argentina are finishing in a month approximately.
Are you preparing something special for those last classes? Do you need to prepare an end-of-year presentation?

A great end of the year activity is to put on a little play on a topic chosen by the students. Last year, the institute where I work organized an end-of-year musical party. My 1st Children (1st level) students decided they wanted to recreate a choreography for “Do, Re, Mi”, the well known song from the Sound of Music.

This 2008 end-of-year situation is really special for me and I decided to prepare something special for my students. I don’t like very much to work on the language itself during the last classes, relying mostly on context based or game-like activities.

One great idea I got from this site is to create a class magazine or newspaper.
In this case, 8th grade students will choose a topic each and write a short text about it. They will create comics, riddles and crosswords too! Then, after checking students’ productions, we type everything up and we get a printed version of the newspaper. We generally charge a minimum of $ 0.25 for each copy of the newspaper (to account for paper and copy expenses)

For 9th grade students, as they are finishing a level of studies, I thought that they could write their autobiopgraphies.
Writing 5-8 sentences, they will have to leave a message for younger students at school. These autobiographies will be part of a Book of Class Record, made up with pictures and activities (For instance, when working on comparatives and superlatives I devised a nice activity where students had to choose the “most” student – “the one with the nicest smile, the fastest runner, the tallest, etc- and they had to draw a picture of each of the chosen classmates) collected throughout the year.
Students will design the cover of the book for one of their mates (chosen at random!) Each student will get one copy of this the day of their graduation.

The most difficult group to choose a final activity is 7th grade. They knew almost no English at the beginning of the year, and they had difficulties in most subjects.
So, what I think will be really funny, is to make them feel they are professional writers. I will take a bunch of binded sheets of legal size papers, with a cover reading “Yeah! I survived 7th Year! Read to see HOW“.
Each student will be asked to write a sentence on how the year went for them. When it’s finished, we’ll read each sentence and reflect on what we did this year.

Basing on what is proposed here I decided to prepare a last-class picnic for my 1st Children students, where they will receive a diploma and a beautiful card with a poem:

My 4th Grade students will work on a Teacher Report Card, where they will be the teachers for one hour, and I will be their student. I will tell them that I would like to see what they think about me, so children next year can have a teacher that improved her practices thanks to other students.  Then, I will provide my version of what a teacher’s report card would look like (I’m trying to upload it!) and I’ll tell them they have to grade me and that they can leave a message for me, either in English or in Spanish.

What do you think about my choice of activities? Would you work with them the same way? What would you change? Would you like to share your end-of-year classroom ideas? Comment down here.


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