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17 Celebratory Last Day of School Activities to Wrap up the Year

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Students celebrate the end of the school year in hall.


  • Teaching Activities

You did it! You’ve arrived at the end of the school year. 

The end of the school year is an exciting time for teachers and students alike. But, it can be challenging those last few weeks for students to stay engaged with learning content. 

So how can you keep your students learning while still enjoying the last few weeks you have together? 

In this article, we’ll outline a variety of fun ideas and educational activities to celebrate the last day of school while still keeping the learning process alive.

Last day of school educational activities

Students sit around table with teacher.

The last day of school doesn't have to mean the last day of learning. Even in those last few weeks when spring fever sets in, there are still lots of options to keep your students engaged. 

Prodigy is an engaging online game-based learning platform for grades 1 to 8 that makes math learning fun and enjoyable for students. With Prodigy, teachers can supplement their math curriculum while also keeping their students engaged. As a last day of school activity, teachers can encourage their students to play Prodigy Math and continue practicing their math skills during the summer break in a fun and interactive way. Plus, the platform provides real-time data and analytics, allowing teachers to track their students' progress and provide additional support where necessary.

The best bit? It's all available at no cost to teachers and schools!

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2. Scavenger hunt

Scavenger hunts are a fun way to get students out of their seats and moving around while still learning. Teachers can create a scavenger hunt that ties into the curriculum they've covered during the school year by using math, science, or English questions as clues. 

If a scavenger doesn’t sound like quite what you’re looking for, you can try creating an escape room instead. Simply design clues to solve a puzzle or end goal. These clues can use concepts that you’ve been working on throughout the year to get some extra practice in.

3. Make speeches

Making speeches is a great way to improve students' public speaking skills and writing skills. And there are lots of ways to make it fun!

You can assign one writing prompt for the whole class like a speech about their favorite moment from the school year, what they learned, or what they are looking forward to in the upcoming year. Or you can let each student pick their own topic.

4. Countdown calendar

A countdown calendar is a fun way to mark the end of the school year. A countdown calendar has a different activity or question for each day leading up to the last day of school. You may create this for your students or do it as a class activity and let them have input on what activities are included. 

The activities can be related to the curriculum or just fun, end-of-year activities. Oftentimes, the last week of activities can lead to one big event on the last day.

5. Review the school year

Hopefully, this year has been a great one with lots of memories that you and your students don’t want to forget. 

Looking back from the first day of school to the last is a great way to reflect on what students have learned and accomplished. Much like exit tickets, these activities will review class material so that students remember it better and help you understand ways to improve as a teacher. 

This section will cover some activities that allow students to review the school year and remember those that were a part of it.

6. Sign t-shirt autographs

Having students sign each other's T-shirts is a fun way to commemorate the end of the school year. 

If your budget allows, you can provide each student with a plain T-shirt and fabric markers to decorate and have classmates sign. Or you can have each student bring a T-shirt that their parents have okayed them to write on.

7. Make scrapbooks

Students writing a scrapbook.

Making scrapbooks can really get those creative juices flowing and give students a chance to review and reflect on their school year: what they learned, their favorite memories, and what they’re looking forward to next year.

You may choose to provide each student with a whole blank scrapbook and art supplies to create their own memory book of the year as a keepsake to take home. Or you may just give them blank pieces of paper and then bind them together when the student is done. 

8. Put your year in a bag

This fun activity allows students to reflect on their school year and share their memories with their classmates. If your budget is limited or your students don’t enjoy the more craft-y activities, this is a great option! 

Each student brings in a bag with five items that represent their favorite moments, activities, or memories from the school year. They then take turns sharing their items with small groups or the whole class.

9. Pass the plate

Pass the Plate is an easy way for students to share what they have learned during the school year. You start the game off by giving each student a plate to write their name on.

Then the students are arranged in a circle and pass the plates around the room. Each time a student is given a plate, they will write something complimentary about the classmate whose name is written on the plate.  

If the passing is a little difficult due to your space or set-up, you could also hang up pieces of paper around the room and have students walk to each paper. You can even customize these papers with the students’ pictures.

Fun and games for the last day of school

Now, what to do on the very last day of school? This is a time to celebrate and have fun! Here are some activities that allow students to let loose and enjoy themselves on the final day of school. 

10. Summer bucket list

Seven middle school students gather around a table smiling while doing a writing exercise.

A summer bucket list is a simple way for students to share what summer activities they are looking forward to during the upcoming months. 

You could have each student write a list of activities. Or you can provide a bucket or a jar and have students write down their summer vacation plans on slips of paper to add to the bucket. 

To add another layer of fun, you can read the slips of paper and have the students guess who wrote down that activity.

11. Paper airplane contest

A paper airplane contest is a fun and exciting activity that can be organized on the last day of school. Students can use their creativity to design their own paper airplane and compete to see whose plane can fly the farthest or stay in the air the longest. You could also incorporate a design competition for the coolest colored or designed paper airplane. 

It’s easiest to do this activity in a gym or outside if it’s not too windy. If neither of those are available, a long hallway can be a good alternative.

12. Ice cream party

An ice cream party is a delicious way to celebrate the end of the school year. Teachers can provide ice cream and toppings for their students to make their own sundaes. Or you may have some parents that would love to help out with providing and serving the ice cream. 

You can also sneak in a STEM lesson if students make their own ice cream in a bag. This option may be a bit messier, but it’s a lot of fun and allows students to practice measurements and cooking skills.

Outdoor games

Girl playing with bubble outdoors.

Outdoor games are a great way to get students outside and active on the last day of school. When your students are just bouncing with excitement and energy, getting outside can be a lifesaver. 

Some classic games to play outside include capture the flag, kickball, and relay races. All of these games provide an opportunity for students to work on teamwork and learn sportsmanship lessons.

13. Go to the beach

If it’s possible for your classroom to take a field trip, that can be a lot of fun. But it’s also possible to bring the beach to your classroom! 

You can bring in a small sandbox and beach toys to simulate a beach experience. You could even encourage the students to bring their own towels and beach chairs and wear their finest beach attire. Maybe there can even be some beach-y snacks like fruit or hot dogs.

14. Dance the day away

A dance party is a high-energy way to celebrate the end of the school year. This may just be a quick activity that you do or you can use the theme to shape the whole day like the beach idea above. 

You could choose one style or time period of music and have students dress up to fit the theme. You may even have students make decorations to outfit the classroom with that theme. 

Or you can use this activity as an opportunity to teach diversity and inclusion and play songs from a variety of music genres and eras.

Planning for next year

With the end of one year comes the beginning of the next. 

Planning for next year is an important part of the last day of school. It provides a chance for teachers and students to look forward to the future and feel prepared for whatever challenges and triumphs the next year will bring. 

These activities can help you and your students prepare for the next school year.

15. Write letters for next years’ students

Having your current students write letters to the incoming class can be a great way to welcome and prepare future students for the next school year. Sometimes it’s easier if you create a template for everyone to follow. It can include what information should be included like favorite books, the best thing they learned, and more.

This activity helps your students step into a leadership role and see themselves helping to guide those younger than them. 

16. Have a Q&A session with the grade above

To help prepare your own students for the next year, you may arrange an opportunity for them to ask questions to students in the grade above them. This will give them insight into what the next school year will be like from older students who have been in their shoes. 

There may also be a bit of time for students to meet their teacher for the next year. They could talk about what changes to expect or how expectations will be different in the next school year. 

If your students are transitioning to a new school, like elementary school to middle school or middle school to high school, this activity is particularly helpful in calming anxiety or fears. They will walk away knowing much better what to expect in the coming year. 

17. Clean out the classroom together

Cleaning out your classroom at the end of the year may be a dreaded task, but it’s much easier with lots of hands to help. 

Having students clean out their own space and community spaces as a group can be a fun way to work together and prepare for the next school year. You can assign tasks to their students to make the process more efficient and can even turn it into a game.

Students can do things like pick up trash, wipe their desks, take down bulletin boards, and organize bookshelves. 

If your students don’t seem overly thrilled with the idea of cleaning, you can do this activity before a fun activity like a movie or dance party. Just tell your students that you need to get the room all ready for the fun that they’ll have. 

Thinking about next year on the last day of school

Encouraging your students to think about their goals for the next school year on the last day of school. This exercise can help them start the summer with a positive mindset. 

You may also encourage them to hold onto the letter as a reminder when it is time to go back to school. Or you can give it to their next teacher for safekeeping. 

Reading through these letters will give you insight into where each student is at and provide any resources that they may need to succeed in the next year. 

Keep learning over the summer with Prodigy

Summer break is a time enjoyed by teachers and students alike. It gives everyone a chance to reset and recharge and come back to school in the fall ready to learn again. 

The last day of school can be a fun celebration but is also an opportunity to set your students up for success over the summer and in the next school year. Equipping them with learning tools like Prodigy can help them stay on track throughout the summer. 

Extra tip: Use Prodigy to end learning loss

Summer learning loss can set students back and make it harder for teachers to catch them all up equally in the fall. Luckily, Prodigy Math can help fight this by making math practice fun and engaging during the summer break.

To use Prodigy Math to combat learning loss during the summer, follow these easy steps:

1. Sign up for a Prodigy Math account, which is free for teachers.

2. Encourage your students to log in to their accounts and play Prodigy Math game regularly throughout the summer.

3. Create a friendly competition by setting up a class leaderboard to motivate your students to keep playing. Features in your teacher account, like your student leaderboard can help you keep track on who's leading.

4. Monitor your students' progress through Prodigy Math's reports in your teacher portal data to identify areas where they may need additional support when they return to school.

5. Reward your students for their achievements by recognizing them publicly or offering incentives like extra credit or prizes. You can also use our reward tools to help!

By following these steps, you can help your students fight summer learning loss while also keeping them engaged and motivated through fun and interactive math gameplay on Prodigy Math.

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