5 Fab Activities for the End of the Year

By Lauren Salisbury
April 23, 2019

Are you looking for a fresh end-of-year activity? One that sparks creativity and keeps students engaged until the final bell rings for summer break? Look no further! We’ve taken some of our favorite features from throughout the year and whipped up a handful of fun culminating projects just for you and your students.

Write a poem from a new perspective.

Remember the lovely “What My Name Means” poem by Jennifer Dignan in the September issue? It was one of our personal faves and the most popular writing contest this year. For the contest, students were asked to write and illustrate their own “What My Name Means” poems. Have your students create and illustrate another such poem, but with a new spin:

Have students pick their favorite person or fictional character—or animal!—that they met in the pages of Scope this year. Then have them complete the “What My Name Means” Guiding-Writing activity, only this time, writing from the perspective of the person, character, or animal that they chose. It could also be fun for students to write from the perspective of a character from a novel they read in class or an important person or group of people that they learned about this year.

After writing, revising, and editing their poems, students can illustrate their poems. They can use Dignan’s poem as a model and add doodles related to their poem or they can come up with their own illustration concept.

Host a poetry slam in your classroom and invite students to share and read their poems aloud.

 

Be the next Jason Reynolds.

Back in November, we asked your students to write a story using one of three opening lines that the fabulous Jason Reynolds wrote. The amazing stories that your students came up with totally floored us! (The winner will be announced in June.) For this end-of-year activity, have your students do something a little different:

On a small strip of paper, have each student write one of the following:

  • a first line to a story that doesn’t yet exist

OR

  • a list of 3-5 words that must appear somewhere in a story that doesn’t yet exist

Have all students fold up their papers and place them in a bowl. Then have each student pick one piece of paper out of the bowl and use the first line or words to create a fantastic work of fiction inspired by one of their classmates.

 

Create your own Scope magazine.

Divide students into groups to cover each of the genres featured in the magazine (narrative nonfiction, drama, debate, etc.) or pick just a few. You may want to have pitch meetings—students can propose ideas for topics they’d like to see in the class magazine by presenting a quick summary of the story or article, a catchy title, what their angle would be, and any photos or illustrations they’d like to use. Decide on the lineup as a class and assign various roles such as writers, editors, headline writers, cover designers, illustrators, etc. Set some deadlines to meet along your way to publishing.

 

Ink Drop/Shutterstock.com

Go all out performing your favorite play.

Poll the class: What was your favorite Scope play from this year?

Hunting a Snake-Headed Monster
Frankenstein
The Gift of the Magi
Sherlock Holmes and the Midnight Killer
The Girl Who Dared
The Man Who Broke the World
The Choice
Fly Girl

After a winner is declared, assign roles—actors; designers for costumes, sets, sound effects, and the playbill; front of house management; etc. Reserve your school’s auditorium and perform your play for parents or other students in your school. (If you can, send us a video of it—we’d love to see!)

 

Dive into an animal research project.

The May issue’s narrative nonfiction feature “Stalking the Bat Killer” offers some great research opportunities for students. The article’s writing prompt on page 10 says:

Research a species of bat that lives in your region or state. In a video, podcast, or essay, explain why the bat is important, what threats the bat faces, and how it can be protected.

The guiding questions and resources found in this Keep the Learning Going post are a great place for students to begin. And this Researching Bats guided-writing activity can help them organize and present their research.

Students can also choose their own research path with this culminating task found in the “Differentiate & Customize” section of the lesson plan:

In the article, the author writes that bats have a bad reputation that they don’t deserve. Choose another animal that is often misunderstood, such as the shark, the snake, or the cockroach. Write an essay explaining why this animal is important and dispelling any common misconceptions about it.

Happy reading and writing, and happy summer!

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