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10-end-of-year-activities-for-upper-elementary

10+ Fun End of Year Activities for Upper Elementary

The last couple weeks of school can be tough to plan for in upper elementary. Your report cards and assessments are done but there is still a need for fun end of year activities to keep the students engaged and busy!

But the goal is to bring fun, provide skills practice, and avoid busy work for teacher and students alike. Keep reading for 10+ fun end of year activities for upper elementary that you and your students are sure to love!

10-end-of-year-activities-for-upper-elementary

Projects as Fun End of Year Activities

This first set of activities incorporates options to review lessons from throughout the year such as information writing, figurative language, and more. The part I like most is that students will first work independently and then collaborate in smaller groups to share their work.

Create a Restaurant
Students begin by creating a restaurant concept – think Top Chef meets your elementary classroom! They design a menu using descriptive language to incorporate the figurative language concepts they have learned throughout the year. At the end of the project, you can celebrate by having students bring in a food dish and do a “tasting” around the classroom. Check out the full project here to save you time and effort as the year wraps up.

Create a Magazine
This engaging writing task where students create their own magazines can work for solo, pairs, or small groups. The best part is that it’s a chance to be interdisciplinary since students can pick any topic they like that’s tied to a lesson from the year or something they want to explore beyond the curriculum. Read more about the whole process in this post.

teaching informative writing with magazine writing unit

Once students have created their publications, extend the fun end of year activities by hosting a coffee shop day where students have lemonade/juice and pretend they are reading magazines at a coffee shop! 

Create a Class Yearbook
Design an end-of-year takeaway memory for students with this collaborative reflective project. Assign roles to different students and have them work collaboratively on individual Google Slides to create a yearbook for the class. You can brainstorm page ideas as a class such as First Day of School, Best Lessons, Inside Jokes, and so on… there could even be a page all about the end of year activities students are doing too.

Create a Memory Book
Create individual memory books using this template. Students can sign each other’s and decorate as they please! This is a great simple, quiet activity that can tap into students’ creativity as part of the fun end of year activities in your classroom.

Create a Carnival Game
Have students create a carnival game (or board game). You can tie this into math (probability) and then do a carnival day where they all play the games as yet another option for end of year activities. 

Create a Rube Goldberg Machine
This is another idea that includes math, science, and collaborative efforts. A Rube Goldberg Machine is based on chain reactions. Show students this music video from OKGo that features a Rube Goldberg Machine in action throughout the entire video. Then gather parts for your creation. Think toy car or train tracks, dominoes, string, marbles, and more. This is a chance to gather and use random items from the classroom, especially if you’ve been collecting loose parts (lids from markers or glue sticks, egg cartons, toilet paper holders, etc.).

add more joy with end of year activities for upper elementary

Active & Fun End of Year Activities

Host A Class Talent Show
Get your students to showcase their hidden or not-so-hidden talents with an end of year performance. Have students sign up, practice, and then perform!

Outdoor Field Day
Have your students brainstorm different outdoor activities they love and do a field day. Brainstorm outdoor games such as capture the flag, relay races, obstacle courses, frisbee throws at targets, and more.

A hit with my students is always Tic-Tac-Toe Relay. Set up a large tic-tac-toe grid on the ground and have teams race to place their markers.

My students like to work in groups to create an obstacle course. You can give the students equipment and have them make this up. After a few attempts, have the teams switch with the second team using the same equipment to set up something different for the other team to try.

You can also add in something simple to cap off the day and have a picnic lunch or snacks outside.

Have a Water Day of Play
Similar to a field day, but focused on water activities instead. This takes a little bit of preparation since students need to have a change of clothes and/or water-worthy gear.

Some key activities include:

  • Drip, Drip, Drop, which is like duck duck goose, but instead of tapping heads, you have a wet sponge. You do a small drop of water from the sponge for “drip” (“duck”) and then squeeze the rest of the sponge out for “drop” (goose). 
  • Water Relay where students have to transfer water from one bucket to another with different tools or obstacles. You can also do over/under, through the legs, or above the head as another way to relay from bucket to bucket.
  • Water Balloon Toss where the goal here is not to host a water balloon fight but instead have students aim for targets or try to throw theirs the farthest. This could be part of the water relay where students try to collect water or even unbroken balloons in a bucket a fair distance away.

Cozy Movie Day or Board Games
Get your kids to wear their PJs, bring a blanket/stuffed animal, and set up a cozy day. You can watch a movie or play board games (maybe even the games students created themselves).

To add some excitement, have students bring snacks (if that is allowed) or have popcorn as a movie-watching treat.

Bonus: Have students create a “candy salad” as a class. If you’re not familiar, a candy salad is when everyone brings in a bag of candy and you combine it all into one big bowl. Students then get a scoop of the salad in a bowl for themselves.

Class Baking Competition
If you have it in you… host a class baking competition or better yet, perhaps a cupcake decorating competition.

You can bake cupcakes with your students or bring in ready-made ones. Then provide students with icing and toppings, and let them decorate.

Have students vote on some “winners” for fun at the end such as best overall design, most creative name, funniest, and so on.

The end of the year is always filled with mixed emotions for students. Some are excited about summer, others are not. Some will miss their current class friend group and others are ready for something new again. Whatever the case may be, add some joy to the final weeks and days of school with some fun end of year activities that will be memorable for you and your students!

10-end-of-year-activities-for-upper-elementary

Looking for more end-of-year ideas? Check out these posts:

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Happy teaching,

Katarina

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I’m Katarina and I teach elementary students in Toronto, Canada. I’m passionate about creating authentic learning experiences that students will love and remember. If you are looking to improve your classroom management and engage your students with easy-to-implement resources and tools, you’re in the right place!

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