May 22, 2011

End of the Year Activities, Part 1

How can you keep your students engaged when summer vacation is right around the corner, especially if they’ve already taken all of their tests? How can you review and integrate what you’ve done together all year? Here are some ideas that teachers have shared for things to do with your students at the end of the year.

An FLTEACH user shares this idea:

I am planning to do an interdisciplinary unit with the Music teacher covering Latin American music in both classes, on the Spanish side more of the vocabulary, lyrics, and culture. Either way it is a topic my students have expressed interest in and are pretty excited about. It is a way for me to finish the year on a good note and a fun unit without dropping the academic rigor.

Pottratz, B. Re: [FLTEACH] What to do in 2 more weeks? FLTEACH listserv (FLTEACH@LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU, 16 May 2011).

Another FLTEACH user, Laura Catherine Green, suggests the following:

I'd like to share what I recently did with my 8th graders (Spanish I). In small groups, they taught a Spanish lesson to one of the younger grades in our Pre-school through 5th grade classes. My students loved it and I've received excellent feedback from the teachers in the younger grades. It was something new and exciting for them, plus it generated enthusiasm around getting to middle school and being able to study Spanish.

Green, L. Re: [FLTEACH] What to do in 2 more weeks? FLTEACH listserv (FLTEACH@LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU, 16 May 2011).

Another idea which was very popular with my students was a cooking show. Either alone or with a partner, they researched an area in Austria or Switzerland. They were to choose one recipe that is typical to the area, and as they make the dish, present information on the region. They could talk about tourist attractions, festivals, the landscape -- whatever interesting information they found. You have to teach them some cooking terms, of course, and we watched a few cooking videos I found online. I also suggested they watch a few cooking shows on tv. These were lots of fun to watch. If they wanted to, they could bring in samples of the food for their classmates as they presented them. Each group was assigned a presentation date; we would normally not do more than 2 a day -- but that will depend on how much time you have and how big your class is.

Draheim, M. Re: [AATG-L] End of the year ideas for seniors? AATG listserv (AATG@LISTSERV.IUPUI.EDU, 17 May 2011).

Larry Ferlazzo offers several suggestions for leaving students feeling positive about their school year and maintaining teachers’ energy levels in a blog post at

You can also read an excerpt from one of Mr. Ferlazzo’s books, dealing with how to make the most out of the end of the school year, at

A simple game to practice saying goodbye in different situations is described on the British Council’s website at

Zachary Jones has put together a summer-themed Spanish exploration pack at . Even if you don’t teach Spanish, you may want to try something similar with your students.

See next week’s InterCom for more end-of-the-year ideas.

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