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Reward your students’ hard work with any of these fun ideas. Keep it contained in the classroom or involve the whole school!
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Campus Wide Middle School Fun Activities
Theme Days Give your students an entire week of fun for their last days of school by planning theme days for them each day. Designate each day as crazy sock day, silly hat day, team jersey day, sunglasses day, shorts day, camping day and other fun themes.
Field Trips Plan a fun getaway to the movies, a swim at a public pool, a game of put-put golf, bowling, roller skating or any kind of enjoyable getaway with your students. Most kids won’t mind if all you have in mind for a field trip is a game of kickball at a local park with some hot dogs on the grill for lunch, so long as they don’t have to stay on campus that day. Make sure you have parent permission slips with phone numbers available in case of an emergency. Also, review behavior expectations with students before leaving campus. Finally, have access to plenty of water so kids can stay hydrated no matter where they have their field trip fun day.
Field Day You don’t have to leave campus to have fun the last week of school. Plan a series of events for a field day outside so students can always find something interesting to do while on school grounds. Potato sack races, egg rolls, tug of war, relay races, hula-hoop marathons, volleyball and hacky sack contests are just a few ideas. Set up a cool down area where students can stay hydrated in the shade. Also, prepare a schedule for teachers to alternate stations so they can enjoy a break as well.
Teacher/Student Sporting Events Kids love watching their teachers compete with other students. Organize a couple of teams of teachers and students to participate in a volleyball, basketball or softball game. Sell tickets and donate the funds to charity or use them to purchase much-needed school items. Don’t forget to include teacher and student cheerleaders and high jinks for the half-time show. Students love to get involved, so make sure to have games they can participate in as well. Crank up the speakers to keep them dancing in their seats and you’ll give them an event they’ll never forget!
School Dances/Dance Marathon for Charity Middle school students love to dance. Partner dancing with a purpose like a marathon for charity and you’ll have no end of volunteers out on the dance floor. Scope out DJs who will volunteer their time or work at a minimal fee, decide on a charity your students would like to sponsor, and set some ground rules: ten-minute breaks, determine how long the dancing will last, and establish cycles of chaperones.
School Carnival If your campus has the funds, set up a carnival on school grounds. Establish a cost for a wristband for unlimited rides, have plenty of food booths manned by parent volunteers, and provide activities like face painting, bean bag toss, ring toss, a dunk booth, laser tag or even just a game of bucket toss. A carnival will give students a chance to walk around with their friends, compete with each other, and brag about their accomplishments. Hire a moon jump, a cotton candy machine, and cook a few hot dogs, popcorn or nachos and your students will lose themselves in carnival fun.
Yearbook Signing Day Designate a few hours in the cafeteria or gym where students can autograph each other’s yearbooks while they still have all of their friends around. Before students can enter, make sure they all have their names visibly posted on the cover of their yearbook to avoid anyone walking away with a book that didn’t belong to them. You might also want to remind students not to deface anyone’s property by drawing over another student’s face in the yearbook or leaving unfavorable remarks.
Lock-In Okay, hear me out: if you have the volunteers to chaperone for a couple of hours, if you have a place for a large group of kids to sleep, and if they all have permission slips, all you need are snacks, some loud music for dancing to wear them out, a movie that largely appeals to teens, and a collection of ghost stories. The kids can bring their own pillows and sleeping bags, a toothbrush, and some appropriate pajamas and they’ll be all set. All this fun end of the year activity will really cost you is time.
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Talent Show It will take some time to plan and practice, but staging a talent show for your campus can be a great way to wrap up the school year and give your students a chance to express their creative energy. It takes guts to get up on stage and show the world—or even just your middle school—what you can do, so give students plenty of ideas where they can feel at ease if they choose to participate. Here are a few:
- Dance routine, solo or with friends
- Lip sync to a favorite song
- Gymnastics or tumbling routine
- Athletic prowess, such as tricks with a basketball or soccer ball
- Play an instrument
- Comedy routine or skit
- Recite a poem or give a speech
- Magic show
- Competition, as with drawing, eating, or some kind of act of athleticism, such as jumping rope, using a hula hoop, or even blowing bubbles with bubble gum
Get the entire campus involved so everyone can help sell tickets, decorate the stage, operate the music, take care of the lighting, sell snacks, judge rehearsals for appropriateness, and record the event so you can all enjoy your school talent show all over again.
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Keep the fun contained in your classroom with a few of these ideas.
Silly Certificates Using premade elementary-style certificates found at any teacher store, create a set of silly certificates for your homeroom class, your favorite class, or all of your students. Help them relive the happy moments you shared together as a classroom family, whether with silly nicknames or little unforgettable moments. Awards for Best Paper Passer, Favorite Helper, Brightest Smile or Greatest Laugh are some generic awards you might offer. Attach some shiny stickers, a sweet-smelling pencil or cheery bookmark and you’ll have a great little ceremony to help your students remember the fun they had learning in your classroom.
Video Yearbook Share and scan your collection of pictures from the school year and assemble them into a memorable video yearbook using a program like Windows Movie Maker or iMovie for Macs. Throw in a few fun, funky songs with a tear-jerker or two and leave the last screen for a personal message to your students and you’ll soon have your kid does alternating between laughter and tears. But it’s all in good fun. Nothing like taking a technologically savvy trip down memory lane together.
Thank You Letters to Teachers Let your students get sentimental and show their appreciation by writing a thank you letter to their favorite teacher or teachers. Volunteer some pretty paper and markers or crayons so students can add their personal illustrations. Not only will you teach students a dying epistolary tradition, but your colleagues will thank you for the opportunity to hear from their students.
Karaoke Party Break out the tunes, pass out the microphones, and get ready to crank up the volume! You will really be surprised to hear the shyest students get up and sing their favorite songs before their classmates. Make sure all music lyrics are appropriate for a school event, students have easy access to a screen where lyrics are posted, and discourage booing or heckling. Everyone should have a chance to feel like a star, even if it’s only for the length of a song.
Tongue Twister Competition Have a book of tongue twisters lying around? Line up your competing kids in rows and project the tongue twister on your projection screen so others can see what is being said or not said. Their cheeks and ribs will ache with laughter by the time your students finish this activity.
Board Game/Fun Games Marathon Whether it’s Scrabble, Monopoly, Clue or Life, bring in some munchies and settle down for a board game marathon session. Time flies when you’re having fun, and it’s always interesting to witness how students play games together. Teach them a new game they’ve never tried before at home and let them take over the board. If board games are not available, throw together a game of charades, Pictionary, balloon volleyball, paper ball hacky sack or Boggle on the board. Chances are they’ll discover a new favorite game that is not plugged into a TV screen.
Movies in the Classroom Get your class of kid does in the mood for the upcoming summer months with a few summer-themed movies. The latest blockbuster out on DVD, a spine-tingling spooky flick for teens that’s rated okay for classroom use, or their favorite animated film they can never get enough of watching will surely keep your kids interested while you take care of last minute classroom or campus procedures. Don’t forget the popcorn!
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Last Minute Reminders
If you’re planning for any of these activities to share with your students at the end of the school year, remember to include meals or snacks, plenty of water, restroom breaks, and requests for parent volunteers to assist with supervision. Also, keep parent phone numbers accessible to deal with student emergencies or behavior issues.
Whatever fun year end activities for middle school students you plan this year, expect the unexpected and have a back-up plan thought out just in case an unforeseen circumstance intervenes between you and your activity.
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Author’s personal experience
Sun Wearing Sunglasses: Wikimedia Commons/Editor at Large, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sun_wearing_sunglasses.svg
Spinning Candy Floss: Wikimedia Commons/Andrew Dunn, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Spinning_candy_floss.jpg
Tug of War: Wikimedia Commons/Tech. Sgt. Dan Neely, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tug-of-war.jpg
Gymnastics: Wikimedia Commons/Nevit Dilmen, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gymnastics-bw.svg
Pictionary Party: Wikimedia Commons/François Haffner, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pictionary_Party.jpg