Winding Down the School Year
The last week or so of the school year can be so hectic. You are finalizing grades and trying to squeeze in a little bit of fun at the same time. You and your class have accomplished so much together. What better way to capture those memories than to make an end of school year memories book. As a parent, I love these types of projects. It is something that I always save and look back on down the road. It’s fun to see how my kid’s handwriting and drawing abilities have progressed. I can look back and see who their friends were, what books they were in to, and reflect upon all they experienced in a particular grade.
There is a basic end of school year memories book that can be downloaded from our media gallery. If you want to do something more individualized, have students build their own end of the school year memories book. Give them access to paper, stickers, markers, and other art materials. You can ask parents to donate materials, either new or leftover from their supplies of scrapbooking and craft materials. They can build it like a scrapbook. If students or parents have taken pictures during the year, these can also be used. Start by brainstorming a list of the highlights of the school year. This might include:
- field trips
- plays or performances
- special visitors to the school or the classroom
- units of particular interest
- funny or memorable events
Then provide a list of page topics for the students to choose from, using some that are in the downloadable version above. You can put it on the board, or print out a copy for each student to reference. These page topics can include:
- best friends
- favorite subjects
- favorite part of the school building
- top 4 memories (or any number they choose)
- field trips
- what I learned
- school mascot
- favorite day of the school year
- favorite classroom activities
- favorite books I have read this year
- a page titled "I Felt Most Proud When…"
Once you have ideas in place, put out your materials and let the students be creative. Enlisting the help of parent volunteers may help the process as well. If you have a local scrapbook store in the area, someone from the store can possibly come and speak with the class about making scrapbooks and the importance of journaling. Talk with the students about the importance of journaling. Even little details will be important years down the road when they look back on the album. Labeling people in pictures is always critical. You may think you will not ever forget your teacher’s name, but you’d be surprised 5 years down the road.
When the students are finished, laminating the cover and putting in together in a binding machine will make it more durable. Your students will cherish the book and have an end of school year memory book that will last for many years to come.