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24 Must Do End of Year Activities Every Middle School Teacher Should Know

The end of the school year is exciting, but it can be tough to find fun end of year plans for the last weeks – and even the last day- of school. In this post, weโ€™ll discuss 24 must-do, low-prep, end of year activities for middle school.

The end of the school year is always a whirlwind of excitement and chaos. Trips, assemblies, and interruptions make it hard to teach. That makes it the perfect time to do some creative enrichment activities that were sidelined all year to accomodate the mandated curriculum.

Here are 24 end-of-year ideas to get you through the last weeks of school. These activities keep your students engaged, without being impossible to prepare. And best yet, they’re likely to result in great memories that your students will recall for years to come.

I know we’d all love to take our kids to the Alps while we frolic and sing The Sound of Music.

But let’s face it. You have a humongous end of the school year list to tackle. There will be days when you don’t have time to prep and you need the kids to work independently.

With that in mind, I’ve added info about the amount of teacher prep needed for each idea, as well as the amount of hands-on teacher input required during the activity.

The scale is from 1-5, with 1 โŒ› or ๐Ÿ–๏ธ being little to no prep or input and โŒ› โŒ› โŒ› โŒ› โŒ› or ๐Ÿ–๏ธ๐Ÿ–๏ธ๐Ÿ–๏ธ๐Ÿ–๏ธ๐Ÿ–๏ธ being a lot of prep and input.

The list starts with no-prep ideas and goes up from there.

1. Watch a Classic TV Show

Have a Twilight Zone marathon for a few days. Most kids have never seen the original show, so I do this every year and the kids love the clever twists. Show the episodes that are considered amongst the “best” and discuss the themes and ironies.

Rod Serlingโ€™s work during the Cold War provides rich material for analysis and discussion. The show was originally created during the Cold War when people couldn’t criticize the US or society in any way. Rod Serling did that indirectly — and got away with it — by writing about the topics through the guise of science fiction.

  • Prep: โŒ›
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  • Requirements: You can find dvds through your school or public library or watch using a streaming service (just make sure this is permitted by the service and your school). Have the kids write down the episode’s theme, the ironies, as well as the aspect of government or society that it reflects.

2. Do an Escape Room

Try this and I guarantee it will be one of your favorite end of year activities for middle school: Transform your classroom into an escape room! This activity will have your students working together to solve puzzles and escape the room within a set time. Itโ€™s a fun way to boost their critical thinking skills and foster collaboration. The escape room can be content specific or general. It’s up to you!

The best part is that kids will be having so much fun that they won’t even realize they’re learning valuable skills.

  • Prep with a ready-made one: โŒ›ย  ย  (Do-it-yourself isย  โŒ›x10 lol )
  • Input: ๐Ÿ–๏ธ
  • Requirements: ย (Ready-made ones vary. For example, Escape the School requires some prep and input; however, Escape the Cryptids and Escape the Island don’t require any.)

3. Listen to Fun Summer-Themed Podcasts

Listen to fun summer-themed podcasts and follow up with writing activities. Hereโ€™s a great resource to get you started: Summer Fun Podcast Listening and Writing Activities.

  • Prep with a ready-made one: โŒ›ย  ย  (Do-it-yourself isย  โŒ›โŒ›โŒ›โŒ›โŒ›)
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  • Requirements: To do this from scratch, find a podcast you think your students will enjoy. Then create a list of questions on the podcast. Or better yet, create a puzzle based on the podcast, like the ones below.
  • ย ย  ย ย  ย ย  ย ย  ย 

4. Create One Pager Reflections

Get your students to reflect on their experiences by creating a one-pager that encapsulates their year. They can include drawings, quotes, and short paragraphs. Itโ€™s a wonderful keepsake for them to look back on.

  • Prep with a ready-made one: โŒ›ย  ย  (Do-it-yourself isย  โŒ›โŒ›โŒ›)
  • Input: ๐Ÿ–๏ธ
  • Requirements:ย To make it yourself, you’ll need blank paper and a list of suggested reflection topics. Students can also do this digitally.

5. Get Moving

Get kids moving in place. You can do this with a fun game that’s easy to create. For instance, make a list of metaphors, similes, and fragments that don’t have either. Have kids stand and start reading from the list, or post each one on the board. Tell kids to jump in place if they hear a simile, crouch down if they hear a metaphor, and sit in their seat if it’s neither. You’ll know right away who knows their stuff and who doesn’t! Itโ€™s a great way to get some energy out.

Read more about the importance of movement here. Or find a ready-made game here.

  • Prep with a ready-made one: โŒ›ย  ย  (Do-it-yourself isย  โŒ›โŒ›โŒ›)
  • Input: ๐Ÿ–๏ธ
  • Requirements: To make it yourself, you’ll need 20-30 examples of whatever skill you want the game to assess.

6. Create Blackout or Found Poetry

Hand out old magazines or books and let students create blackout or found poetry. This activity challenges them to find hidden meanings and create new works of art from existing text.

I use worn-out class novels. It feels great to repurpose those old favorites, and kids love it!

For blackout poetry, kids choose the words they want and to keep and then “black out” all of the words they don’t want to include in their poem.

For found poetry, kids highlight the words they want to keep and then draw a picture over the words they don’t want to include.

  • Prep: โŒ›
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  • Requirements:ย Show some examples that you can easily find online. Then provide students with the pages and some crayons or markers. That’s it!

7. Write a Letter to a Future 6th or 7th Grader

Have your students write letters to next yearโ€™s incoming students. This not only gives them a sense of closure but also helps the new students feel welcomed and prepared.

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8. Write Thank You Notes to School Personnel

This is one of those end of year activities that everyone in the entire building will enjoy. Encourage gratitude by having your students write thank you notes to different school personnel. Itโ€™s a small gesture that can make a big impact. I’ve written more about here; just click to read about it. Or click here for a free resource.

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  • Requirements: Click for a free thank you note resource that explains everything.

9. Create a Graffiti Wall for Next Year’s Class

Set up a graffiti wall where students can leave messages and advice for next yearโ€™s class. Itโ€™s a fun, interactive way to pass on wisdom. And you’ll have a bulletin board all ready for the first day of school!

  • Prep: โŒ›
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  • Requirements:ย You’ll need some bulletin board paper and markers or chalk.

10. Fill Out a Memory Book

Create a memory book filled with prompts and spaces for students to write about their favorite memories, achievements, and goals. Itโ€™s a lovely way for them to reflect on the year.

  • Prep: โŒ›
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  • Requirements: To make it yourself, all you need is blank paper or a mini-booklet template and a few suggestions that students might want to write about.

11. Host a Book Swap

Encourage summer reading by organizing a book swap. Students can bring in books theyโ€™ve already read and exchange them for new titles.

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12. Write Book Review Blurbs on Post-its

Have students write short book review blurbs on Post-its and place them in the classroom library books. Itโ€™s a quick and engaging way to encourage reading.

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13. Write a Rotation Story

Each student writes a character description on a sheet of paper and leaves it on their desk. Then, kids rotate and add a line to the story involving that character. The results are often hilarious and unexpected!

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14. Speed “Date” Some Books

Inspire summer reading goals and get your students moving by organizing a speed-sharing session where they talk about their favorite books. Let me tell you, it’s a blast to watch the kids get so into the discussion, only to have the buzzer go off for the next book “date.”

What can I say? I like to add a little spice to our literary discussions. lol

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15. Read a Short Play Reader’s Theater Style

Encourage kids to find their inner Tom Hanks and do a reader’s theater play with them. Find a great shor play, assign parts, and let them act it out. This is a fantastic way to encourage creativity and teamwork. Plus, who doesnโ€™t love a good performance?

16. Write Quick Fiction

Provide students with photographs or scenarios and have them write quick fiction pieces. This sparks their imagination and sharpens their writing skills.

  • Prep: โŒ› โŒ› โŒ›
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  • Requirements: ย You’ll need some fun photos or scenarios to write about.

17. Write Silly Amazon Product Reviews

Have a laugh by writing silly product reviews for everyday items. This is such a humorous way to practice descriptive writing and creativity.

This article has some hilarous examples: Reader’s Digest Funniest Amazon Reviews

  • Prep: โŒ› โŒ› โŒ›
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18. Decorate with Inspirational Quotes or Poetry

My students always love doing this end of year activity, and you can do it in two ways.

First, find some smooth rocks and have your students use Sharpies or paint pens to decorate them with inspirational quotes. These can be placed around the school or taken home as a memento.

Or you can write the quotes on Post-it notes. Then, have students place them around the school to spread positivity and encouragement.

  • Prep: โŒ› โŒ› โŒ›
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  • Requirements: Collect the rocks and paint pens or permanent markers. Or provide the post-it notes. Kids do the rest!

19. Make Doorknob Hanger Awards

Create doorknob hangers with awards for various achievements. Templates are pretty easy to find online, and it’s a fun craft activity that also recognizes students’

  • Prep with a ready-made one: โŒ›ย  ย  (Do-it-yourself isย  โŒ›โŒ›โŒ›)
  • Input: ๐Ÿ–๏ธ
  • Requirements:ย To make it yourself, all you need is a list of possible awards, paper, and a door hanger template.

20. Write Silly How-Toโ€™s

Get creative with writing by having students write silly how-to guides likeโ€œHow to Fry an Egg on a Sidewalk.โ€ Itโ€™s a lighthearted way to practice procedural writing. Another fun example could be โ€œHow to Train Your Pet Rock.โ€ Or , โ€œHow to Be a Ninja without Training.โ€

  • Prep: โŒ› โŒ› โŒ›
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21. Create a Class Time Capsule

Have students bring in items that represent their experiences and create a class time capsule to be opened in the future. Itโ€™s a fun way to preserve memories.

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22. Write and Play Hink Pink

Introduce your students to hink pinks โ€“ two-word rhyming riddles. For example, a โ€œlarge felineโ€ is a โ€œfat cat.โ€ Itโ€™s a fun way to play with language and think creatively. It’s even fun to teach the kids how to write them. They can write them on notecards and then you can play using those cards.

  • Prep with a ready-made one: โŒ›ย  ย  (Do-it-yourself isย  โŒ›โŒ›)
  • Input: ๐Ÿ–๏ธ๐Ÿ–๏ธ๐Ÿ–๏ธ๐Ÿ–๏ธ๐Ÿ–๏ธย  ย (unless you assign a student to read them.)

23. Write Bubble Poetry

Take the learning outside! Organize a scavenger hunt or roll out butcher paper and blow bubbles. Have the kids write metaphors, similes, or entire poems describing the bubbles, how they float, what they look like, and how they feel when they pop. Nature and creativity โ€“ a perfect combo!

  • Prep: โŒ› โŒ› โŒ›
  • Input: ๐Ÿ–๏ธ๐Ÿ–๏ธ๐Ÿ–๏ธ ๐Ÿ–๏ธ
  • Requirements: You’ll need bubbles and butcher paper or poster paper.

24. Have Teach the Teacher Day

Let the students become the teachers! Have them prepare a lesson on something theyโ€™re passionate about and teach it to the class. I like to make small groups, but this can be an effective independent project too. Itโ€™s empowering and educational.

  • Prep: โŒ› โŒ› โŒ›โŒ› โŒ›
  • Input: ๐Ÿ–๏ธ๐Ÿ–๏ธ๐Ÿ–๏ธ ๐Ÿ–๏ธ
  • Requirements: Make groups, choose topics, and set down some ground rules. The rest of the project is “kid-powered.” ๐Ÿ™‚

The end of the school year doesnโ€™t have to be a challenge. With these creative end of year activities, you can keep your middle school students engaged, entertained, and learning until the very last day!