As we come to the end of the school year, we often feel like we have run out of steam. We have very little energy left for creativity. Neither do our students. And, in these last two years, it is possible that we are more exhausted than we have ever been before.
It is my hope that you can use some of the ideas I offer here to make planning for these last weeks of school a little easier. Enjoy!
Practicing speaking and writing skills
Typical end of year activities might include students playing games in the target language; practicing speaking and writing skills. Here are some resources for you in the target language for flexing students’ speaking and writing muscles:
To make those activities more communicative, you might add a support that includes rejoinders or language chunks that will make their writing more natural and their speaking more authentic:
End of year projects and multi-step tasks
Here are some ideas for projects and multi-step tasks that will focus your students on using the target language up until the last day of school and allows them to create a performance or product for a real world purpose:
- Advice for next year’s students
- Writing children’s stories
- A healthy debate
1. Advice for next year’s students (recommended for novice levels)
For this project, students create a welcome packet for next year’s classes. The packet might include:
a. A letter to the new students giving advice on how to succeed in the class (may have to be written in English based on the course level)
b. A map of where to find what they need in the classroom
c. A chat mat of the most important phrases they will need
d. A game designed to help students practice what they will learn in the class
Here are some game board templates from Slidesmania:
2. Writing children’s stories (recommended for intermediate levels)
a. Individually or in pairs, students analyze children’s stories in the target language using storyboarding, story maps, or other tools.
Here’s the link to my website where I have provided lots of links to online stories and books: https://www.grahnforlang.com/authentic-resources.html#books
You will find graphic organizers in the target language for storymapping here: https://www.pinterest.com/grahnforlang/speaking-and-writing-in-world-languages/speaking-and-writing-graphic-organizers/
b. Students use what they learned from the story analysis to write and illustrate their own stories.
c. Students receive feedback from peers and their teacher on their stories.
Ideas for peer feedback here: https://www.pinterest.com/grahnforlang/feedback/
d. Students publish the final drafts of their stories.
e. Students read their stories in person or record their stories for a group or class of students at the nearby elementary school or school-based nursery school/daycare.
3. A Healthy Discussion/Debate (recommended for intermediate and advanced levels)
For this multi-step task, students will debate the best ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Student pairs or small groups choose an activity that has positive effects on health. Some examples might include:
a. Walking: https://www.pinterest.com/grahnforlang/walking-health-benefits-authentic-resources/
b. Sleeping/napping: https://www.pinterest.com/grahnforlang/sleeping-and-napping/
c. Music: https://www.pinterest.com/grahnforlang/art-dance-music-and-theatre-authentic-resources/benefits-of-music-and-singing/
d. Smiling/laughing: https://www.pinterest.com/grahnforlang/happiness-authentic-resources/
e. Veganism/vegetarianism: https://www.pinterest.com/grahnforlang/veganism-vegetarianism/
f. Cycling: https://www.pinterest.com/grahnforlang/cycling-authentic-resources/
a. The teacher selects a topic from the list to use as a model.
b. The teacher guides students through completing the argument graphic organizer as they interpret the authentic texts.
c. The teacher selects a discussion/debate instructional strategy. Some examples might include:
Debate team carousel: https://s3.amazonaws.com/scschoolfiles/546/debate_team_carousel_template.pdf
Talking chips: https://www.smore.com/7a7p5-talking-chips
Bounce cards: https://www.s2temsc.org/uploads/1/8/8/7/18873120/bounce_cards_strategy.pdf
Dice cards: https://tekhnologic.wordpress.com/2016/06/20/dice-cards-an-activity-to-encourage-participation/
Nomination cards: https://tekhnologic.wordpress.com/2016/03/29/nomination-cards-giving-students-a-chance-to-speak/
You will find some additional ideas for discussion/debate strategies here: https://www.grahnforlang.com/questioning-and-discussion.html
d. The students participate in a whole class or small group debate/discussion using their completed graphic organizers and the argument/discussion expression lists.
You can find additional expression lists for discussing/debating here: https://www.pinterest.com/grahnforlang/target-language-tools-supports-and-scaffolds/
Stage 2: Students research the health benefits of their chosen activity and record their arguments and evidence on a graphic organizer.
Stage 3: Student groups design and administer a survey for their classmates based on their research.
Stage 4: Students participate in the discussion/debate using an instructional strategy. They will base their arguments on examples from the authentic resources and the survey results.
Stage 5: After hearing all of the arguments, students rank the healthy lifestyle activities presented to the class based on which activities they will be adopting in the future.
Here’s wishing you a great summer that is reenergizing and rejuvenating!
(Post photo source: pinterest.com)