It’s 1 June and around here, that means one thing and one thing only: school is almost out!
And let’s be honest, towards the end of the school year, the feeling is always the same: tiredness mixed with relief mixed with a little sadness. But mostly relief.
So, if you are looking for a few low-prep activities to end your school year on a high note, have a look at these tried and tested activities for your English language classroom. Just like with our back to school activities, these activities are easily adaptable to most CEFR levels, from A1 to B2 and up.
Contents of the article:
You can also download these activities in pdf below:
1. Make your own Taboo
Are you familiar with the game Taboo? In teams, a player talks to their teammates and tries to make them guess the word on the player’s card without using the word itself or five additional words listed on the card. As a nice vocabulary revision activity (and to get a little bit of speaking practice in), you can divide students into teams and they can create their own Taboo cards. For lower levels, they might just create cards with words to guess and perhaps one or even no “taboo” words that cannot be used.
2. Three things from this year
At the end of the year, we often want our students to look back on what they’ve learned with a critical eye. This develops their metacognition and those pesky “learning to learn” competences from our good old European Key Competences. Give each student the following three prompts to fill out (use the L1 if you need to):
- The most difficult thing for me this year was…
- The thing I liked the most this year was…
- The thing I still want to learn more about is…
Review their answers and use these as formative feedback for you as well, to help you plan for the following year or reflect on what you have done this year: for example, is there an area that seems to have proved particularly difficult for your students? And why is it phrasal verbs? 😉
3. Create a poster on next year
What do you wish for your next school year? In groups, students can create a paper or digital poster answering this question with short sentences and pictures. Additional prompts to guide them might include:
- What do you want to improve?
- What new things would you like to try?
- How would you like your school to change?
4. Share a gif or meme on your struggles
Sometimes, talking about what we struggle with can be, well… a struggle. Admitting to and articulating our difficulties in the learning process and be an ordeal for students. To take the pressure off, you can use a means that students are familiar with and that according to research has great potential for the ELT classroom: memes and gifs. Create a simple Padlet and ask your students to either find or create a meme or gif in English that answers the question “what was your biggest difficulty in English this year?” Each student uploads their image and then you can review them and discuss them as a class (and have a bit of a laugh while you’re at it!)
5. Write an Instagram review of a book, video or film you liked
If you have Instagram, looking up hashtags like #bookreview or #bookstagram will bring up dozens of book reviews. So, in keeping with the idea of using means that are familia and somewhat appealing to students, you can round up the year by asking them to choose one book, video or film they liked and write a short Instagram post, complete with a photo, about it. These might be books, videos or films you’ve covered in English or you can leave the choice up to them, including anything they may have liked outside of the English classroom.
6. Plan your dream holiday with Where the Hell is Matt?
For close to 20 years now, Matt from YouTube channel Where the Hell is Matt has danced (badly, by his own admission) in dozens of places around the world. Show one of his videos (like this one) to your class or let them find one if you have more independent students and ask them to identify the place they liked the most and tell you why. Then, either in pairs or individually, have them plan a dream holiday to that place: when would they go? Why? How would they get there? What would they do? All the questions you need for a nice little WebQuest and a true task in the TBLT sense – and of course, dreaming a little before the summer holidays can be nice.
7. Create your own LyricsTraining gap fill
Having students create a quiz is always an engaging way of including them in the formative assessment process. With LyricsTraining, students can choose a song they like and either play with the ready-made games on the website (just make sure they choose an appropriate level for them, i.e. “beginner” for lower levels) or create their own gap fill with the “print lyrics” function. If you want to learn more about how to use music for listening, I gave a tutorial on how to use LyricsTraining to improve listening skills and create custom-made exercises for the LanguagEd Day last year – you can still check out the video recording and slides here. And yes, just in case you were wondering, the song I chose for the tutorial is by Måneskin (if you read my newsletter, you’ll know I’m down a Måneskin rabbit hole because so many of their videos and interviews are such interesting tools for language learning for an Italian audience!)
I hope these activities are useful and while you’re here, I also want to say: well done for making it through to the end of the school year! Pat yourself on the back for a job well done (and if you’re going to be working on the end-of-year exams… it’s not quite over yet, but you’re almost there!)
If you use any of the activities, why not let me know how they worked? Get in touch at email@example.com – I reply to all emails and love hearing from teachers.
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