This post details how to create the perfect end of the year keepsake for your students. End of the year goodbye stars include writing meaningful goodbye messages on individual stars for each student.
The end of the year is a very busy and exhausting time for teachers. Students are finishing up projects and taking exams, while teachers are trying to cram every last thing in to the limited time left. It is also time for those end of the year activities that bring everyone together for some fun.
End of the year goodbye stars are a great community building activity that help students further their social emotional development. Saying goodbye is hard for some and this helps them say it to their peers before summer vacation. It helps them reflect on past experiences and from the year together as a class.
Students get to share and write those memories and goodbye messages to their peers on stars. They build and strengthen relationships and good feelings this way. Completing the activity, strengthens writing and spelling skills. Most of all, end of the year goodbye stars make a wonderful keepsake.
creating end of the year goodbye stars
For the star shaped cut-outs, I recommend using a 2-ply weight paper or cardstock or scrapbook paper that is thicker than regular paper and not construction paper. This paper holds ink from markers well, without bleeding through to the other side. Yellow makes the perfect colour for stars and is light enough to show all colours of ink. You could also get creative and use different scrapbook paper with fun prints.
Start by creating a tracer of a large star. The stars I use are approximately 12″ in diameter. Use the tracer to trace a class set of stars with a pencil. Cut out each star and write the names of each student in the center of each star. Don’t forget to create one for yourself and any other teachers in the classroom.
We start with a brainstorming exercise to generate ideas. We create a “Goodbye Stars” anchor chart to record our words. I encourage students to think of positive messages about the different personalities in the classroom (i.e. You are nice!). We also come up with messages to wish someone well (i.e. Have a fun summer!). We also think of memories we have shared together (i.e. Thanks for the help this year!). Once we have generated a chart full of messages, we get ready for writing on each star.
Completing this activity so that each student writes on each star requires a bit of organization. I recommend using small pieces of tape with arrows on each to put on each student’s desk. The arrow will point to where that student will pass their star next. Make sure all students and teachers have a spot to sit with an arrow that points to a spot. Make sure that each spot will receive each star in turn. Have your students sit in their spots and point to where they will pass the stars next. Get them to pass their own stars to the first person.
Give the class a few minutes to record a message to that person. Request that students be neat and write with their best spelling and handwriting. I recommend them using my favourite Crayola Skinny Markers for a variety of colours (affliate link). Once every student is ready and has written a thoughtful message on the star, you call “pass” and they pass the star in the same direction to the next spot. Once each star comes back to its owner, the activity is complete.
It is up to you as to what you do with the stars after or if you let your students take them home right away. I prefer to collect them and add them to the goodbye bags I create for students. In the goodbye bags, I include a letter from me, a summer activity, a goodbye star, a photo keepsake, and a special treat of some kind.
What is your favourite end of the year keepsake idea for students?
Need another end of the year keepsake idea? The end of the year photos from this post make great memories for kids!
Check out more end of the year ideas for the classroom on Pinterest.
Looking to create an end of the year dvd for your students filled with photos and more? Check out One Sharp Bunch’s post for a step by step guide.