The end of the year is not only a celebratory time but also a busy time with lots of things to finish up. Field trips, packing up the classroom, completing projects, and more are filling your calendar. Make time to add some fun with end of the year activities and create a keepsake memory book your students will cherish.
A Special End of the Year Memory Book
As the end of the school year approaches, I always reflect on the memories and experiences we’ve shared as a class. Each year, we create end of the year memory books to capture the special moments and give my students something tangible to hold onto as they take the big step into the next grade.
End of the year memory books are a wonderful keepsake that also serves as a special way to spend those last few weeks of school. With the tips and ideas below, you will feel confident and ready as you guide students to create their memory book in the classroom.
Table of Contents
- A Special End of the Year Memory Book
- End of the Year Activities
- End of the Year Memory Book
- Why Create a Memory Book?
- Memory Book Pages
- How to Create a Memory Book
- End of the Year Memory Book Resource
- Free Summer Writing Journal
- More End of the Year Ideas/Activities
End of the Year Activities
It’s essential to wrap the year up with some end of the year activities. They allow teachers to have fun with students without the stress of completing projects, administering tests, or covering standards. Whether you decide to spend 24 days celebrating the end of the year or just 10, you can enjoy this time with students in many ways.
Some activities ideas I have tried in past years include.
- An ABC countdown
- Spotlighting a special student daily
- Paper chain countdown
- Memory books
- Any of the SEL activities
My favorite has to be the creation of memory books. There is just something about creating these nostalgic vibes.
End of the Year Memory Book
The memory book I create is simple yet meaningful. It includes pages for each student to write about their favorite memories from the year, pages for their favorites, what they learned, and even a page about their teacher. I mean, we taught them all year, right? We definitely deserve our own page! I also included prompts to help students reflect on their growth and achievements over the year.
Watching students fill out their memory books is heartwarming. They laugh and reminisce about all the fun we’ve had together, from class parties to field trips. They also take the time to reflect on how much they learned and how much they have grown. It’s definitely a kid-preferred activity!
Why Create a Memory Book?
Memory books take some time to complete, a couple of days or even a few weeks. But they are entirely worth it! When you start working on pages, you quickly realize how much students have learned, enjoyed, and accomplished throughout the year.
You could consider creating end of the year memory books to
- Create a keepsake
- Help students see how far they have come
- Recognize special memories
- Remember important events
- Document classmates, classroom, teacher, etc.
I am all about keeping things simple. Select pages for a memory book that are easy to read, eye-catching, and fun to complete but simple in design. This way, students do not need much direction while creating, and it keeps the prep time way down!
Memory Book Pages
The cover page can be designed in two different ways. You can choose to add the student’s name to the cover or include a picture. Snap a photo with your cellphone and print each one to attach, or have students draw a self-portrait. I love giving little mirrors to each kid and watching them laugh while drawing. Whichever option you choose, the cover will look adorable!
Next, come the introduction pages. These pages revolve around the student, teacher, and classroom. These are the perfect pages to get students into the rhythm of the memory book. They are easy to complete, and students love to describe themselves, their classmates, their teacher, etc.
One of my favorite pages in the memory book is the “Accomplishments” page. Students write on this page three things they have accomplished throughout the school year. As I read through their responses, I was always struck by how much each student had accomplished and how far they had come since the beginning of the school year.
Top 10 Page
Another page to love is the “Top 10” page. Students write their 10 favorite things from the school year. There is always such a variety in responses. I love reading about the events, activities, and lessons they remember and enjoy! It makes all those lesson planning, prepping, and executing hours worth it!
Things I Loved Page
The “Things I Loved” page is always fun to complete after we brainstorm as a class! Students love to share the lessons, projects, and themes they remember. By the end, kids have tons of ideas to include about what they have learned and loved throughout the year.
I use all the options above when creating my end of the year memory book, plus those listed later on.
How to Create a Memory Book
Putting memory books together doesn’t have to be an impossible task! I have simple ways to make it easier and more enjoyable.
Pages to Include
First, select engaging prompts. By having these ready, students are more likely to enjoy the time it takes to fill them out. If the prompts are quick, students will finish without much thought. Engaging prompts often get students thinking and reminiscing about the year.
You can also pick and choose the pages you want to include. The memory book can be full of pages about the student personally. An about me page, an accomplishments page, things they learned page, etc. Or you can make it a class-themed memory book with a class page, a day in the classroom/life page, etc.
Multiple Page Options
Another thing I learned while creating memory books is to have page options. This doesn’t mean you must allow students to choose which page to do. But, it will allow you the choice. One class may enjoy writing about their teacher, while the following year writing about their friends may be more engaging. Having different page options lets you quickly customize the book to fit the student’s interests.
Finding time at the end of the year is often challenging. But creating a memory book with your students is a meaningful way to spend the last couple of days together as a class. Plus, students will be refining their writing and composition skills as well.
Below find ideal times to complete a memory book.
You can ensure your memory books get completed on time by using the morning meeting or circle time to brainstorm ideas for specific pages. If you are working on the “Things I Loved This Year” page. Think together as a class about all the things your students love and create a class chart. This will not only make the writing process easier for many students, but it is a fun way to remember everything together!
If you are still running centers, completing this book in small groups is a great option. Students can sit and work on it during center time, and you can easily collect them when they rotate or at the end of the period.
Students could also work in partners during snacktime, free time, or centers. This allows students to bounce ideas off one another and work productively together.
Constructing The Book
I’ve had years where we barely finished our memory books, and I was throwing them into backpacks on the last day. But you don’t want to be like me, so once students have completed their memory book, there are plenty of easy ways to put them together and make them look nice.
Staples – Stapling the pages together is probably the fastest way to put the book together and get it back to students.
Binding – If you want the book to look more professional, you may want to bind it. If you can access a binding machine, pre-select the pages, you want to include and bind them together before handing them to students. Then, students can create the book page by page.
Ribbon or String – Another easy way to put the memory book together is to hole punch into each page of the memory book. Then, use a colorful ribbon or string to tie it together. This method delivers a cute keepsake for parents to put into a special memory box for their child.
End of the Year Memory Book Resource
Try the End of the Year Memory Book by Proud to be Primary. You and your students will love remembering the great times you enjoyed together!
This simple and fun-to-make memory book includes the following pages.
- Cover page (with/without picture)
- All About Me
- My Friends
- My Teacher
- Moments To Remember
- All The Things I’ve Learned
- My Classroom
- My Top 10
- My Accomplishments
- Things I Loved This Year
- A Day In My Life
These pages can be added and completed in any order too!
Free Summer Writing Journal
After you’re done remembering all the good times with your students, it’s time to send them home for summer vacation. Send them home with this FREE summer writing resource!
Click the image below to grab a copy.
More End of the Year Ideas/Activities
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