Create, Design, Inspire: End-of-Year Projects to Engage Students
As the temperatures rise and we inch closer to the end of the school year, it can be difficult to keep students focused and engaged. Distance learning can create additional challenges since many students depend on our classroom routines (and daily reminders) to stay on-track and “finish strong.” So how can we ensure our students stick with us through the end of the school year? Consider one of these unique activities to provide structure while also giving students the chance to create, design, and inspire!
Create a Personal Story or Class Yearbook
End the year with personal or collective storytelling through the use of StoryJumper. StoryJumper is an easy-to-use online app that provides students with templates to create their own books. Have students jump in with the “All About Me” ready-made template – or choose from a list of suggested classroom activities. One of our favorites is a classroom yearbook, where every classmate designs a page. We can’t think of a better way to end the year, especially when students have had to spend the last several weeks apart. Go here to view step-by-step instructions to set up a teacher page and get students started: https://www.storyjumper.com/main/classroom
Design a Theme Park Adventure
If your focus is STEM, take your students on a virtual theme park adventure with Khan Academy’s Imagineering-in-a-Box. This free set of online lessons was created in partnership with Disney Imagineers from around the world to explore how theme parks come to life. The program includes dozens of mini-lessons grouped around three themes: Creating Worlds, Developing Make-Believe Characters, and Designing Rides. Teach the lessons in order or pick-and-choose a few favorites to fit your students’ interests and skills. This is a great way to spark imaginations and curiosity from home!
Inspire New Learning
Distance learning has forced many young adults to take more responsibility for their day-to-day schedules. If you teach teenagers, consider taking time in these final weeks to help them explore time-management and study-skills apps. This way, your students will be better equipped to handle school now and in the future – with or without distance learning. Focus Keeper and Be Focused are two great apps to help students stay on task, and they can use an app like Study Blue to create mind maps, flashcards, and other study tools (or they can search 1,000’s of free ready-made study resources). Give students time to try out different apps, provide personal “reviews,” and share “tips for success” with their peers; consider creating a “Best of” list to share with your incoming students next year, too.