So many of the important assessments students face nowadays require competent writing. I used the end of the year as a chance to reinforce basic paragraph construction with this yearbook. I created pages on Microsoft Word (feel free to change the pages or add your own) that focused on specific aspects of our school year. For example, we had a grade-level Olympics in conjunction with our study of ancient civilizations, so I included a page that focused on this fun event. This was a great way to help students review the things they’d learned during the year. This would be very easy to modify for younger grades.
As a class, we made a checklist of the tasks required to complete the yearbook (each student copied down the list). Each student was required to write a rough draft on regular notebook paper, and have a peer edit it before they could go on to the final draft. Once the checklists were made, the students were free to work on whatever page they wanted. Each student completed the entire list, but could choose which page to work on each time we started working. This entire project took my 6th graders about 2.5 – 3 weeks to complete (45 min- 1 hour a day). One parent had taken pictures of school events (like track & field day and our Shakespeare play) and generously printed some of them for us. Each student ended up with 2-3 pictures from the year to glue into their book. I suppose you could encourage students to bring in a picture or two to glue in if they wanted. The students especially enjoyed signing each others’ yearbooks once they were all completed (we added a few blank pages at the end for autographs and messages).
Here are the Word files if you want to download them:
Shakespeare Play page
Medieval Day page
Guided reading page
Favorite Things page
Lunch & Recess page
*When I uploaded these files, my cute fonts, didn’t get uploaded, so you might want to change them on your own computer to make them more interesting.
What are some of your favorite end of the year projects/activities?