Summer time is quickly approaching, and the students are CRAZY!
In my experience, this is one of the hardest times in the school year to engage the students. State testing is finished, and that automatically equates to the school year being over in the minds of the darling students. Now is the opportunity to continue to enhance learning and to accelerate students with standards for the next grade level, but it can be a challenge.
Here are some of my favorite ways to end the school year in a highly engaging way in the ELA classroom:
High Interest Novel with Engaging Activity Choice Board
Not all students love reading, but get the right book started in an exciting way, and you will see a different level of engagement from the students. Add in a few fun choice board activities, and the students will be fully bought in. I’m a firm believer that teachers have the power to create an environment where students can enjoy reading.
A few of my favorite choice board activities include having students create movie parodies, movie trailers, write children’s books, create digital photostories, put together soundtracks, and more.
Summer Themed Digital Escape Rooms
If you are in need of something simple to set up and highly engaging, I highly recommend finding or creating a digital escape room. These can be highly aligned to the standards and usually create a fun and friendly competition in the classroom. I love these because the students are highly engaged in LEARNING AND WORKING but don’t even realize it because they are having so much fun.
I have 2 summer themed digital escape rooms in my TPT store if you are interested:
RL7 Focus – Movie Time
When teaching ELA, I am a firm believer in teaching through novels. If you are like me, then you have access to RL7 – Compare and contrast a written story, drama, or poem to its audio, filmed, staged, or multimedia version, analyzing the effects of techniques unique to each medium (e.g., lighting, sound, color, or camera focus and angles in a film).
This standard wants students to compare novels to their multimedia format – meaning you can implement a movie and have students compare it to a novel or short story. We all know that there are huge differences in movie and novel storylines (in which the book is better, duh), and this is a great teachable moment with the students at the end of the year and a great way to get to watch some movies. Yay, Common Core, for embedding a movie standard for ELA teachers. I don’t think ELA teachers get many “breaks” in teaching, so I like to take advantage of this one.
In my classroom, we read The Breadwinner, The Hobbit, and The Giver throughout the year, and these all have movies with them. We are able to dig into the differences between the book and the novel, and in most cases, the students agree that the book is better. Win for the teacher!
Highly Engaging is the GOAL
With the end of the year being here, there are a multitude of activities you can use with your students that will keep them engaged. The biggest factors in their behavior are 1) find something highly engaging for the students that will have their attention in excitement in what they are completing, and 2) continue to maintain structure and routine in the classroom.
If you follow these two tips, you will end the school year a bit more stress-free. We all know the end of the year comes with its own level of crazy, so create a classroom atmosphere and activities that will not add to this crazy.
Have a wonderful rest of the school year!