Try out one of these five teacher appreciation activities to offer students an opportunity to say thank you as well as educate them on the importance of gratitude.
Teachers have been working hard all year and as we creep into the last few weeks of school, there is no better time than now for students to be offered an opportunity to show their appreciation to their teachers.
It may seem a little awkward at times…right? I know when I have done teacher appreciation activities, it feels weird…as if I am asking MY OWN students to appreciate ME and ONLY me!
However, these activities can be about more than just the appreciation activities themselves. Rather, it is about teaching students to recognize those around them that have helped them succeed. It is about teaching them to be grateful for those important individuals and offering gratitude to those who help them through the important stages of life.
Appreciation is a life skill…a soft skill that is necessary to lead a fruitful life.
So, if you are nervous about conducting a teacher appreciation activity in your own classroom, don’t be. Students need to learn how to be grateful just as much as they need to learn adjectives and adverbs.
5 Teacher Appreciation Ideas for the End of the Year
Write a Letter
A letter is such a simple way to show appreciation. A letter can be so much more personal than a lot of other options and thus, is a great choice for a teacher appreciation activity.
Ask students to choose a teacher for whom they are thankful and write a detailed letter about what that teacher means to them. As a bonus, this requires students to practice standard English as well as penmanship. You can even walk your students through editing steps to practice the entire writing process.
Arts and Crafts
I know, for me, I loved being able to do a simple craft in the middle school classroom. It allowed my students to have some creative freedom and make something meaningful for a current or previous teacher. Although it may be best for students to design their own crafts (because let’s be honest…they are sometimes way more creative than we are) it may be good to have a couple of ideas in your back pocket just in case.
In the past, I have had students make posters or simple signs. I have also had some students group up (if they had the same teacher or teachers in mind) and make a video montage of pictures or personalized messages. I’ve also had some students make paper wreaths for teacher doors.
Design a Canva Flyer or Sign
Canva is a graphic design tool that is great for flyer and sign design. Students can learn the platform (something that will probably come in handy for the future) and then practice their new skill set by making a flyer or sign for a teacher’s door.
The free version of Canva is great for student practice and there are several free tutorials. However, I think your students will surprise you with how quickly they pick up the design techniques even without the tutorials. 😜
Group Teacher Appreciation Thank You Cards
This one can be as hard or simple as you desire it to be. Grab a large poster board for each teacher in the grade and allow students to write their own messages on each board…yearbook style. You can give students the freedom to draw designs on the cards as well or keep it simple and only allow short messages.
Color Poems – I Love You the Purplest Story
Finding creative teacher appreciation activities that are sentimental and simple isn’t always easy, and this color poem activity is not your typical cliche activity. It will give teachers something to cherish and love forever. It’s a companion for “I Love You the Purplest” by Barbara M. Joosse. Students will read or listen to the story and write their poems. Grab the digital or printable version here.
From the bottom of my heart…
I know as you finish out this school year, there are going to be times when you feel extremely appreciated and other times when you don’t. I am simply here to say that you are doing great my friend! You are changing the world one student at a time and that matters! YOU matter.
So, from the bottom of my heart…
P.S. If you are looking for a few more engaging ELA activities to finish out the school year, check out this blog on 3 highly engaging end-of-the-year activities. Enjoy!