Five Engaging End-of-Year Literacy Activities

Ah, the end of the school year is near.  I have nine more days to be exact, but who's counting? ;)

It can be challenging to keep students motivated, but with a little planning, the last few weeks of school can be meaningful and fun.  Here are some time-honored end-of-year literacy activities you may want to consider.

Balloon Pop Countdown

Mrs. Pehanich's Classroom, Shepherdstown Elementary School.
Build excitement and enthusiasm for the last few days of school. Surprise students with a Balloon Pop Countdown.  Each day a balloon is popped and a special privilege is revealed.  Here are a few of my favorite treats...
  • Mystery Reader:  A Guest Will Visit and Read Today
  • Read (or Learn) Outside Today
  • Write with Markers (Instead of Pencils) All Day
  • Lights, Camera, Action:  Readers Theater on the Stage
  • Tech Day:  Play Your Favorite Online Literacy Games
  • Book Buddies:  Read to Younger Students Today
  • Foamy Fun:  Practice Spelling (or Cursive) in Shaving Cream

Memory Books

Activities by Jeanine Enns and The Reading Mama
Looking back can be so much fun, but it’s also a great instructional tool for reviewing the year's learning.  Create your own memory book or download these free templates... 
  • Class Memory Book:  Students each prepare a page for a {memory book} that can be added to your classroom library.
  • Individual Memory Book:  Students can reflect on their favorite memory, class field trips, and the friendships they've made in their very own keepsake {memory book}.


Craft-activities by Kelly Dolling, Jessica Travis, and Janet Rainey

Who doesn't love a good craft and writing activity?  Use the links below to download a craftivity that will have students reflecting on - and writing about - their school year.  A great keepsake!

  • {Memory Makers}:  Students will capture their favorite memory with a cute camera craft.
  • {This Year Was Sweet}:  Students will record their sweetest memories with this cupcake booklet.
  • {That's a Wrap}:  Students will wrap up their thoughts about the school year on a movie clapper board.

Letter Writing

Activities by Amy Labrasciano, Hope King, Khyrs Bosland
Letter writing provides a valuable opportunity for students to think about themselves as learners, reflect on their school year, and consider their future goals. Click on the links to download free templates.
  • Dear Teacher: Students write a {letter} of introduction to their upcoming teacher. 
  • This Year Rocked: Students write a {letter} to incoming students. Help make their first day a little less scary. Share helpful information and highlights from the school year. 
  • Hello Future Self: Students write {letters} to their future selves. Invite them to write about the things that matter to them - friends, family, school life, and other interests. Ask them to make predictions about their future.

Get Students Ready for Summer

Bookmark by Erin Holleran
Activities by Whitney Parlin and Jen Bradshaw
Get students excited about reading and writing over the summer and help them prevent the "Summer Slide".
  • {Summer Reading Bucket List}:  Students visit the school library and complete a list of 10 books they would like to read over the summer.  
  • Decorate a Journal:  Students create a summer journal by decorating a composition book with pictures and patterned paper.  
  • {ABCs of Summer}:  Students keep track of their summer adventures by completing this alphabet booklet.
  • {Summer Fun Jar}:  Students decorate a jar and fill it with fun activities that will build background knowledge and maintain literacy skills.  Each day over the summer, they can pick a slip out of the jar to complete. 

Time to Share!

What are your favorite end-of-year literacy activities?  Please share your ideas with our readers...leave a comment.  :)

*Special thanks to Melonheadz and I'm Lovin' Lit for the graphics used in this post.


  1. I love the variety shared with this list of activities! Thanks for the great ideas; I'm storing this one away for next year. Hope your last few days go well!

    A Very Curious Class

    1. I hope you are able to use a few of them next year, Amanda. Have a great summer!

  2. Great list of ideas to keep kids engaged as the year ends. I love the balloon pop countdown!

    The Math Maniac

    1. Tara,
      There are a few Balloon Pop Countdown freebies on Teachers Pay Teachers if you are interested in trying it. I've seen teachers hang the balloons from the ceiling, a clothesline, or a bulletin board. It makes a great display and builds lots of enthusiasm.
      :) Wendy