End Of The Year Alphabet Countdown May 03 2010

The end of the year can be a bit challenging when it comes to engaging students. To help hold your students' attention,  the TRC Editors have put together this list of our best activities from the year!

Using This List

Let's face it - everyone in your classroom is counting down to the last day of school. Take advantage of this practice to review skills, provide opportunities for fun, engage students, and count down the days until summer begins!

The following activities are based on a letter of the alphabet for each day. Take these suggested activities-some of our favorite posts from this year-add your own, or make a list of classroom activities with your students to complete each day through the end of the alphabet or the last day of school, whichever comes first!

Activities to Consider

There are many possibilities for activities that correspond with the "Letter of the Day." Easy ways to emphasize each day's theme include incorporating picture books, physical activities, or art projects that correspond to that day's letter of the alphabet or main activity.

A Final Product

Provided below is a themed activity to use with your students each day through the end of the school year. Have students fill in their own ABC books (similar to this one) or journals about their experiences. Use the Paragraph and Picture on the last day of school for students to write about their favorite ABC Countdown activity and include it as a last-minute addition to your Classroom Memory Books.

ABC Activity Themes

A – Animal Day:  Create Wikki Stix animals in a Rainforest or a Desert habitat

B – Bunny Day:  Have your kids make a Spring Bunny Pencil Holder. Try this Little Bunny Poem and Dance, or read a collection of poems that feature Bunnies.

C – Cootie Catcher Day: Use this downloadable Cootie Catcher Template to use for a variety of subjects, such as vocabulary definitions, math facts or even a Cootie Catcher poem.

D- Dream Catcher Day: Included in this activity are directions on how to make a Dreamcatcher with Wikki Stix as well as reading material regarding the history and culture that surround them.

E – Egg Day: Here are a variety of activities that involve eggs. The first is a Word Family/Rime game using plastic eggs for younger kids. Egg Carton Math will help review basic facts, matching or sorting. Get your kids in the mood for summer gardening by helping them create Egg Carton Gardens!

F- Fractured Fairy Tales Day: Spend a day reading and writing Fractured Fairy Tales with this easy lesson plan.

G- George Washington Day:  Use this free printable mini-book to review important facts about George Washington, our nation's first president.

H- Haiku (and more) Day: Poetry provides fun reading and writing mini-lessons. Spend a day writing Syllable Poetry like Haiku, Tanka and Cinquain. If you have time, use Parts of Speech poetry to review basic language skills, or focus on word families through Rhyming Poetry.

I- Invisible Germ Day: Teach your kids how to avoid getting sick using the Top 5 Ways to Teach About Germs!

J- Jumping Frog Day: Your kids will love this Frog Race Life Cycle game to round out the day. For a writing activity, check out the downloadable frog life cycle poster to spark some paragraph writing!

K- Keep It Healthy Day: End the year with some simple Healthy Habits Science Experiments to encourage good eating habits. Print out a Healthy Choices chart for your students to take home and monitor their choices, or consider sending home this Tooth Brushing Chart!

L- Learn a New Game Day: Here are a variety of games that help cure Kids With Spring Fever! Try one or all of them throughout the day!

M- Monster Day: A reading, writing and art activity involving monsters are provided in this post based on Where The Wild Things Are.

N- No Sitting Day: Take the chairs away for the day! Have kids sit around the room using white boards or clipboards, and lead exercises using this Sun Salutation and Exercise Plan.

O- Opposite Day: Summer is coming, but it might be time for some Opposites! Pretend winter is coming and provide some corresponding projects, like the Crystal Snowflake science project, this Snowman Paper Bag Puppet, or this Winter Warm Fuzzy Craft.

P- Puppet Show Day: Originally for the winter holidays, this lesson plan will work for any time of the year. Use the suggestions in this Classroom Puppet Theatre post to have small groups put on their own puppet shows!

Q- Quiet Read-In Day: Take a look at The Top 10 Ways to Get Kids Reading, then schedule a Read-In for part of the day. Have kids wear pajamas and bring in sleeping bags, blankets or pillows. Move the desks to the sides of the classroom and let kids get comfy in the middle of the room, reading!

R- Recycling Day: Here are a couple of lessons to teach recycling, from the simple to complicated. Have kids bring in one old shoe each and use them to Feed The Birds.  Instead of using shoes, consider having your kids create a Bird Feeder craft. For a more in-depth lesson about recycling, make a Classroom or Individual Worm Bins.

S- Shadow Science Day: Originally created as a Valentine's Day activity, this Shadow Science Lesson Plan will work at any time of the year.

T- Telling Time Day: Use this Free Clock Template and Wikki Stix to help your students practice telling time in both analog and digital formats. Use a timer throughout the day and have kids challenge themselves with how quickly they can do different tasks.

U- Uniquely Me Day: To end the school year, have your students fill out the My Favorite Things book and put the sheet into their Memory Books. Set aside time throughout the day for students to share what they wrote about themselves.

V-  Very Fun Tie-Dye Day: A simple way for kids to create fun and interesting Tie-Dye designs on their own white t-shirts. Have students wear their shirts during the last week of school and provide permanent markers for them to sign each student's shirt.

W- Worms As Superheroes Day: Included in the post Garbage Eaters - The Worm Superheroes is a rhyming story as well as reading activities to increase your students learning about all that worms can do!

X- X-tra Clean Day: It's time to clean the classroom from the busy school year. Enlist your students' help with packing up supplies, doing inventory, dusting, wiping down surfaces and cleaning desks and chairs. Send home leftover school supplies in large plastic bags or students' backpacks.

Y- Your Father's Day: Use the last day or two of school to have students make a Father's Day My Dad Rocks Gift.

And finally, Z: Zoom Off To Summer Day! Give your students a chance to "zoom" around. Include relays at some point during this last day of school, or play the Red Food, Green Food game.

It's been a great year, and the Editors at TRC have had a wonderful time putting together a variety of activities, resources and articles to help make teachers' lives easier and more enjoyable. Have fun with this ABC Countdown to end your school year with your students!