The Joy of Teaching – An Evan-Moor Blog

Sharing creative ideas and lessons to help children learn

End-of-the-Year Activity Ideas – Talent Show, Student Awards, and More


If you’re wondering what to do for the last few days of school, plan a grade-level talent show or one of the other fun activities in this blog. And, remember to recognize every student with a special award! This blog includes links to templates and sites to help you get started.

Girl Playing Guitar for End of the school yearEnd-of-the-Year Talent Show

A grade-level talent show creates a memorable tradition to celebrate the end of the school year and builds students’ self-confidence in performing in front of an audience. Students love to showcase their special talents!

How do you begin?

  • Reserve the auditorium or other large multi-use area
  • Have a grade-level meeting to discuss responsibilities and assign each teacher a role, such as distributing the talent show information and entry form, collecting the entry forms and creating a simple program for the show, operating the CD music player, serving as the “MC” to call the name of each performer to the front, etc.
  • Distribute this sample Talent Show Information Sheet and Entry Form or create your own.
  • Encourage all students to enter and regularly remind students of the deadline to enter.
  • Prepare on the day of the show by having the custodian, students, or parent volunteers set up chairs for the audience. (We had students sit on the carpeted floor, and family members sat on chairs behind the classes of students.)
  • Set up a stage in front, or have students perform on the floor in front. (We use the floor because it’s safer and allows for plenty of room.)
  • Make sure the microphone is working properly before the show begins.
  • Have the “MC” teacher begin the talent show with a welcome, some comforting words and praise for the performers, and an announcement of the rules. (See Sample Talent Show Rules.)

At the conclusion of the talent show, the MC can ask all of the performers to come to the front for one last round of applause. The talent show will guarantee smiles on the faces of performers and audience members!

Other End-of-the-Year Activities

  1. Write thank-you letters to support staff members
  2. Write letters for next year’s teacher about what students enjoyed this year, what they hope to learn next year, and what they need to work on
  3. Take a field trip to a nearby assisted living facility to sing songs, chat about the school year, perform a play, etc.
  4. Design bookmarks for summer reading
  5. Decorate large portfolio covers for writer’s workshop pieces and host a portfolio party in the classroom for parents, with each student reading aloud his/her favorite piece
  6. Create and decorate blank autograph books and then allow time for students to sign each other’s books
  7. Purchase beach balls for each student as an end-of-the-year gift and then have students autograph beach balls
  8. Create memory books with pages of “Favorites” of the school year such as favorite science activity, book, holiday party, school activity, field trip, art activity, subject area or learning unit, etc.
  9. Have a dance party with each teacher leading a dance
  10. Create self-portraits and then use an oversized sunglasses pattern to paste over the eye area. Students can write a paragraph on this sunglasses pattern about their summer plans.

Student Awards

However you celebrate the last day of school, students enjoy receiving fun awards to recognize their special talents and contributions to the class:

Contributing Writer

Image of Blog Contributor Alice EvansAlice Evans is a forty-year veteran National Board Certified elementary classroom teacher and is a published author. She recently retired from the San Diego Unified School District.

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