How many more days? Have you counted yet?
Here on the East Coast we wouldn't start counting down the days until May at the earliest, but I know many school teachers that get out in mid-May and have already began counting down the school days left with their students. There is so much going on at the end of the year, those last couple weeks can seem like a blur, but I always wanted to do something FUN with my students to make those last days memorable (and also keep them learning!).
Themed days are nothing new, but the end of the year is really when I like to let loose with these activities and encourage my students' creativity! The last 5 full days of the year we would have a countdown and I would let my students know that each day was a different theme and ALL DAY we would complete activities and games that relate to that theme.
I thought I would compile some of my favorite activities I've completed in the past and add a bunch of new ones into one, easy unit! So I created The Countdown to Summer!
I wanted to make something EASY for teachers and FUN for students so I think I combined both of those aspects into this unit. I created five full days of lessons and activities that correlate to a different theme. Many of the lessons have m ore than one option for the teacher to pick and choose from!
The themes I decided on are all ones I've done in the past and have been hits in my first grade classroom! They are:
5. The Beach
and for each day there are activities, lessons, and printables for the following:
- Social Studies/Science
and there is a fun craft and snack idea for each day as well!
Here is a rundown of the first themed day, Camping:
In math, students practice addition with a fun game called Catch 'Em where they are adding numbers and comparing their sum to their partners.
Now before you're all like, "Ummm... I don't have time to print and laminate all these centers at the end of the year!!!" Don't fret! For every game that has a color activity, there is also a black & white "print&go" version!
For each day, I have a book suggestion and 2 comprehension skills to review! For camping, I went with the fun, rhyming book A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee and the skills are retelling as well as using context clues to determine the meaning of vocabulary words.
Again, no worries - if you don't have the book or don't want to find it, I created a printable passage that works on the SAME skills!
In phonics, students practice long vowel teams with a quick and easy "Read & Illustrate" passage about a king and queen who cross their moat for a little walk.
How to writing was the focus for camping day! I included FOUR different how-to prompts - all relating to camping! They make for some fun explanations!
There are 2 fun science activities included: a STEM activity to build your own tent using play dough, toothpicks, and a piece of paper. Or you can also take your students on a quick nature walk where they can use their senses to complete a graphic organizer on what they notice in nature.
For the craft, a handprint fire makes for a fun activity:
And for snack options I, of course, included s'mores, but I also liked the idea of choosing 50 of your own pieces to create a little trail mix to eat in class or take home!
If you want to grab ALL 5 days worth of activities, just check out my end of the year activities below: