Celebrating the End of Year with Middle & High School Students

Hello, hello, hello-- The SuperHERO Teacher here to talk about wrapping up the end of the year with a celebration!  Whether you're teaching 8th graders and they are moving on to high school or 12th graders and they are entering the "real" world, a celebration can do wonders for your students' excitement and motivation for the future.  Okay, have a celebration, but how do you do that while teaching a lesson, too? I have the perfect free resource for you, so keep reading below.

I'll admit it. I LOVE puns. We see them everywhere for teacher and student gifts, but do the students really understand the deeper meaning and humor behind their gift?  This is a perfect learning opportunity and the students *probably* won't even realize it! I've created this free resource that includes five pun-themed gift tags and, most importantly, includes an activity in which students will decode the puns.  How should you use this in your classroom?
  • Step ONE: Choose a day to celebrate.
  • Step TWO: Select the gift-tag you want to use and print the appropriate amount.
  • Step THREE: Print the "Decode the Pun" worksheet for your students. 
  • Step FOUR: Hand out the student gift and quickly become their favorite teacher (LOL). 
  • Step FIVE: Discuss the deeper meaning of the pun and then hand out the worksheet.  Give students 20-30 minutes to complete the assignment,  Discuss the answers as a class. 
Here are some photos of the puns in action! You can download them for FREE HERE

PENCILS: "You're NO. 1 in my book." 
This is probably the least expensive gift.  You can find a pack of 144 pencils for less than $10 at Office Max or fun, bright pencils in packs of five at the Dollar Spot in Target.  There are tons of puns that work with pencils, but I chose to use "NO.1" instead of "NO.2" to make students think a little harder about the pun itself! 

CANDLES: "You're a SCENT-sational student." 
Last year, I had five students that I mentored on a weekly basis (they weren't actually in my class).  I wanted to do something a little *extra* special for these students as they were graduating.  I used this candle pun as a gift and they absolutely adored it!  While it may be expensive to do for a whole class, it's definitely doable for a small number.  In fact, I found the candle in the picture at the Dollar Spot! 

POPCORN: "Just POPping in to say you're fabulous." 
Another inexpensive option!  Whether you give them individual packs of popcorn, set up a popcorn bar, or buy a few bags to share, your students will be so pumped to have food in the classroom (proven fact)! BONUS: See how many puns your students can come up with related to popcorn.

ANYTHING BRIGHT: "Your future looks BRIGHT." 
This one is great because you can use it with anything brightly colored (for example, highlighters).  I used these little gift bags from the Dollar Spot and filled them with Skittles. 

FLOWERS: "You're BLOOMING with knowledge." 
This is my personal favorite.  I did this last year with one of my classes and they were SO excited.  You can find SUPER inexpensive flowers at Wal-Mart or Kroger and just give one per student.  This gift always seems like more of a special occasion gift to me-- like a graduation.  

If you're looking for something that you can simply print, you might want to check out my end of year, interactive awards!  They are editable, so you can customize them for your students to make them a bit more personal.  In addition, you can print them double sided and have students complete the questions on the back about their future.  Check out the pictures below.  You can find these Interactive Awards here

For other products related to the end of year celebrations, look here: 
Interactive End of Year Awards by The SuperHERO Teacher
End of Year Awards by Presto Plans
Summer Countdown Paper Chain by Secondary Sara
End of Year Writing Activity by The Classroom Sparrow

Enjoy the time with your students! You deserve a celebration, too. 

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