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The year is winding down, and soon it will all be just a memory. Maybe you can already hear faint reprises of Cats playing in the background. (And, depending on how your year went, maybe that’s a welcome refrain!)
Regardless of whether you want to clone this class or ship them off to brighter (let’s hope) futures, closure is always a good thing, right? And there’s hardly any better way to achieve closure to a productive school year than through a yearbook! I’m not talking about the laugh-at-her-big-hair-two-decades-later kind. I’m talking about a handmade, class-made book that every student can treasure for years to come. One just about YOUR class.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Create the book. Start with a folder with brads in the middle- one for each student-and insert about 10 blank white pieces of paper (or clear page protectors with paper inserted, if you want to be a little fancy).
2. Photograph. Recruit a parent helper if you can. Pull students one-at-a-time into the hallway (or into a corner of the classroom, if you’re working alone), and snap their photo. Digital cameras are best because you can print the pictures cheaply only. Print a 4 x 6 of each child.
3. Assemble. Have the children glue their photograph onto the first page of their books. Under it, they should print their name, age, your name, year of school (third, etc.), and date. Students can personalize their yearbooks with drawings, stickers, glitter, etc.
4. Fill It. For all of the other pages, students can fill in other tidbits, such as: draw the classroom; list all of the other students (or you could provide a class list to insert); an “all about me” page with their favorite music, interests, etc.; a page to list their favorite subjects/topics studied and highlights from what they learned; a page to describe their best friends; a page about their families; and–of course–several pages for autographs and notes from their classmates. You could create templates for these pages to print beforehand, for younger students. As they fill in these pages, they’re also benefiting from a nice review activity and practicing their writing skills. Ooooh…more sneaky learning right at the end of school. Your principal would be oh so proud.
5. Summarize. A page from the teacher, typed up, listing favorite activities, field trips and projects to include is nice, as well: inside jokes, funny moments and personal milestones…whatever you think the children will get a kick out of remembering.
6. Autograph. Finally, set aside an afternoon to allow time for autographing and sharing their yearbooks.
Voila! A perfectly concluded year and a perfect end-of-year activity. “Memoriiiiiieeeeees….”