End of year memory books are a great way to reminisce and recap the year. This fun, spring writing project is a popular trend in classrooms. Students recap exciting events and memories, while recording and illustrating them to “keep forever”.
However, how do we ensure that we are creating a book that is going to be kept in a memory box for a lifetime instead of being shoved in a drawer, forgotten about and recycled?
Follow these quick tips to make sure we are making something with our students that counts.
Select Meaningful Topics
So many memory books have students answer simple questions without giving them the time or space to elaborate on important topics. Rather than having students record their “favorite color,” give students the time and space to write about something deeper such as what their favorite field trip was.
Topics should be open ended, should give space for multiple answers and should be relevant to students. Some of my favorite topics include:
- Everything About Me
- Favorite Day of School
- Favorite Thing to Learn About
- This Is My Best Friend
- I am Proud of…
- All About My Teacher
- This Is My Family
- Taking a Field Trip
- When I Grow Up
- This Year at Recess
- Autograph Pages (for fun!)
Have Students Practice Writing PIECES Not Making Lists
We practice writing detailed pieces all year long. Let them take this practice and USE it for something real and meaningful!
Instead of having students fill in the blank, give students plenty of lines to include a topic sentence, facts/events/reasons and DETAILS.
Give Students AMPLE Time to Journey Through the Writing Process
Whenever we do any type of writing project, we do different variations of going through the writing process.
As a class, take time to plan what they can write about. Give them scrap paper to jot down ideas and make a plan about the points they want to hit in their pieces.
Typically, I have students write their first draft in pencil. When they are finished doing that, they find a partner or have a quick session with me where we make quick edits and revisions.
Finally, students spend a lot of time publishing either using pens or markers to go over their writing. I then allow them to have time to color their pictures nicely in crayon, and then they can choose whether or not to decorate the entire page.
While it might sound tedious, students LOVE being able to publish with fun tools and highly enjoy this time. Typically, I will turn on music and make this time fun.
Because this process is so long, I typically give students either 2 writing blocks or one extended writing period (one hour-ish) to accomplish ONE prompt.
Therefore, this project takes approximately two weeks for my students to complete. However, if you want to complete it all within the last week of school, that is also an option.
End of year memory books are a fun, productive way to close out the school year and finish with a strong sense of classroom community.
If you need an easy template to print and go, grab this fun activity in my store today!
I also love this project because it can provide you with ample time to finish up individual end of year assessments or to pack up your classroom while students are doing something meaningful and enjoyable.
What are your students’ favorite pages to add to their memory books? Drop them in the comments below!