The end of a term, course, or school year is a time for celebration and reflection. It’s an opportunity for students to look back at the distance they’ve traveled, review key language points, and have a bit of fun.
Here are three of my favorite end-of-term activities your English learners are sure to love:
1. Road map reflection
This is a really common technique in the graphic facilitation world.
Simply draw a road map into the horizon (pathways and rivers also work well) on a whiteboard or flipchart. Give your learners sticky notes and ask them to write some ideas for how they felt at the beginning of the term.
You could give them prompts like:
- How confident were you with speaking/listening/reading/writing?
- How did you feel about your vocabulary/grammar/pronunciation?
Students then stick the notes in the distance, on the horizon of the road map.
Once that's complete, give them another set of sticky notes and repeat the task for how they feel now. Students can then add their ideas to the front of the map.
You can then facilitate a class discussion on distance traveled, praise, and next steps.
This also works well as an individual task. You could ask students to complete the horizon at the beginning of term and then ask them to look back once the course is completed.
2. Random discussion topics
At the end of a term, I often find that students want to use their language skills more naturally. They also want to review vocabulary they've learned.
One way to do this is to have them ask and answer questions based on random topics.
Ellii's Flashcard Set feature is great for this. If you have time before class, you can create a set of flashcards which revises specific words they’ve learned throughout the year.
Click through the set and have students ask and answer questions for each word. For example, if the flashcard shows "beach ball" you could ask them to talk about beach balls for one minute.
At lower levels, have one student make a question and another answer it. Encourage them to ask open questions (e.g., who, when, why, what, where) to get more interesting answers!
|Student 1:||When do you play with beach balls?|
|Student 2:||I play with beach balls when I'm on holiday.|
If you’re too busy to create a flashcard set, you could simply select a ready-made flashcard topic or browse the All category. Students can then select a word at random through a class vote or a volunteer closing their eyes and pointing.
The last class of the term has to be fun! And what better way to add a bit of laughter than by drawing and acting out phrases or words at the same time?
I’m sure you’re all aware of Pictionary and charades, but I’d just like to summarize them quickly as a reminder.
Pictionary is a game of quick drawing. Give students a vocabulary item and ask them to draw it. You can do this in teams, with one student drawing while their teammates guess, or as a whole class, with one learner drawing and the rest of the class shouting out their ideas.
Charades is a similar idea. Participants are given a vocabulary point and they have to act it out while others guess. Much like Pictionary, it can be played in pairs, small groups, or as a whole class.
Why not combine the two and give students the option of whether to draw or act?
Pictionary + Charades = Pictionarades
- allow students who prefer a bit of movement to get active
- allow students who lack confidence in drawing the option to use drama
- allow students who are shy with performing to draw
- provide an option to naturally choose the best way to communicate (e.g., some words or phrases may be easier to draw than to act or vice versa)
- allow students to draw and act at the same time, if necessary
Share your thoughts
Have you tried any of these activities with your English learners? How did it go? If you have any of your own favorite end-of-term activities, share them with us in the comments below!