Activity Variations for End-of-the-Year Magic

Add these powerful activities into your final weeks to help build resilience in your students!

"What we remember about the experience influences more of our behavior than the experience itself." - Lucinda Martinelli

Photo by Rene Bernal on Unsplash

The Opportunity

This has been a wild, difficult year, however students and teachers have shown their incredible resilience and fight for learning and joy. By building in powerful reflections and connection-building activities, you can help your students determine how they want to remember this year.

We know through brain science that the most impactful memories often come from the beginning or the end of events. Within his Ted Talk, Nobel laureate and founder of behavioral economics, Daniel Kahneman, discusses fascinating studies from vacations to colonoscopies that reveal “how our ‘experiencing selves’ and our ‘remembering selves’ perceive happiness differently.”where researchers learned the importance of Peaks and Ends. Within this theory, what we remember about the experience influences more of our behavior than the experience itself. We remember what happened at the peaks (joy or pain) and at the end of the experience more than any other parts. This helps us form a story about the experience and that’s what we use to make decisions in the future.

Kahneman speaks about how these new insights have profound implications for our own self-awareness, economics, public policy -- and Lucinda Tartinelli from Whole Planet Consulting sees as especially relevant for the end of this unprecedented school year.

The use of reflections and reframing is powerful because - while the past year may be frozen in time - our memory of it and the lessons we gained are available for us and our students whenever we seek them out. As Kikori co-founder, Bryn Lottig, states, “Perception is reality - we cannot tease apart reality from our memory.”

This week Kikori is partnering with Whole Planet Consulting to bring you a meaningful end-of-the-year Playlist! This "Strong Finish for the Year" playlist includes six great activities for reflecting on the end of the year that will help students want to come back in the fall! Below, Whole Planet Consulting shares variations and ways of combining different activities to make them perfect for the end of the year! You can access them on Kikori through the App Store (Apple), Google Play Store (Android) or online through the brand new Kikori WebApp!

Emotions Charades Variation

Have students write down or pick out an emotion they’re feeling, or that they think someone in the class might be feeling. If using pre-made cards, have some duplicates ready. If students are writing them, check for too many duplicates or inappropriate words.

Shuffle the feelings cards and give them to the teams to act out.

Reflection Questions

Why are these emotions the ones that got picked today? Were there any that surprised you?

Which ones came up more than once? Were you surprised that someone else picked the same emotion you did?

There might be some surprising emotions in the pile. Not every student looks forward to the end of the school year. Point out that all emotions are ok and you are probably not alone in how you feel.

Warm Fuzzies (SELA 36.2) + Superhero Check In + The Being

Give group members the opportunity to affirm each other!

Ask everyone to answer these questions:

What superpowers did we need to use today/this past year?

What superpowers do your classmates have?

Give the group time to share and come up with some superpower ideas.

If students are being identified by name, make sure sharing is respectful or anonymous, as appropriate.