My Favorite End of the Year Activity for Upper Elementary Students

This image shows a bulletin board with the words "School's Out" written. The text at the bottom of the image reads "My favorite end of the year activity for upper elementary students."

We’ve all been there. You are frantically searching for end-of-the-year activities. 

Tests have been taken, curriculum has been taught, and everyone can feel the buzz in the air that is summer, but there are still school days left. 

Let me share my FAVORITE end-of-the-year activity: Teach the Teacher Day

Some beautiful parts of this activity? 

✨ It requires almost zero prep on your part 

✨ It costs you zero dollars 

✨ Your students will LOVE it 

✨ You get to allow your students to shine and give yourself a breather 

What is it?  

Teach the Teacher Day is a WHOLE day where students teach the class. You spend the day sitting back and enjoying learning from your little learners. 

I want to give a disclaimer, this is not my idea. I learned it from a teacher named Sarah. You can find her at her TPT store, More than a Worksheet. 🙂

Here’s the gist of the day: Each of your students has 5-10 minutes to teach the class something. Anything. Whatever they are interested in and curious about. 

This image shows a student at the front of a classroom demonstrating how to throw a baseball.

I’ve had students teach how to pitch a baseball, draw a bunny, or fold a specific type of origami. The sky is the limit when it comes to the content your students are teaching. 

Which is the key. This allows your students to be fully engaged and invested in whatever they are teaching because it is something near and dear to their hearts. 🙂

How do I Implement it? 

Bringing Teach the Teacher Day to life in your classroom doesn’t have to be difficult. 

I highly recommend using Sarah’s freebie in her TPT store. It provides you and your students with some structure for their lessons. 

There is a little bit of prep work for your students to help get things ready before jumping into the fun day of teaching. 

Here’s how to break it down: 

✅  First, your students will get their topic pre-approved with you before moving any further. (This gives you a final say and keeps everything school-appropriate 😉.) 

📝  Next, your students will create a list of any materials they will need to complete their lesson. Thinking through if everyone in the class needs the material or just them upfront. 

✏️ Then, each student will write out what they will teach in a step-by-step format. This will help them think through their lesson. 

❓ Finally, your students will come up with one question to ask the rest of the class after their lesson to check for understanding. 

Based on the age of your students, this prep work could take one day to a whole week! 

This image shows a student up at the front of a classroom demonstrating how to draw a bunny.

On the special day, you get to sit back, relax, and enjoy learning from your students. 

Some Extra Tips

Here are some extra tips I’ll leave you with to help this end-of-the-year activity be a HUGE success in your classroom. 

➡️ Don’t be afraid to give an example lesson on something you enjoy outside of the classroom! This could help students see how to break something down step-by-step even if it isn’t academic. And it will give them a good feel for how short a 5-10 minute lesson really is. 

➡️ Depending on the attention span of your class, or what else you have going on, you can always split your Teach the Teacher Day into parts of multiple days. This way, if you really need something to fill a specific block, but not the entire day, you have the whole week planned! 

➡️ Encourage your students to think about how to help engage their class as they teach. If they are teaching a drawing, will they have the class complete the drawing with them? If they are teaching a sport, is there a chance to have everyone practice outside? 

Finally, get excited with your students. This is a chance for them to share something they LOVE with everyone. 

The summer buzz generally has kiddos bouncing off walls at the end of the school year. Why not take that energy and turn it towards a day they will always remember? 

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