End of Year Project Ideas and Tips

Project topics for upper elementary students

Flowers are not the only thing that blooms during spring! Spring is definitely the season when upper elementary students bloom and become independent learners, hungry to learn as much as they can!

That is why I love providing students with independent opportunities to shine, taking control of their own learning, and showing what they can do!

Spring signals the end of the year and project season in my classroom!  Projects are so important for students to complete. It helps them with:

  • time management
  • organization
  • independence
  • synthesize all of the amazing skills and strategies that you taught them all year long

When we complete independent projects in the classroom, the kids are always engaged, excited to work on their assignments, and can't wait to share everything that they are learning! This is always a HUGE teacher win, but especially when school is winding down.

My favorite projects to do with students are research projects, debates, writing projects, and Performance Tasks.  I love these types of projects because they can be completed independently, with a partner, or in a small group. There is so much flexibility about how you implement these projects which is what makes them so much fun!

If you are thinking about doing a big project with your students, these teacher tips will surely help to make project time in your classroom run smoothly!

✔️Quick Project Tip #1: Allow Choice

If you are doing a research project about any topic, plan some time before the project begins for students to think about who or what they want to research. I have my students find out a bit about a few different topics within the project topic that they want to learn more about. If we are doing biography research, students are expected to have three people in mind that they want to research. Then I have students submit their research requests to me to avoid multiple students researching the same person or topic. This can be as simple as them writing their name and the three topics down on a piece of paper and handing it in, or you can get more formal and have students write a paragraph about why the topic is of interest to them. No matter which way you have them submit, it. By having students apply for what they want to research, student presentations are kept fresh and varied. 

✔️Quick Project Tip #2: Plan it Out Step by Step

Take the time before the project begins to plan out each step you want students to do and then compile them into a checklist. My kids LOVE checking off each step as they complete them. It helps them to stay motivated and engaged. Using a checklist also promotes independence and cuts down on student questions. I go one step further and give students a daily checklist to really keep them on track.

end of the year ocean research project

✔️Quick Project Tip #3: Take Time to Explain

Don't rush day one of the project. Instead, plan a large chunk of time to allow students to ask as many questions as they want while you explain the project and each step. Record all of their questions and the answers on chart paper, so that when students ask that question again during the project, and you know that they will, you can direct them to the anchor chart! #teacherwin

✔️Quick Project Tip #4: Share the End Result

Begin with the end! Complete the project yourself to show students what you expect by the end of the project. This is really important for kids to see to help them visualize what they have to do and what they are working towards. After completing the project, take pictures of your students' completed work and ask them if you can make a copy of their project. This will give you a true student model to showcase next year when you complete the project again!

end of the year persuasive writing project

✔️Quick Project Tip #5: Keep it All in One Spot

Give students a folder or poly envelope to keep all of their project materials in one spot. Collect the folders after each project time period. This will save time each day during set up and clean up time. It will also help cut back on the loss of materials. Having folders also gives you the chance to check in on students to see how far along they have come!

Here are some projects my kids LOVE to explore this time of year:

end of the year writing project for kids

Project season is my favorite time of the year! 

I love watching the kids shine and truly take control of their own learning. The projects students complete create powerful educational memories, too! It is definitely a magical time of the year!

You might be interested in reading:

7 Ways to Celebrate the End of the School Year

End of Year Activities: For In Class and Remote Learning

End of Year Read Alouds

Must Do End of the Year Activity

Kick off Summer Reading in Your Classroom Now!

Check out my favorite no-prep project packs
right HERE

Like this one all about National Park research!

National Parks Research Project for kids

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End of Year Project Ideas and Tips

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