Here are five fun literacy activities you can use with your students to close out an interesting year of blended learning due to the pandemic.
1) Send thank-you emails
What better way to end the year than helping students learn how to craft notes of appreciation and sending them to faculty, staff, and other students? Everyone has worked hard the last few months and could use kind words. In times of quarantine, social distancing, and hybrid learning, taking time to stop and acknowledge individuals with heartfelt gratitude helps students realize both others’ impact on them and their impact on others.
2) Progressive stories
Begin a new document with a list of randomly-ordered student names with your class. Write a starting sentence in the document and share the document with the first person on the list. The first student has to continue the story with a sentence of their own, then share the document with the second person on the list. Continue this sequence until every student has contributed. For variation, start a couple of different stories with the list of names in different order. See what creative and humorous stories emerge!
3) Found poem gallery
Students can use their mobile devices to snap a photo of an existing block of text (such as a page in a book). Students can use an annotation tool to strategically and thoughtfully mark out words, leaving a small number of words uncovered that result in a poem. Students can post their finished poems to Padlet or some other platform for others to comment on their creations. You can see an example on Kate Hutchinson’s blog.
4) Six-word memoirs
Students can summarize their pandemic-shortened school year in six cleverly-chosen words. You can read more about this project idea HERE.
5) Video & Film Challenges
Give your students a prompt to make a short video to close out the school year. Tim Needles @timneedles always has some inspiring video and art challenges from untraditional selfies to self portraits. You can find a lot more creative ideas on his YouTube Channel and the Jacob Burns Film Center Education Blog also posts different film challenges students can partake in.
Hopefully these five suggestions get you started thinking about other ideas you can incorporate.