End of Year Unit + A Giveaway

We are definitely in summer countdown mode over here! Only 23 teaching days stand between us and sleeping in :) Flights are booked for small vacations, we're getting ready for the Teachers Pay Teachers conference, new swimsuits are on their way (literally just hit send on an order before writing this!), and our list of beach reads is growing. But before we can get to that tropical location (or even just our backyard with some extra sunlight), we want to end the school year with one final (fun!) ELA activity.

This is the second year that we’re doing our End of School Year Unit with our students, and we couldn’t be more excited. When we created this unit, there were two main criteria that we wanted to focus on: 1) the lessons must continue to be challenging (no slacking off these last weeks of school!), and 2) the content had to be engaging (the kids are barely hanging on!). What we came up with is an awesome end of year unit - it’s a study of Ernest Hemingway’s short story, “The End of Something” (totally appropriate for this time of year, right?) along with corresponding analysis activities and a final narrative writing assignment.

If you aren’t familiar with the story, Nick and Marjorie are teenagers who are at the end of their relationship. It’s a subtle, yet awkward breakup and our students LOVE analyzing the demise of the relationship and then comparing it to the feelings one has when other significant experiences end (the school year, a vacation, etc…).Since this short story is part of an anthology, In Our Time, we like to compile the narratives our students write at the end of the unit and create a class book for each student.

We spend the last two class periods of the school year sharing our narratives aloud. Often, we'll invite other classes, have refreshments (always a good student motivator!), and really hype up the idea of sharing our work. Of course, we tell our students this in advance :) Knowing that their narratives will be read in front of an audience and published in a class book makes their writing so much more authentic and strong! (We also like to make an extra copy of the class anthology to leave in our classroom library. Future students love reading work from students who did the same assignment in previous years!)

This end of the year unit definitely meets the criteria of being both challenging and engaging. We're excited to start it with our own classes this week, just as soon as we finish our Dream House Descriptive Writing Project!

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  1. Replies
    1. Hope you had a great last day of school! Enjoy your summer!
      - Caitlin & Jessica