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K12 end-of-year activities

K12 end of the year activities that combine fun and learning.

Find great ideas for the
throughout the summer.


End of the Year Goodbye Music Games for the classroom.


Certificates & Memories Free Custom PDFs | Save and Print a library of downloadable, printable certificates and awards.


Something nice to do that may last students through their lives.

Saying goodbye at the end of the school year can be tough for kids, who've often formed strong attachments to their teachers. "A child spends a big chunk of his life with this person, who may have protected him and helped him meet challenges," says Susan Isaacs Kohl. "Kids also cling to their teachers because they're worried about what will be expected of them in the next grade." The short article at the link below gives a few tips to help make the parting more sweet than sorrowful.



On your last day with students when are busy cleaning out their lockers and returning books. Ask the students if they have any pencil colors or markers they didn't want, that you would be happy to take them. Students may be happy to bring you all kinds of supplies like glue, pencil bags, pens and pencils, and unused watercolor paints complete with brushes. You may find that you'll be able to collect a small cardboard box filled with supplies. With careful storage you should have plenty on hand next year for use in my classroom. Try it in your school and see what happens!

Try the Senior Memory Video Project


National Children's Folksong Repository
Summer Project


 NCFR Summer Project
An historic electronic online archive of children's folk songs.  A public folklore project built by the children of the United States and territories. Be around our online Cyber Camp Fire
Children record their own mp3 when they pick up the Phone to SING OR CHANT (SAY) THEIR SONG.
Children are our unknown culture makers and they get to record and  save their songs, then submit them into the database so that they  can hear themselves on the net. They collect history, and they will  make history at the same time. Contributions make them netizens.
They are doing this for the world. Using the internet and technology  allows them to record their personal knowledge. This is their contribution.  And we all know what's personal is political, so we all help to raise future citizens who will care about the net. 


Children in the United States aren't singing the songs
of their heritage, an omission that puts the nation in
jeopardy of losing a longstanding and rich part of its identity.
Notice the resources on this page that can show you children's rhymes from newspapers dating back to the 1800's.



Preschool Graduation Party

Preschool activity of the day: Throw a Preschool Graduation Party! It's the end of the school year and your little one is getting to ready to move to big kid school—kindergarten! Celebrate the new beginning by throwing a very special graduation party complete with friends, crafts, and lots of energetic fun. From creating your own invitations and brainstorming fun crafts to setting up a wacky "Get to Kindergarten" obstacle course, this step-by-step guide is packed with fun ideas to get you started.



Produce and Autograph Book


Read the Bckg. Story

Show the kids what this old antique looked like:
Autograph Book from Yesteryear - Explore the 1880s.

see 15 pages of the autograph book. Notice  the advice, sayings, remembrances and the beautiful penmanship that no one sees in email these days.


Sign Here: by Tossi Aaron
5/05 Vol. 46 #8 Tune Up Newsletter, Philadelphia Folksong Society
Not long ago, the last month of junior high school was time to bring out the autograph books. In a flurry of swapping and signing, students wrote and drew messages for posterity.
The 5 x 7 inch autograph books had padded, decorated covers, and contained many pastel pages. The object was to fill every one with a message and signature from as many classmates as possible. They wrote wishes for the future, jokes, taunts or teases and funny rhymes.
A page showing only a well-scripted name proved it was signed by an adult. A teacher, admired neighbor or religious leader might inscribe a quotation, proverb or bit of advice, usually serious and bearing significance well over the young recipient's head:

  • Learn as if to live forever; live as if to die tomorrow.
  • Doting parents wrote wishes for their child's future:
    -- May your wing of happiness never lose a feather.
  • Friends usually asked for loyal remembrance:
    When you are old and cannot see,
    Put on your specs and think of me.
  • Remember the girl from the city
    Remember the girl from the town
    Remember the girl who spoiled your book
    .nwod edispu gnitirw yB

    U R
    2 sweet
    2 B
    4 got 10

Some entries sparked recollections of the school:

  • Remember the bride, Remember the groom,
    Remember the fun in the Science Room!

About 1975, a teacher in Montana confessed that she browsed surreptitiously through one book she was signing and was surprised to discover rhymes she recognized from her own youth. Conversely, there were topical couplets, and variations on old rhymes.

  • If I was a head of cabbage,
    I'd cut myself in two,
    To all my friends I'd give a leaf,
    But I'd save my heart for you
  • May our friendship spread
    liked butter on hot gingerbread.
  • There are gold ships, there are silver ships,
    But there's no ship like friendship.

Most often, girls owned and signed autograph books, but boys could divulge a secret admiration or write teases and reverses.

  • Do you love me or do you not?
    You told me once but I forgot.
  • Under the entry "Great oaks from little acorns grow" a boy wrote, "Great Aches from little toe corns grow."

Autograph books are a significant piece of Americana, relecting the times, but they have been given little attention in the body of folklore. Such books have a history, possibly continuing the German tradion of writing sentiments of affection in family keepsake albums and of frindhip in school notebooks. The custom came to America with immigrants of the 1820's and `1830's. Long before the practice of keeping such a "Stammbuch," students in teh 16th and 17th centuries asked friends to write in special notebooks. By 1850, the custom was popular both in England and the US, and was still current well into the 20th century.
Victorians wrote literary quotations or Bible verses, but these lost status, and only the folk writings endured. The children's rhymes are frequently original, at once naive and ingenuous. Try this on in a yearbook or someone's autograph book:

  • If you think you are in love,
    And there is still some question,
    Don't worry much about it.
    It may be indigestion.

You May Also Connect Autograph Books to the National Standards:

FINE ARTS: Visual Arts GRADES K - 12
Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures

Reading for Perspective
Communication Skills
Applying Knowledge
Developing Research Skills
Applying Language Skills

Living and Working together in Families and Communities, Now and Long Ago
The History of the United States: Democratic Principles and Values and the People from Many Cultures Who Contributed to Its Cultural, Economic, and Political Heritage

GRADES 5 - 12 The Development of the Industrial United States (1870-1900)

Basic Operations and Concepts
Technology Research tools

MUSIC Achievement Standard, Proficient:


  • Students classify by genre or style and by historical period or culture unfamiliar but representative aural examples of music and explain the reasoning behind their classifications
  • Students identify sources of American music genres (e.g., swing, Broadway musical, blues) trace the evolution of those genres, and cite well-known musicians associated with them
  • Students identify various roles (e.g., entertainer, teacher, transmitter of cultural tradition) that musicians perform, cite representative individuals who have functioned in each role, and describe their activities and achievements

Achievement Standard, Advanced:

  • Students identify and explain the stylistic features of a given musical work that serve to define its aesthetic tradition and its historical or cultural context
  • Students identify and describe music genres or styles that show the influence of two or more cultural traditions, identify the cultural source of each influence, and trace the historical conditions that produced the synthesis of influences


Cootie Catcher Game


The history of those folded paper finger manipulated toys.

The OED gives the earliest use of "cootie," meaning body louse, as 1917. "Cootie-catcher" has its roots in a different use for the same paper structure. 
For fortune-telling, colors, numbers, or words are written on successive layers, and various rituals of counting, shifting the finger-points, and unfolding usually lead to a final result read from an inner flap.  For cootie-catching, one inner set of surfaces is left blank, and the other is decorated with bugs.  Holding the toy open to the blank center, the perpetrator walks up to an unsuspecting victim, graps their hair with the toy, pulls it away, and at the same time opens it to the buggy center, revealing the "cooties". South Park episode (# 909, "Marjorine") in which the "device" features prominently. 
Sue Samuelson traces the origin of cooties in the Malay word kutu, meaning lice. She speculates that returning WWII military personnel brought the word, and the idea, back. It should be pointed out that cootie catchers and fortune tellers take different forms, although they both use the nineteenth century paper-folding construction for holding salt. The cootie catcher typically has dots on one side that when folded disappear. Fortune tellers have divinatory messages under the flaps. ~ Simon Bronner

Fortune tellers: Opies' Lore and Language of School children.  See description and picture on pp. 341-2 as a "film star oracle."

1.  "You will go on a dayt with a famis person."
2.  "You will barff"

3.  "You will get $11,000."
4.  "You will lose all your money."

5.  "You will find a gold mind."
6.  "You will lose your hair."

7.  "You will not get canser."
8.  "You will start to smoke because somewan corses you."




Folk music - sung during the days before there was a music  industry when the role of music was about your life -  about the life and times that most of us don't experience  anymore and when the music was sung because it helped  people through it and sustained them.

We all know "no more pencils no more books no more students dirty looks" but do you know when they first appeared?

One more day and we'll be free
From this school of misery !
No more pencils, no more books,
No more teacher's dirty looks !

"No more pencils, no more books..."
--Washington Post, Jun 22, 1919, p. 15
--Los Angeles Times, Jun 18, 1921, p. II6

"No more pencils, no more books,
No more teacher's horrid looks."
--Chicago Tribune, Jun 18, 1921, p. 17

"No more pencils, no more books,
No more teacher's angry looks."
--Appleton Post Crescent (Wisc.) March 24, 1922, p. 11
--Chicago Daily Tribune, Jun 27, 1931, p. 3

"No more pencils, no more books,
No more teacher's saucy looks."
--Decatur (Ill.) Daily Review, June 05, 1924

"No more pencils, no more books,
No more teacher's sassy looks."
--Los Angeles Times, Jun 8, 1924, p. 39
--Washington Post, Jun 11, 1925, p. 2
--Los Angeles Times, Jun 12, 1926, p. 6
--Chicago Daily Tribune, Feb 4, 1929, p. 25

"No more pencils, no more books,
No more teacher's cross-eyed looks."
--Washington Post, Apr 2, 1926, p. 1

"dirty looks" variant is from the New York Times, Jun 24, 1938, p. 18.  That article also gives this earlier couplet:

"Good-bye, scholars, good-bye, school,
Good-bye, teacher, darned old fool."

Another early one:

"Vacation's come, and we are free.
No more school for you and me.
No more Latin, no more French,
No more dunces on a bench."
--Los Angeles Times, Jun 29, 1901, p. 16

"No more sitting on a hard-wood bench." 

"No more Latin, no more Greek / No more sitting on a hard-board seat."

Teaching Careers



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