Start Planning for an End-of-the-Year Writing Celebration

(Note: This is similar to a previous note that went out to my Email Pals.)

It’s not too soon to begin planning for your final writing celebration of the school year. Writing celebrations offer positive energy for student writers, so it is worthwhile to end the year with one. This way students will carry self-confidence and good memories of writing with them throughout the summer and into the following school year.

Primary Writing Celebrations

For the youngest writers, I prefer to have a BEST BOOK EVER celebration! It just so happens that I enjoy launching writing workshop with an invitation to write the BEST BOOK EVER. Check it out…I’m sure you can use it as a springboard for planning an end-of-the-year BEST BOOK EVER celebration. 

If you would like a Celebration Prep Guide, click here to receive a lesson list and timeline to prepare for a Best Book Ever celebration or complete the form below.

Intermediate Writing Celebrations

For older writers, I invite them to complete an end of the year writing reflection and create an anthology.  Students consider four categories and select a project from the school year that meets the following categories.

  • My Favorite…
  • I Learned the Most by Writing…
  • Most Meaningful…
  • I Wish I Had More Time…

Students may select a different piece for each category, or the same piece might fit more than one category. For example, “My Favorite” and “Most Meaningful” might be the same writing project.

If you would like the Year-End Reflection, just complete the form below. Students can collect their final projects (or print fresh copies if they have their work on a device) to compile an anthology. The reflection will serve as the opening pages to the anthology.

This isn’t a project to rush. Plan to spend 5-7 days for students to complete a thoughtful reflection and a meaningful anthology. Depending on time and the students, you may invite them to add different parts to make their anthologies complete. Consider including:
  • A fancy cover
  • Table of Contents
  • Dedication
  • Introduction
  • Back cover with an author bio

The Formal Celebration

During the formal celebration, I prefer to give students an opportunity to share what they have learned as writers throughout the year. Primary students share the BEST BOOK EVER. Older students share the title of the project they selected for one category, their rationale for selection, and the writing project.

With a little forethought, you will put together a stellar final writing celebration. As always, I love to hear from you. Leave a comment and let me know:

  • When will you start preparing for your end of the year writing celebration?
  • What questions or thoughts do you have about an end of the year writing celebration?

Please share pics and comments from your writing celebrations with me on Twitter. Just tag @ruth_ayres.

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  1. One frustration I have at the end of the year is celebrating because my students come from different grades and classes. So this year we are making altered books to put our writing into. They will reflect on the pieces they have chosen to save. This is a long art process so I am hoping it works with the comings and goings of my kids and their many other activities.

  2. Hmmm. To be quite honest, I have never thought about doing something like this. Part of it is that for many years I have put a culminating project as close to the last day as possible. (Teaching internationally, sometimes we have to entice parents to not buy plane tickets before school is out.) Now you have my wheels turning.