End of the Year Activities for ELLs

End of the Year Activities for ELLs

end of year activities

Sometimes at the end of the school year, teachers have a little more flexibility with lessons. It is easier to spend time on projects. At the same time, students are often full of energy and need highly engaging activities. Here are some activities for ELLs to try at the end of the school year.

Play Board Games

Throughout the school year you can add in board games by having students answer task card questions before taking a turn to play. At the end of the year focus on the game itself. Practice reading or listening by going over the directions. Introduce and practice any language students need to be successful playing the game. For a challalange have students create their own board game.

Alphabet Book

Creating an alphabet book is a great way to have students share what they have learned during the school year. Depending on the age and language level of the students you can have them create a book as a group, with a partner, or give students a template.

Write a Letter

Another way to reflect on the school year is for students to write a letter to new students. The letter can be addressed to students that will be in that grade next year or to a student that is new to the school. In the letter, students can give advice on how to have a successful school year and share a favorite memory.

Support students by having them answer questions and write a letter together as a group first to model the format.

This year I liked _________. I worked hard at ____________. I discovered _____________.

3 tips for __ grade are: 

Readers Theater

girl with puppet

Readers theatre is another activity that is great at any point in the school year, but you might have more time to implement it at the end of the school year. It can be as simple as having students read a script during a reading group. It can also be elaborate. Students can take a story that they are familiar with and work together to create a script. They can create costumes and perform the skit for other students.

Aaron Shepard has a large collection of free readers theature scripts.

Record a Book

Recording a book is an authentic way for students to practice reading fluency. You can have them record a book for a group of younger students or for new students coming next year. Have students practice reading their book and when they feel ready, create the recording.

Create a Guide to the School

This project is a great way to incorporate map skills. Students can also tell about the different areas of the school and come up with tips to tell new students. This is a great activity for students that were newcomers at the beginning of the school year to work on to share with newcomers the following year.

Go Outside

kids reading outside

In many areas, the end of the school year means that it is nice enough to spend time outside. Here are some activities for ELLs when you go outside. Have students take books outside and read. A change of settings is a simple way to increase engagement for some students. You can also have students work on a scavenger hunt while they are outside.

scavenger hunt

Give out Awards

Awards can be part of a larger grade level ceremony or just inside of a small pullout group. Either way, take time to celebrate students accomplishments and hard work from the past year. Hand out award certificates printed on colorful paper to make it special.

Answer Would You Rather Questions

A fun activity that doesn’t require much preparation is Would you rather have questions. Start by giving students questions to answer. For a fun challenge, have students create their own.

spring would you rather task cards

Directed Drawing

Many kids love drawing. They also enjoy learning new ways to draw objects. Directed drawing gives step by step directions to show students how to draw the object. If you want to add in more language have students talk about and/or write about what they draw.


STEM activities integrate the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math. Art is sometimes included as well. Even if you haven’t used STEM during the rest of the school year, you might finally have time to try it at the end of the school year. Here are some STEM activities for ELLs to try at the end of the school year.

Read a story and then give students a building challenge connected to the story. You can use STEM Story Building cards or make up your own.

Gather up simple materials and give students a building challenge. Some ideas are:

  • pipe cleaners, toilet paper rolls, egg cartons, cotton balls, cardboard, blocks, legos, toothpicks, marshmallows, foil

It can be as simple as seeing what they can create or you can tie in literature. Read a story such as a fairy tale and then have students build a bridge for the Billy Goats to cross.

To add in speaking practice, go over each material you have available and practice describing them.

This is a _______. It is _______(soft, hard, pointy, strong, flexible) I can ______ it. (stack, bend, fold, cover, cut)

After building have students draw, speak/write about what they made.

I used _______ to build _______. First I _______. Next I ________. Finally I __________.

If you live in an area where it gets hot, you can build a box oven with your students. This activity would work well in a co-taught class. All of the students will enjoy helping to make the oven and eating a snack cooked in it. Afterward, the students have a shared experience that they can talk and write about.


Another fun activity is to have students build a bubble want and try and blow the biggest bubble. You can complete this with only a few materials (pipe cleaners, wire, bubble wands, water, soap).


Directed drawings  

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