Ready for this month? Here is a list of to help you decide what to teach in May.
Grab your calendar and mark down these holidays!
- May is Latino Books Month
- It is also Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month
- May is “Get Caught Reading” month (check out the ideas below!)
- Of course, May 4 is Intergalactic Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you!!)
- Cinco de Mayo
- Teacher Appreciation is the first full week of the month!
- School Nurse Day is May 8
- National Pet Week is the first full week of the month
- Mother’s Day is the second Sunday of the month
- The second week of the month is “Reading is Fun” week
- National Paper Airplane Day is the 26th
- The Scripps Spelling Bee is the Tuesday – Thursday before Memorial Day
Journal Prompts for this month
If you are winding down the school year this month, you need some real inspiration for your journal prompts!
Ask your students to come up with prompts! They’ve had a year of writing prompts thought up by someone else — now it’s their turn!
Have them write their prompts on an index card. This will make it easy for you to review, plus you can pull a random card for the day.
Let your students practice their creative writing skills by using photos for their prompts. They can simply write a story about what they see. Or if you want them to practice descriptive skills, or dialogue — add that to the prompt.
If your students love quirky writing prompts, you can find a monthly set here.
May often signals the end of school. And this means our students are not as enthused about starting a new writing project.
If this is the case with your students, you may want to start your students on putting together a writing portfolio and self assessment of their work this year.
You can find a free one here.
If you still have the energy — keep your students writing with a memoir.
This is the perfect time for a memoir. Students can reflect on their favorite memories of the school year.
Or “What I Learned”:
Use this quote from Maya Angelou to encourage your students to reflect on what they’ve learned this year — not just subject matter, but what they learned about themselves and others as human beings.
Readers Theater is a perfect way to wrap up the year. Here’s a quick way to teach it:
- students can use a picture book (simple) or chapter of a free reading book (challenging)
- work with a partner or team to create a script
- write and practice
- practice some more
Why this is great:
Readers Theater gets students up and moving.
They are “distilling” the most important parts of a story.
Critical thinking? Oh yes! Determining what is important — what can and cannot be left out, what the audience needs to know.
Group work — students love this!
This activity reaches reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills! Yay!
So much fun if you have time to allow students to share their readers theater performances with other classes.
If you used Literature Circles this year, be sure to give students the opportunity to meet with their groups and give you feedback. They can present a group review.
Speaking & Listening
If you haven’t spent much time with students giving presentations and practicing their speaking skills, there is still time!
Why not have your class vote on their favorite book? Students can write and deliver persuasive speeches (or commercials) to get the class to vote on the best book of the year.
If your students wrote poetry this year, have a coffee shop poetry reading for the last few days of school.
If you didn’t write poetry, try blackout poems. These are a fun, creative way for students to end the year — and students can share their poems during a poetry reading.
This is the perfect time to have review games.
Have students play the simplest version of bingo by creating their own bingo card. Add random numbers to each square — between 1 – 50.
Choose a sentence to project on your white board and have students identify the part of speech, type of sentence, or part of the sentence (subject, predicate, etc.). Choose on number for the correct answer. Students can write their answer in the correct square. When the game ends, they can simply draw a line through their answer and use the board again.
Use white boards and have students hold their answers up. Each correct answer gets a point. Students can work in teams or in pairs.
If you want to challenge your students, why not teach sentence diagramming? If your students love puzzles, they will love diagramming.
As a matter of fact, my students who love math always seem to excel at diagramming! And, even if you aren’t sure how to do it yourself, you can learn with your students.
It’s definitely old-school, but it gives students a concrete way to analyze a sentence.
Start with just the “core” of the sentence — the subject and predicate. Even if you don’t get any further than this, your students will be building sentence structure awareness.
If you need more help, try this flow chart to help your students systematically analyze a sentence.
If your students are antsy for summer break, why not get them working on the “Perfect Summer Vacation”?
Have your students plan a vacation — and I mean all of it:
- history of the location — including interesting facts
- how to get there
- what to do there
- what special kinds of foods the location offers
- why it’s a good place to go
- how long to stay
You can extend this activity by challenging students to convince the class that this is where the class should go for vacation. Students can vote on the most persuasive vacation.
And if this is your last month of school…
Don’t forget to
- enjoy the remaining time with your students
- have them complete a feedback questionnaire for your class
- challenge your students to READ over the summer! (Here’s a super cute reading log!)
- ask your students to complete their own self-assessment
- complete your own person “exit interview” before you leave for the summer: what worked, what didn’t, what you’d do again
- create a “bucket list” for your summer!
- Need more ideas for the end of the year? You can find ten great suggestions here!
Enjoy this month! It will fly by!!