Great End of the Year Idea

Creating Keepers to Wrap Up The School Year

from the book
by Caren Cameron, Kathleen Gregory, Colleen Politano, Joy Paquin

Peer recognition is powerful. Ask students to give collective recognition to one another by identifying a positive personal characteristic for each person in the class. Students give each other a small object, or “keeper,” as a reminder of the special characteristics they see in one another.

1. Talk with students about the importance of recognizing the strengths of each person. Say, “We’ve all got strengths – and, sometimes, we don’t even know what they are until someone else tells us. We are going to take time and recognize each person in this classroom for a particular strength.”

2. Brainstorm a list of positive personal characteristics. Discuss the meanings of the words with students, and talk about examples of behaviours and actions that show these characteristics. Invite students to add other characteristics to the list.

3. Decide on an object that will be given to each student as a “keeper,” such as a small stone.

4. Give each student a class list. Have them select and record one characteristic for each person in the class.

5. Collect each student’s class list of characteristics. Look through the lists, and find the characteristic for each student that is repeated most often.

6. Record the characteristic that identifies each student’s overall strength on an object or “keeper.” Have student volunteers print these words on small stones with permanent markers.
7. Have a special ceremony or end-of-the-year celebration where the “keepers” are handed out to each person in the class.

For more great ideas to Start Up, Spark Up, and Wrap Up the Year from the Voices of Experience series, click here for grades k–3, click here for grades 4–8.

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