5th grade graduation is a huge milestone for families and your students. As a 5th grade teacher, our students transition to middle school is a fun (and sometimes emotional) event! It’s so important to make this elementary school graduation special, so how will you plan it? Work with the other 5th grade teachers to develop a graduation ceremony that is meaningful and memorable using these 5th grade graduation ideas.
Before The Ceremony
I have multiple writing assignments for my 5th grade graduation ceremony. First, I have all of my students write an essay titled “What (enter school name) means to me.” I select a few students with the best essays to read theirs during the elementary school graduation. Second, have your students write letters to their future selves as they graduate high school. Grab a stack of nice envelopes, and seal them up. Give the letters to the parents with instructions to give the letters to their students on their high school (or college) graduation day!
Build up parent excitement for the 5th grade graduation with great looking graduation invites. Make sure to let parents know if they should expect their student to be reading an essay or receiving a special award (if it’s not a surprise). You will find that parents will be upset if they don’t know to film these moments.
During The Ceremony
Hopefully you have a supportive principal (and not a bad principal), see if you can make the ceremony extra special for the students. Is there a theme that you want to have for the ceremony? Host a traditional ceremony, or a future forward ceremony! Think of a great motivational song that the students can all sing together with the other classes, and practice the song building up to the ceremony.
Transition to Middle School
Have the students partner up with an older student to tutor them about what to expect from middle school. If you have an excellent past student who would volunteer to come speak to your class, this is a great time to reach out to them! Students have a lot of anxiety about the changes going into middle school. Questions and anxiety about lockers, schedules, PE, and classes are very common.
Activities for the last week of school
You are probably NOT done teaching yet. If you are looking for great end of the year resources try Genius Hour or teaching genre writing.