6 End of the Year Counseling Activities

As the year winds down, I always want to wrap up classroom guidance or small group lessons with a tangible take-away that students can use, reflect on, or reference during the summer. For some students, this is a summer safety plan. For others, it’s simply kind words from their peers that they can look back on. Whether you’re terminating with small groups or simply wrapping up your classroom guidance program, check out these end of the year counseling activities!

As the year winds down, I always want to wrap up classroom guidance or small group lessons with a tangible take-away that students can reference during the summer. Whether you're terminating with small groups or classroom guidance, your students will have a blast with these end of the year counseling activities!

6 End of the Year Counseling Activities

1. Safety Plan

I’m sure you’re picturing a few of your students right now who really need a safety plan during the summer, or a concrete strategy for managing certain situations. For them, the idea of being away from school all summer may not be as exciting as it is for their peers. They may need specific people they can contact, phone numbers for local agencies, predetermined safe locations they can go if things at home are out of control, or proven coping strategies to manage big emotions. For your students who need daily structure, a safety plan may also look like a plan for a summer routine.

Create a written plan with these students (and their families) to ensure that a plan is in place before the final bell rings. Connect the family with programs that can meet their needs all summer long. And for your students who receive services during the summer, let them know when to expect those services and who will be providing them. Arrange a meeting with that person before the end of the year if possible.

This is just a simple example of a plan (it’s in the free resource library) and it can be as detailed as your student needs. You can even put a daily schedule on the back of the plan:

As the year winds down, I always want to wrap up classroom guidance or small group lessons with a tangible take-away that students can reference during the summer. Whether you're terminating with small groups or classroom guidance, your students will have a blast with these end of the year counseling activities!

2. Coping Plan

Some of your students may be struggling with specific issues that will of course not magically resolve once they step off the bus for the final time this year. Identify potentially triggering situations: help students become aware of and name situations that may give rise to feelings that are difficult to manage. Talk about specific coping strategies they can use in these situations and practice them. Your student may find that having a written plan in place is helpful, or they may prefer to create a coping strategy box. Work together to create a tangible resource for the student to reference and rely on during the summer.

As the year winds down, I always want to wrap up classroom guidance or small group lessons with a tangible take-away that students can reference during the summer. Whether you're terminating with small groups or classroom guidance, your students will have a blast with these end of the year counseling activities!
An example coping plan: create a lap book for students to reference all summer long with actionable steps they can use in a variety of situations.

Your students may also benefit from putting together a coping toolbox. Grab a shoebox or small tub and fill it with coping skills cards, a journal, a pinwheel or bubbles for deep breathing, play dough, and whatever else your student finds to be beneficial during hard times or difficult feelings.

As the year winds down, I always want to wrap up classroom guidance or small group lessons with a tangible take-away that students can reference during the summer. Whether you're terminating with small groups or classroom guidance, your students will have a blast with these end of the year counseling activities!

3. Passing of the Wisdom

Have your students write letters to the students in the grades below them. They can fill the letters with advice or wisdom they acquired during the year to encourage the rising students as they enter the next grade level. They can be general letters of advice or a “Top 5 Things You Need to Know Before You Start Grade 4” style activity. If you have access to technology, you could even partner up with your technology teacher to have your students record a video filled with the their words of wisdom!

As the year winds down, I always want to wrap up classroom guidance or small group lessons with a tangible take-away that students can reference during the summer. Whether you're terminating with small groups or classroom guidance, your students will have a blast with these end of the year counseling activities!

4. Reflection Crafts

For a fun final classroom guidance activity, give students time to reflect on funny memories, times when they were challenged, and things they’re looking forward to in the coming year. Have your students reflect on the goals they set at the beginning of the year, struggles they faced and how they overcame them, how they will use these lessons in the future, lessons they learned in friendship, or other areas of growth from the year. Make a take-home craft to share with families! The crafts can even be themed to match your classroom guidance unit theme:

As the year winds down, I always want to wrap up classroom guidance or small group lessons with a tangible take-away that students can reference during the summer. Whether you're terminating with small groups or classroom guidance, your students will have a blast with these end of the year counseling activities!

5. Compliment Spiral

One of my favorite end of the year counseling activities is a compliment spiral! In an open space, have students stand in a line, holding hands. One student on the end will begin to slowly twirl inward. As she does so, the students around her will shower her with genuine compliments and praise to celebrate her growth and achievement from the year. As she twirls inward, the student beside her will follow, creating a spiral. She will continue twirling inward until the whole group has formed a tight spiral, all the while being showered with compliments from her peers. Once everyone has rolled into the spiral, give a gentle squeeze or hug. Then, unwind the spiral and send that student to the end of the line. Complete this for each student and then reflect on what it was like to be literally and figuratively wrapped up in compliments!

If you don’t have the space for this, simply have your students sit in a circle with a piece of paper. At the top of the paper, each student will write his or her name. Students will pass their papers to the right, and each student will write a compliment to the person whose paper he has. Once students are done writing, pass again until all students have written a compliment to every member of the class or group. Give students time to read and reflect on what was written on their papers, and then share what was especially meaningful to them.

6. Reflection Game

With small groups or individual students, play a game to reflect on growth throughout the year. Talk about obstacles, lessons, friendships, and what students are looking forward to in the coming year.

As the year winds down, I always want to wrap up classroom guidance or small group lessons with a tangible take-away that students can reference during the summer. Whether you're terminating with small groups or classroom guidance, your students will have a blast with these end of the year counseling activities!

What end of the year counseling activities do you have planned for your small groups or classroom guidance units? Let me know in the comments!

As the year winds down, I always want to wrap up classroom guidance or small group lessons with a tangible take-away that students can reference during the summer. Whether you're terminating with small groups or classroom guidance, your students will have a blast with these end of the year counseling activities!
As the year winds down, I always want to wrap up classroom guidance or small group lessons with a tangible take-away that students can reference during the summer. Whether you're terminating with small groups or classroom guidance, your students will have a blast with these end of the year counseling activities!

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