And that my friend is what we call closure…

As we come to the end of the year, our classes are also about to finish. Hence, the time for us teachers to start planning the end of the semester has come. We end up getting so busy organizing reviews, writing tests, testing and assessing students, writing reports and/or report cards, providing students with feedback on their work we sometimes forget to “give students opportunities to reflect on what they have learnt and experienced in the lesson/term/year” (Emma Gore-Lloyd, 2014).

I first heard about the different phases of a term suggested by Jill Hadfield in her book “Classroom Dynamics” (1992) while attending a workshop about games run by Adriana Picoral Scheidegger, who was my workmate back then. The three phases Jill Hadfield proposes are ‘forming the group’, ‘maintaining the group’, and ‘ending the group experience’. In Adriana’s workshop, we were supposed to come up with different games and activities we could use in these three phases. I remember we mentioned ice-breakers for ‘forming the group’, information gap activities in which students exchange personal information for ‘maintaining the group’, and thank you cards for ‘ending the group experience’.

I then realized I had always given a lot of thought to selecting exciting ice-breakers, thought-provoking conversation starters, stimulating warmers, and enthralling wrap-ups I could use in class. I had never before planned any game or activity that would make students get a sense of completion, though. That was when I started searching for this kind of activity. And I have come across loads of really meaningful and enjoyable end-of-term activities and games ever since.

Thus, I’m going to share with you two of my favorite end-of-term activities…

The first one is called ‘Thanks a million!’ and I got to know it when I was Adriana Feder’s student (she was my teacher in a Short Story discussion group). However, I’m not sure she was the one who created it. The idea is thanking somebody for something. Have a look at the picture below and you’ll get the idea.

thanks a million


The other one is called ‘What do you know about me?’ (if I’m not mistaken, Alessandra Camaratta, who was my coordinator at Yázigi Viamão, used this activity in one of our meetings. Again, I’m not sure she was the one who created it) . Students are supposed to write something about their classmates in a sheet of paper. First, each student gets a sheet of paper and writes his/her name at the top. Then, students exchange these sheets of paper and they have to write something they can remember about their classmates on their classmates’ sheets of paper. At the end, each students gets his/her sheet of paper back and can keep it as a mememto. Have a look at the picture below and you’ll be able to grasp how it works.

This is what people could remember about me the first time I did this activity! I like it so much I've kept it ever since!

This is what people could remember about me the first time I did this activity! I like it so much I’ve kept it ever since!

BTW, do you have a special activity you use at the end of the semester with your students? Would you be willing to share it with us?



Michele Schwertner is a freelance teacher, teacher trainer, and e-moderator. She has been teaching English for over 20 years and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Educational Technologies at UFSM (Universidade Federal de Santa Maria). Her research and teaching interests lie in teacher development, distance education, CALL, digital learning/teaching materials and resources, e-moderating, multimodalities and multiliteracies.

  • Emma Gore-Lloyd
    Posted at 21:09h, 03 dezembro Responder

    Wow Michele, I’ve never been quoted before! I feel special! I love that Hadfield book too. We used the activity Talking Wall with our students at the end of our delta module 2. I think they enjoyed the opportunity to think back over the course. It certainly provided some laughs!

  • Michele Schwertner
    Michele Schwertner
    Posted at 21:36h, 03 dezembro Responder

    Dear Emma, I just loved your post so much I had to quote you!
    Thanks a lot for sharing your experience with me/us!

  • Joanna Malefaki
    Posted at 13:24h, 04 dezembro Responder

    Hi Michele,
    Great post! I loved all the ideas you mentioned and I am going to try them out with my students! Thanks for sharing : )

  • Michele Schwertner
    Michele Schwertner
    Posted at 23:29h, 04 dezembro Responder

    Thanks a lot, Joanna! Hope you and your students enjoy them!
    BTW, can you please let me know how they go? I would love to know all about it!

  • Zoë Tysoe
    Posted at 11:23h, 21 janeiro Responder

    Lovely ideas – we should definitely use something like this for our online course.

  • Michele Schwertner
    Michele Schwertner
    Posted at 00:52h, 27 janeiro Responder

    Dear Zoe,
    I enjoy these activities so much I’ve used them for ages! I do hope we can adapt them to Pro-ELT!

Post A Comment