Kindergarten is such fun, both for teachers and for students. Everything is bright, colorful and new, and no one takes themselves too seriously. Anything can be a game if you do it right, and there is nothing that can’t be improved with a couple of markers and a glue stick. And there’s so much to learn!
And of course, the lessons we learn in kindergarten are among the most important building blocks of all—like how to share, when to say sorry and when to ask for help. These are the lessons we, as teachers, hope have left the most lasting impressions. One way to help ensure these lessons stay with them for good is to ask your students to reflect on them—and what better way to do so than with a fun, end-of-the-year, “Things I Learned in Kindergarten” writing activity?
Activity #1: “What was your favorite classroom activity we did this year?”
This writing activity asks your students to remember and write about something they learned from you this year that really sparked their interest and their imaginations. While your students will no doubt enjoy recalling and describing their happy memory, this activity will actually teach you something as well! By giving you insight into which lesson plans your students found the most memorable and engaging, this activity can help you create even more exciting ones in the future
Activity #2: “Write about a time you learned something from your friends in this class.”
Not every lesson is taught by the teacher. This writing activity asks your students to consider what other things they might have learned this year from a less obvious source—their school friends. Perhaps Jacob learned that it’s more fun to give than to get, or maybe Sophie discovered that it’s important to use your words when trying to express emotions to others. It’s easy to overlook these small moments when thinking back over the course of a whole year’s worth of lessons learned, but this activity will help your students remember better—both the moment and the lesson.
Activity #3: “List the most important things you learned in kindergarten this year.”
There are so many things we learn in kindergarten, it can be hard to remember them all. For this writing prompt, your students don’t need to remember everything—but the longer their list, the better! This activity is both a memory exercise as well as a chance to practice timed writing. The idea is to think of as many things as possible in a short amount of time. Be sure to ask for volunteers to share some of their items with the class once time is up!
Lessons Learned in Kindergarten
As Robert Fulghum once wrote, “Most of what I really need / To know about how to live / And what to do and how to be / I learned in kindergarten.” As teachers, it’s up to us to help our students learn those lessons for themselves—lessons which they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Writing to reflect on these discoveries helps cement them in your students’ hearts and minds. Publishing their work crystallizes the lesson further, showing your students not only that what they’ve learned is important, but that their ideas and hard work are important as well—and that just might be the most important lesson of all.