By the time May rolls around everyone is looking forward to the warm sunshine and summer break. Getting through the last month of school was always a struggle in my classroom until I decided to solve that problem. End of the year theme days brought back the excitement for learning and not only motivated me but also my students.
Circus day is one of my favorite days to spend with my students during the last week of school. It is the perfect opportunity for all of us to act a little silly and have some fun. We also continue to learn and review.
When my students walk in on circus day, they know something fun is about to happen. I’m wearing my favorite clown bow tie and nose. I also have a large banner displayed to let them know what day it is.
We spend the first part of the morning in whole group. We begin by discussing our schema and what we know about the circus. We gather some questions we might have, and then we read the mini book I wrote about the circus. I also project my Digital Circus Day on the SMART board. This digital file has non-fiction book with real images of the circus. We read through this too. We finish by completing our chart by answering our question and adding new learning.
No circus is complete with clowns. So, we make our clown craft next. I have provided many different templates for hats, hair, mouths, and more. I copy them in many fun colors, and we go to town. The clowns always turn out unique and adorable. After our clown fun, we put on our clown noses that you can grab HERE. I love to get a quick class portrait with them wearing them. It makes a great souvenir of the day too.
By this time in the day, we are ready for a snack. Animal crackers are the perfect snack on this day. I usually ask parents to help donate snacks for my themed days. I am fortunate to teach in a district that has supportive families. We also do a little taste testing too. We try those old-school candy circus peanuts. I usually pick them up at the Dollar Tree each year. I personally am not a fan, but it is always fun to see who likes them and who feels the same way I do, GROSS!
When I can, I love to incorporate fiction and non-fiction stories. One of my favorite books to share on this day is If You Ever Want to Bring a Circus to the Library, DON’T by Elise Parsley. This story is funny and perfect for Circus Day. We review the main idea and details as well as fiction versus nonfiction.
Next, we go into centers. I gather my students up front and explain each circus center in detail. The more time you take doing this, the fewer questions you will have. I split the children up into groups and put the centers around the room with my center signs and we begin. They love working together with their friends and moving around the room. All the activities review skills from our first-grade standards. We usually spend 10 minutes at each station and then switch. During this time, I walk around the room, help when needed, and work on end of the year clean up. It frees up some time for me to get things done too.
Finally, we end the day with a fun STEM challenge. We try to see who can build the tallest bridge to hold 20 elephants (I use hippos). I give them 6 popsicle sticks, 20 hippos, and 10 small plastic cups. To say this challenge is their favorite may be an understatement. That is why I save the best for last.
Honestly, Circus Day could be more like Circus week with all the activities included. It is such a fun way to keep students engaged and excited about learning.
You can check out all the End of the Year Theme Days here.
You can even shop Circus Day right here at my store too.
Check out all my Circus Day goodies in my Amazon store. (As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)
And if you’re looking for a few more end of the year ideas check out my previous blog posts:
- “Digital End of the Year Activities for Distance Learning”
- “Themed Days: End of the Year Activities that will Engage and Motivate.”
Here is what buyers had to say about circus day!
“This was an amazing end of year resource to keep kids engaged and having fun with learning! There is WAY more than enough for one day so keep that in mind when prepping. It could be spread over 2-3 days in my opinion. Great resource!”
“The end of the school year is crazy. It’s so difficult to keep the students calm and engaged. This did the trick! Thank you so much. I was able to do different activities throughout the week and was able to make it a week long thing. Thank you! “
“This was so much fun!! My class loved it! We had a whole day of circus fun and this was a fun way to get in a little calm.”
“This was such a fun end of the year activity. We absolutely loved it. Lots of options. I was very glad I purchased it. I’ll use it again and again. Thank you!”