Ellen DeGeneres often reminds her audience, “Be kind to one another.” That is a daily lesson we should all take to heart. We all know how good a compliment given or received makes us feel. From a teaching viewpoint, one possible way to wrap-up the school year is to have students exchange positive comments. This activity is often referred to as giving each other “warm fuzzies” or offering “positive affirmations.” Obviously, it is fitting for classes that have achieved a positive rapport amongst classmates and with the teacher over the course of the year.
As an English teacher, I suggest having students write their comments down on this Positively Rewarding Sheet that is partially pictured below. While verbal compliments could also take place, the sheet provides a means of taking the list out the door.
Desks should be arranged in a circle. I also highly encourage the teacher to take a seat and participate in the activity rather than try to get work done at their desk. It’s a great model for the students and will help them take the activity more seriously.
As with any activity, lay ground rules appropriate for your students, such as:
- No passing.
- Write at least a one word positive description.
- Try to vary compliments. Nobody wants to be called “nice” 10 times!
- Be specific. (providing a few examples always helps)
A few students might grumble about participating, but they are generally the ones most in need to of giving and receiving compliments. I know I still have the sheets my students filled out about me!
What sorts of activities have you used to end the school year on a high note?
Please feel free to re-produce the downloadable worksheet and change as you see fit.