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End of the School Year Ideas for World History, Economics and US History

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As the end of the year approaches, it becomes difficult to contain and motivate the students to continue to work. This post will focus on some of my favorite ideas to use during May and June. 


In World History we are working on World War II and the Holocaust, as well as our last unit of the year, the Cold War. One of the tricks in the profession, is to start doing projects during this time of year. One of my favorite projects, is the WWII Scrapbook project. I have students work in groups of 2 or 3 people. It is a great project and the students do a great job with this. Another good idea is to being teaching less directly as the attention span of the students is far less than in the beginning of the year. World War II Project

During the end of WWII I really like to have the students read Night. Night is a fantastic book about the Holocaust and one families experience. I typically have the students read this in class to make sure they actually read the book. Following the reading of the book I have students watch the edited version of Schindler’s ListNight Book Bundle


With seniors they are almost at the finish line and they know it. They are not motivated as many of them have gotten into their universities and do not care or want to do any work. I really like my ECON students doing projects, reading books, and playing games. We start with the stock market simulation and the students will be working on their projects during the month of May. Each group of 3-4 students with different responsibilities. The project is great to end the year with while keeping the students working towards the end of the year. Stock Market Project

One of my favorite books to have the students read in class is Rich Dad Poor Dad. It does a fantastic job of introducing students into a different way of thinking about wealth. How do you create it? How do your decisions impact your life? How can you be financially free instead of constantly participating in the rat race.

After reading the book I really like to have the students play the Rich Dad Poor Dad game. I purchased 5 of them years ago and they do a fantastic job of reinforcing the principles of the book. I take 3 days to play the game and spend 20 minutes discussing the book and how what they learned can be apart of their real life.


For US History I like to show some films at the end of the year to drive home some of the important points and feelings of the era. My top 3 films I show are 42, Selma, and Forest Gump. Each of these films have their own emotional heart strings that get pulled. I think this strategy works well for unmotivated juniors. The 42 film I show right after teaching WWII. It is a great transitional piece that helps get back to the theme of Civil Rights. It is a great film and the students really enjoy it. The second film I show is Selma. Selma is a fantastic film to end the teaching of the 1960’s. The students love this film as it shows some of the major atrocities going on during the 1960’s and what people had to endure. Second Semester US History Movie Bundle

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