Sixth Grade End-of-Year Activities
Sixth Grade End-of-Year Activities by Mrs. Kayla Paxson
The end of the year always seems to fly right by and this year was no exception. The sixth grade students were quite busy finishing off the year finalizing unit activities and projects. Here were some of our favorites:
Science Marble Roller Coasters - Students worked in groups to engineer a “roller coaster” for two separate marbles of different weights using pre-formed pipe insulation (that has a “track” for the marbles to roll through). Students had to constantly adapt to different heights, weights, accelerations, decelerations, etc. The challenge was to create as many loops, turns, or corkscrews that they could without the marbles jumping off the track and injuring “riders.” The students were able to get very creative in what classroom materials they used for starting points and supports for their tracks.
Science Disc Golf - Students loved getting an opportunity to spend a beautiful spring afternoon outside comparing the flight distances/patterns of various discs in disc golf. The class then averaged how many attempts it took us to complete each goal. Students also debated which discs seemed to work best for them, as well as thought about advantages and disadvantages they would give as advice to someone who might want help in making decisions while playing.
The Giver Paintings - The students spent the 4th nine weeks diving into The Giver by Lois Lowry as a novel study. While I won’t tell you much about the book (no spoilers here!), the students completed an extension art project that focused on the themes of the novel. These themes explored personal choice, individual freedoms, responsibility to community, citizenship, courage, and diversity. So, while each student was required to paint the same kind of forest background, they were allowed to choose the color of their one individual focus tree. While the students quickly discovered how much work and patience it takes to actually paint with acrylic paints, each student eventually was able to blend their trees into amazing creations of art following the instructions of a YouTube tutorial by Angela Anderson.
“The Masked Sixth Grader” Projects - As everyone is aware, we started the school year off with the requirement of wearing masks during class. Based off of the show “The Masked Singer,” the sixth graders created their own versions of “The Masked Sixth Grader.” They were supposed to follow only two basic criteria. First, they must wear a mask/disguise their face. Second, they were to provide clues as to who they were without saying their name. The clues could be verbal or hidden in the background, on their clothes, etc.
Ancient Greece Myths- As we studied Ancient Greek mythology, the students wrote their own myths that used the greek gods/goddesses, as well as explained an aspect of nature (how it came to be, why it’s like that, how were the gods/goddesses involved, etc.) While I don’t have all of the sixth graders’ compositions to share, here is an example crafted by Ruth Carter’s clever imagination called The Thief’s Thumbprint to explain why everyone has different thumbprints (Autolycus means “thief,” while Eirenaios means “peace”):
One day in Greece there was a big market. A thief named Autolycus went to the market with his identical twin brother named Eirenaios. Autolycus had a plan to steal all the goods and then blame it on his brother, little did he know Eirenaios already knew his plan.
So Eirenaios prayed to Athena goddesses of wisdom and crafts to help him. Athena took pity on him and got an idea to make their thumbprints different. She went to the market disguised as a young girl and knocked over a jar of ink onto the table that had some goods on it that she knew Autolycus would try to steal.
Autolycus went to steal the goods, not noticing all the spilled ink. As he began to take the goods his thumbprints began to show up on them. He knew people saw him so he ran away to get his brother and put on a disguise.
He got Eirenaios and took him to where he hid the goods. There were guards there ready to catch the thief, so Autolycus said it was Eirenaios who did it, but the guards did not believe him because his thumbprint didn't match the ones on the goods. They then looked at Autolycus' thumbprint and saw that they matched the ones on the goods, so they took him to prison.
Ancient Rome Floor Mosaics - For Teacher Appreciation Week, the students participated in an extension art project that coordinated with their Ancient Rome social studies unit. Roman floor mosaics were created by the students to give to the high school teachers. Students spent time considering what they knew about the teachers’ interests (football, track, gardening, etc.), areas of instruction (photography, science, math, geography, music), or on random color schemes. Then, they cut up colored construction paper into small tiles of various shapes/sizes and decided on a layout to glue them down. They then put them outside each teacher’s door on the floor.
You can view pictures/videos of the student projects here: