Toward the end of the year we celebrate the students’ accumulation of poetry, articles, and stories (all written into one composition book) by asking high school volunteers come to listen. In small groups, individuals get to read their choice of as many poems, stories, and articles they wish to share with their high school friend. As the older ones actively enjoy the younger ones work, the 3rd and 4th treasure their collection even more. Interaction across the grades like this is something I try to actively pursue and this is one that has worked well at the end of the year.
Another annual tradition is creating a lapbook. Throughout the year the students make multiple styles of individual minit books that represent significant parts of the year. These minit books contain things like the Bible Memory of the year, or history with pictures of people studied in history class, a reading project done on a chapter book, copies of hymns memorized, a collection of the visuals and puns used to memorize the states and capitals, a few photos from the year, etc. The final two weeks of school we assemble these minit books into one grand lapbook that they get to show to the first and second graders before proudly taking them home to treasure for years to come. It is really a nice way to review parts of the year.
Another tradition that feels like a nice closure is the final reading classes for the year. The final few days of reading class each student reads a picture book of their choice to the rest of the class practicing interpreting the story well orally — using both voice and body language. They love this and usually clamor for the chance to read theirs to the first and second graders too.