20 ways Google tools can make the end of the year ROCK

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G Suite | Friday, May 10, 2024

20 ways Google tools can make the end of the year ROCK

The end of the year is unique. Google tools can help! Here are 20 ways to use them in class.

When the end of the school year is in sight, it's a time of excitement coupled with the importance of finishing the year STRONG.

The end of the year is a time unlike any other.

  • State tests are behind us.
  • Many students are working on big projects or papers.
  • It can be a great time of reflection on how far students have come.
  • It's review time!

Thankfully, some of the tried and true Google tools -- and some that we don't use that often -- can help us make the most of the end of the school year.

Here are 20 ways Google can make those last weeks of school ROCK

1. Create a PDF ebook in Google Slides.

Ebooks are super visual. They can include clickable links, which makes them more interactive than a static research paper. Plus, when designed well, students are more likely to want to share what they've created with others -- creating an extra layer of motivation!

Making a PDF ebook in Google Slides is super easy and can be a fun spin to put on an end-of-the-year project.

Get our PDF ebook on How to create a PDF ebook or read the post.

Want students to use images in those ebooks? Here's how to find them for free, ethically and responsibly.

2. Have students create a website to showcase their work.

When students create something for class, the audience for their work is only ONE if the teacher is the only one seeing it! Creating a website in Google Sites is an EASY way to give student work a wider reach. By putting work online students can share their work with each other, their families or even the larger community or world!

Looking for an easy way to get your students started using Google Sites? Google's Applied Digital Skills curriculum provides tons of FREE instructional videos teach students to collaborate using digital skills. 

3. Drop detailed "INFO pins" on a map with MyMaps.

Is what your students are learning geography-based? If they're studying locations, history, even novels set in a real location, Google MyMaps can help! They're custom maps where students can drop pins on locations that others can see. But they're not just pins ... they're "INFO pins"! (I just made that name up ...) On each pin, they can add a title, a description, photos and even clickable links. Instead of a traditional project or paper, let students share their learning with you geographically -- with a MyMap!

4. Create visually-rich, brain-friendly infographics in Google Drawings.

Infographics blend the best of images and text. The images help ideas stick, and the short snippets of text tell us the basics we need to know. By keeping information short, students practice writing with brevity. Plus, they're fun -- AND fun to share! Add icons from The Noun Project (thenounproject.com) to make them look really slick.

  • Need to know how to make an infographic with Google Drawings? Check out this post! OR, watch the tutorial video below!
  • Watch an infographic being created in Google Drawings -- start to finish -- in 90 seconds in this video!
  • Grab the The Great Big Icon Board template to get your students started.

5. Experiment with AI!

Since 2009, Google has been showcasing  showcasing experiments that leverage Chrome, Android, AI, and AR to break new ground. Although the original Experiments with Google site is now an archive, you can see the newest creations in Google Labs

Check out some of our favorites, new and old!

Quick, Draw! -- In this game, you're given an object/idea to draw and Google's artificial intelligence tries to guess what you're drawing. It's a fun introduction to AI for students.

AI Duet -- A piano that responds to you." Google's artificial intelligence uses tons of data to guess what it should play in response to what you play.

Say what you see! -- Learn the art of the prompt and improve your image-reading skills by looking at Google AI-generated images and describing what you see, in this experiment created by artist Jack Wild.

Instrument Playground -- Generate, play and compose music inspired by instruments across the globe with the help of Google AI.

Musical Canvas -- This experiment from Google Arts and Culture lets you generate soundtracks to your drawings with the help of Google AI.

6. Give students something to do with their free time.

At the end of the year, there are ALWAYS students who finish something before everyone else -- a project, a test, etc. Having something academic for them to do keeps the learning going. Plus, it lets them try something they normally don't get to do in class! Here are some Googley options for them ...

Google Trends -- Learn what other people are search for all over the world.

Google Earth Time Lapse -- This shows what the world looks like as it changes over 20+ years. Watch the time lapse in motion. See the whole earth at once or zoom into your hometown!

GeoGuessr -- Use context clues to guess where you've been dropped in Google Maps. The closer the guess, the more points you earn!

7. Create stop-motion animation with Google Slides.

I'm such a sucker for this one and LOVE to suggest it any opportunity I get! Anything that students can envision in their minds IN MOTION, Google Slides will let them create in animation! Google Slides is your free animation creation tool. When students have created something great, have them use a screen recorder like Screencastify to capture it in video.

Learning in motion: EASY stop-motion animation with Google Slides

8. Review key concepts with Flippity and Google Sheets.

The end of the year is high time for practicing with vocabulary and important concepts. Flippity works with Google Sheets and makes it easy to turn a list of terms into an engaging, practical way to study. In addition to flashcards, create bingo games, Memory games, MadLibs, quiz shows and more!

9. Make Google Slides engaging with Pear Deck.

Going back over all that material from the previous year can be a drag. Make those review sessions more interactive with slides from Pear Deck. Pear Deck lets you ask questions on your slides that students can answer on their devices. Pear Deck's free version lets you do a LOT, and your students will love it.  Install the Pear Deck add-on for Google Slides from the Chrome Web Store -- for free!

Looking for ways to use Pear Deck? Here are 20 ways to use Pear Deck to engage students.

Have students create flash cards for review with Pear Deck's FUN Flashcard Factory! Check out the video tutorial!

10. Pass around student-created Google Forms quizzes.

Show your students how to create their own Google Form and have them create one for their classmates. It’s a fun way for students to show what they know and creating the incorrect and correct answers levels it up. Who knows, they might even stump you!

This lesson from Google Applied Digital Skills teaches students how to create quizzes in Google forms to test themselves and their classmates.

As with all of the Applied Digital Skills activities, this lesson comes with a lesson plan, video tutorials, sample rubric and certificate of completion.

Looking for more ways to use Google Forms? Here are 25 practical ways to use Forms.

11.  Create a yearbook in Google Slides. 

In this guest post by Jennifer Scott discover how savvy educators are harnessing Google Slides and local printers to craft stunning, budget-friendly school yearbooks at SlidesYearbook.com. It’s a game-changer, empowering students to become graphic designers of their own memories, all while keeping costs down to as little as $4 per copy!

12.  Combine Kahoot + Google Classroom to review from anywhere. 

Kids young and old LOVE Kahoot. It’s a fun and engaging way to review, preview, to take a mid unit/lesson check for understanding, or just for a bit of fun! 

How to assign a Kahoot! challenge with Google Classroom  

  1. Choose a Kahoot! game. Click "Play".
  2. Select "Assign" as the way to play.
  3. Customize the timer, personalized learning, randomize, friendly nickname, etc.
  4.  Assign the Kahoot! game to Google Classroom (Assignment gives a grade.)
  5.  Monitor student progress in Reports.

Learn more: How to use Kahoot! with Google Classroom and Google Meet

13.  Give students a say in learning with Google docs choice boards 

Choice boards or explore boards are an excellent way to keep the engagement up at the end of the school year. Give students a choice in how they want to learn something, choices in what they want to learn about, and how they want to show what they have learned.

Choice boards are interactive tools that offer students a selection of activities or resources to choose from based on their interests or learning needs. They provide a structured way for students to engage in independent learning during free time or as extension activities. Check out our interactive, free-time choice board or view the Wakelet collection below to see an example.

In your classroom, you can use choice boards to create opportunities for students to learn about topics they choose, cater to diverse learning styles, and differentiate instruction.

Read our post Personalize learning with Explore Boards for lots of examples and a template to create your own.

We have created an entire Wakelet collection of resources for you. You can find our Choice Boards/Explore Boards curated collection here or check it out below. 

14.  Create interactive self-checking Google slides. 

Using the linking tool to individually link slides to one another opens up a whole world of possibilities. Students can create their own “quizzes” by linking a question slide to possible answers. 

Get more ideas here: Slides Superpowers: Engaging slide-to-slide linking activities.

Another fun idea is for students to create their own “app with Google Slides”. Check out “Create your own “My School App” in Google Slides for mobile devices” by Micah Shippee.

15.  Digital badges with Google Drawings. 

Students (and adults) enjoy getting badges for their accomplishments. An easy way to create them is through Google Drawing. You can create them for your students or challenge them to create their own! 

In this Design and Share a Digital Badge from Google Applied Digital Skills students will recognize a classmate’s words and actions by creating a digital badge in Google Drawings for a scrapbook in Google Slides.

As with all of the Applied Digital Skills activities, this lesson comes with a lesson plan, video tutorials, sample rubric and certificate of completion.

Need to get started right away? Make a copy of our new badge template to give your students a jump start. Template includes icons and directions for changing the color and adding more text.

16.  Google Meet scavenger hunt. 

Scavenger hunts are a fun and they can be done virtually (and LIVE) through Google Meet! 

  • See lots of ideas and inspiration for scavenger hunts shared on Twitter by clicking here.
  • Scavenger hunt presentation from Claire Weise, a 6th grade Language Arts teacher at Evan’s school.  The goal of this scavenger hunt is to get students to share items they picked from their homes that fit the clues given in the slides. A scavenger hunt via Google Meet allowed for interactions to be structured and students engaged in the reciprocal speaking and listening protocols, too.
  • Tips from Claire: 
    • Rather than telling students they had to find a certain, particular item, let them chose to use words and phrases that let the students interpret and get a little creative with the items they brought back to share. 
    • Ask for a student volunteer to be the “judge;” a scavenger hunt always becomes a little more interesting with a competitive edge. 
    • After each of the students and teachers return to their screens with their six items, give everyone a turn to talk and explain. 
  • Need help getting started with Google Meet? Visit this post.

17.  Digital escape rooms with Google Sites, Drawings, Slides, Docs and more. 

Digital escape rooms bring the fun of a physical escape room to your students anywhere through their devices. Google tools make it easy to create your own escape room or have students create their own!

Visit our Digital Escape Rooms page for links to all of our escape room resources.

Looking for more virtual escape rooms? Visit VirtualEscapeRooms.org created by Karly Moura. There you'll find tons of ready-to-use escape games for all ages, themes and subjects.

Check out: Summer Break OUT, Summer Camp Chaos and Epic Olympics: Summer Games for end of year fun.

An image of 10 different vaults each with a different theme such as holidays, summer, video games and back to school along with icons for each showcasing which escape rooms are inside which theme at virtualescaperooms.org.

18.  Choose your own adventure stories with Google Forms or Slides. 

By using branching (the “go to section based on answer” choice in the three-dots menu in a multiple-choice question), you can create fun Choose Your Own Adventure Story-type activities. Create them for your students or let students create their own! Here’s a math example from Mandi Tolen’s class.

Looking for more guidance on using this activity with your class?

Check out Choice stories in Google Slides: How to + ideas for class and Learning math through story: Examples from one teacher’s classroom by Mandi Tolen.

Example CYOA adventure story created with Google Forms

Write an If-Then Adventure Story with Google Applied Digital Skills. Students will collaborate with classmates to create an interactive story using Google Slides.

As with all of the Applied Digital Skills activities, this lesson comes with a lesson plan, video tutorials, sample rubric and certificate of completion.

19.  Play a review game with Google Slides. 

Jeopardy, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Family Feud, or classic board games all provide engaging ideas for creating fun review  games for the end of the year. And you certainly don’t have to make them yourself! Tons of templates have been created by educators that are easy to copy and edit for your class!

Teacher Life Family Feud PPT.pptx

20.  Take a virtual field trip with Google Arts and Culture.

Google Expeditions are part of Google Arts and Culture and there are tons to choose from. You can explore by subject or location, search for answers, explore art or architecture from around the world and more. The best part? You can now take an expedition using ANY device! 

Learn more with this How to use Expeditions on Google Arts and Culture guide.

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  • Jack Milgram says:

    Wow, the idea with the sites and a yearbook is great! I usually limited myself to blog posts, but now I can organize a perfect group project. Thanks!

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