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Wrapping up the year, preparing for finals πŸŽπŸ“

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Hey there, my fellow teachers! As the semester wraps up, it’s time to put on our thinking caps and come up with some final exam ideas. If you’re like me, you’re looking to mix it up. After giving traditional unit tests for much of the semester, I like to mix things up with a less traditional final. In this blog post, we’ll explore six different ideas that will not only test your students’ knowledge but also have them a little more excited when it comes to finals. Let’s get this brainstorm party started!

#1: Create a “teaching brochure”

Give students various topics, or they can all have the same topic, and have them create a brochure. Below is an example that my psychology students did where they were given a website to research information about teenagers that fit into four main categories of information. From there, they took notes that they could then use to create their own brochure. Click the image below to see this exact project.

#2: Design a Board Game

Task students with creating a board game that incorporates concepts and themes from a unit or what they learned throughout the semester. It can be a fun and interactive way for them to demonstrate their understanding while also challenging their classmates to play and learn. (When I taught middle school, my students made one for the Scientific Revolution, and it was their absolute favorite! It was based on Candy Land but with a twist. In order for them to move forward, they had to answer a question correctly from the unit.)

#3: Film a Documentary

Let students unleash their inner Spielberg by creating a documentary film about a historical event or psychological concept. They can showcase their research, interviews, and storytelling skills while presenting their knowledge in a captivating visual format. Just give them the parameters and a rubric for how you’ll be grading it, and let your not-so-camera-shy students loose.

#4: Create a Museum Exhibit

Transform your classroom into a museum and have students curate an exhibit showcasing important artifacts, artworks, or historical documents related to the course. They can write informative labels and present their exhibits to the class. Alternatively, you could have them do a one-page write-up explaining their exhibit. I like to include writing as much as I can, so this is a great way to allow them to not only be creative but also reflect on their learning in writing!

#5: Create a Podcast

Have students research and prepare a podcast episode on a topic covered throughout the semester. They can dive deep into the subject matter, interview experts, and showcase their knowledge in an engaging audio format.

#6: Create trading cards that tie to a specific unit

I’ve done this before with Famous Women in American History. Students were able to choose their topics and record information about each person and how they impacted history with their own “baseball card.”

These alternative final exam ideas will not only test your students’ knowledge but also tap into their creativity, critical thinking, and presentation skills. So, go ahead and shake things up to end the semester!

Hope you have a great last few weeks of 2023!

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