How to Make a School Year Memory Book

The end of the year is filled with more hustle and bustle than just about any other time of the year! During this busy time in the classroom, teachers are focused on making the most of those final days with students, celebrating milestones, and looking back on a year of learning. What better way to do all of these things than with a school year memory book? Come along to see my simplified and streamlined version of memory books that are easy and fun to make! 

Use these tips and tricks to make an incredible school year memory book for your students to treasure for years to come.

Why Make a School Year Memory Book? 

First things first, why might you want to include a school year memory book in your lesson plan this year? Well first off, it's just plain fun! We all know that this time of year can feel hectic, rushed, and a little bit chaotic. By taking some intentional time to create a school year memory book with students, you'll give yourself the opportunity to slow things down and enjoy the final days in the classroom before the break. As a busy teacher, I found this benefit to be invaluable! 

Making a school year memory book helps students remember all of the fun they had during your year together and gives them fond memories to look back on in the future.

Another great reason to create a school year memory book is that it allows both you and the students to reflect on what has happened over the year. Making friends, learning about new topics, and mastering new skills are some of the fun things your students will get to reflect on and consider as they create their books!

Aside from this though, a school year memory book provides a wonderful keepsake for families. Not only will children enjoy looking back at their school memory book, but their families will as well! Imagine your student's future children finding this treasure in a keepsake box 30-40 years from now. How much fun would that be?! 

Simple School Year Memory Books 

There are a LOT of options out there to help you preserve school memories. As a long-time first-grade teacher, I have tried them all! While many of them have their benefits and positive attributes, I have found that I prefer the simplified version I'm about to share with you. 

Making a school year memory book doesn't have to be complicated when you work with your students to create this fun keepsake.

Many of the memory books I tried in the past required me to collect pages and information over the course of the year. These versions are fun, but I always found myself forgetting to do this at one point or another. We'd start strong, diligently collecting work samples at the beginning. But eventually, things got busier, which meant I'd forget to collect pages for half of the year! This eventually became a stressor for me and led me to give up completely. 

That's why I LOVE these simple, School Year Memory Books. Not only can they be completed in a short period of time at the end of the year, but they are super customizable! Let's take a closer look at how to make these step-by-step! 

Getting Started with School Year Memory Books 

The memory books that we use are built like a lapbook. They use a large piece of construction paper that's been folded to open from the middle. Personally, I like to choose a bright and colorful paper for this project. To get started, students will fold their paper to build the "bones" of their lapbook. 

Get started with your school year memory book by working together with your students to make the book as a whole class.

Then, they work on coloring a cover page and attaching it to the front of their books. In my room, we complete this activity as a class. I like to have a fully completed sample memory book as my example to show the children what we're making. Once they see how cute and colorful these turn out, everyone is excited to participate! 

Fill the Lapbook with Memories 

Once you've got your lapbook constructed, it's time to start filling it with memories. In my room, I actually set aside a whole afternoon to work on this with students as the year winds down. This is the perfect Fun Friday activity to weave into your week and put a smile on everyone's faces. Students will LOVE reflecting on memories, writing about things that happened throughout the year, and building their memory book. If a whole session doesn't fit your schedule, you can also work on this in sections as well; make this activity work for your schedule! Here are some of the fun things we add to our lapbooks. 

1. All About Me & My School 

Inside the left-hand flap, we start off with a self-portrait. Each student loves to draw a picture of themselves and add their name below. I encourage students to use lots of colors and add any fun details to help preserve memories of how they dressed during the year. 

Below this, they create a lift-the-flap folding section that provides information about their school including age and grade, school name, favorite subject, and favorite lunch. These writing prompts are fun for students and often spark quite a bit of excitement as they fill them in. 

Use these pages in the school year memory book for students to record information about themselves, their school, and fun facts and memories.

2. Fun Facts and Memories 

Inside the center section of the lapbook are 5 more prompts with information about the year. One section has students draw and write about something they learned. Another area asks them what they would teach if they were the teacher. There are also two sections with space for information and pictures of their teacher. These are always fun to read through afterward! 

The section that's my favorite on this page is the spot where students can write about one thing they did that made them proud. I like to help students brainstorm an idea to write in this area with a quick, group discussion beforehand. I share some things that I am proud of and ask students to consider the hard things they accomplished throughout the year. This moment of reflection is such a wonderful way to help your students think about how far they've come! 

3. My Friends 

On the right-hand flap, students get to draw a few portraits of their friends and write their names. It can be hard to choose only a few friends for this exercise, so you might want to encourage students to pick a few from their table or groups if they're having trouble deciding. 

Use this page of the school year memory book to have students write all about their friends.

Afterward, they get to write and draw to show some of the fun things they did with friends throughout the year. If students are getting writer's block, remind them of special projects, field trips, and holidays to spark inspiration! 

4. Friend's Autographs 

Finally, the back of the lapbook has a full page of space for students to collect autographs. I like to have students glue this page on and allow it to dry. Then, during our end of the year party, they can collect signatures from buddies. This is one of my favorite parts of the school year memory book since it preserves those adorable elementary handwriting samples! 

Use the last page in the school year memory book for students to collect autographs from their friends.

School Year Memory Books Made Easy 

As you can see, this method is a really simple and fun way to reflect with students about their year in your classroom! I love that students can complete these independently and that they allow for so much personalization. 

School year memory books really are easy and they are fun for your students to work on during those last few days of the school year.

But the best part is that we can quickly and easily create a wonderful keepsake in just one lesson! No more spending weeks, or months collecting pieces and samples for a complicated memory book. This project is 100% child-created and fun for everyone! If you want to simplify your School Year Memory Books, you can check out the resource we use here. Happy Memory Making!

Make this school year memory book with your students and celebrate all they have accomplished.

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Not ready for end of the year resources yet? No worries! Pin this post on Pinterest to keep track of these ideas for simple School Year Memory Books!

Looking for a creative and fun way to end the school year and give your students something to cherish for years to come? Create this school year memory book with your students to help them record everything they loved about their school year. Parents and students will love these special keepsakes. #thechocolateteacher #schoolyearmemorybook #memorybookforelementarystudents #endofyearmemorybook

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