Questions and activity ideas for teaching the read aloud Last Day Blues to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade students at the end of the year

Last Day Blues – Questions and Activity Ideas for an End of Year Read Aloud

questions and activity ideas for your lesson plans for the read aloud Last Day Blues at the end of the year with 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade students

If you start the school year off with the read-aloud First Day Jitters, then you need to end the year with Julie Danneberg's Last Day Blues! At the beginning of the year, Mrs. Hartwell was nervous about teaching her class - but by the end of the year, she is sad to see her students go.

2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade students will get a kick out of this end of year book that provides plenty of opportunities for students to do their own reflecting on the year.

Summary of the Read Aloud Last Day Blues

As the end of the school year approaches, Mrs. Hartwell tells her class how much she will miss them. Her students worry about how sad she will be without them and brainstorm gift ideas that might cheer her up. Eventually, they come up with the perfect present - a poem and poster that explains how much they will miss Mrs. Hartwell. The class says their final good-byes, imagining how sad their teacher will be without them. Mrs. Hartwell, however, admits that she will miss her students, but is more excited about summer vacation!
Last Day Blues
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03/12/2024 08:06 pm GMT

Before, During, and After Reading Questions for Last Day Blues

Use these questions while reading Last Day Blues to your upper elementary students.  Or, check out these before, during, and after questions that you can use with ANY book.  

Before Reading Questions

  • What clues does the title give you about the main idea of the book?
  • Are you blue about the end of the school year? What will you miss most?
  • Based on the illustration, what do you know about the main character of the book?

During Reading Questions

  • How does Mrs. Hartwell's class remind you of our class?
  • Who is Daisy? How do you know?
  • What is the main problem in this story? What do you think the solution will be?

After Reading Questions

  • What did the class think about Mrs. Hartwell and her summer vacation? Were they correct?
  • What did you notice about how the author described the setting, specifically how time passed?
  • How did the students feel about Mrs. Hartwell? How do you know?

End of Year Activity Ideas to Use In Your Last Day Blues Lesson Plans

End of Year Letter to Next Year's Class

Mrs. Hartwell's students reflected on the school year in their poem to Mrs. Hartwell. Have your students similarly reflect on the school year - the things they enjoyed, what they learned, what they will miss. Then, let them complete a fun end of year writing activity - writing a letter giving tips to next year's class. This activity allows students to write with a meaningful purpose, knowing that their tips will help other students.

This End of Year Letter Writing Template is scaffolded to help your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade students write a letter that is thoughtful and will be useful to any future students who read it. It has students think about what they have learned and what future students should know about their teacher. Best of all, it's no prep!

This End of Year Letter makes a great no prep activity after reading Last Day Blues to your 2nd, 3rd or 4th grade students!

End of Year Reflection Questions

Help your upper elementary students reflect thoughtfully on the school year with some end of year reflection questions. For example:

  • What was your favorite book that you read this school year? What made this book so special?
  • What accomplishment from this school year are you most proud of? Explain.
  • What is one thing you wish your teacher had done differently this school year? Explain.

Reflection questions also make great end of year writing prompts - find more here!

Figurative Language Practice

The author of this book, Julie Danneberg, used both alliteration and onomatopoeia in the middle of the book - "And that's when an idea zipped, zapped, and zinged through Eddie's brain." Have your students use this as inspiration to write their own end of year sentences with figurative language.

For example:

  • Have them come up with onomatopoeia that describes a field trip you took during the school year.
  • Have them write an alliterative phrase that describes the school year.
  • Have them write a simile about something that happened during the school year.

Best Memory Opinion Writing

Students can reflect on the school year while also getting in some much-needed opinion writing practice! Have students think about their favorite memories in your classroom, and then write an short essay or paragraph explaining which memory was best and why. Use these opinion writing tips and paragraph frames to help your struggling students be successful with their writing.

You might also like some of these other end of year writing prompts.

Never Stress Over Sub Plans Again!


Make copies, find a fiction book, and you'll be ready for any emergency that comes your way!

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