10 End of the Year Award Ideas for Students

If you are in search of some end of the year awards that go beyond the award of “Most Improved” or “Highest Grade,” read on to check out some cool end of the year award ideas that will help highlight hard work but the special individual you’re honoring as well!

end of the year award ideas

Before you know it, you’ll have another year under your belt. As the year ends, it’s important to look back and ponder how your students have grown from the start of the year. While each student is unique and makes progress in their own way and on their own time, everyone in your classroom shines in a one-of-a-kind way and deserves a bit of recognition.

If you are in search of some end of the year awards that go beyond the award of “Most Improved” or “Highest Grade,” read on to check out some cool end of the year award ideas that will help highlight hard work but the special individual you’re honoring as well!

End of the Year Award Ideas

Here are ten inspired end of the year awards you may wish to give out to some of your own students!

1. The Bookworm Award

A student who is an avid reader, who exceeds reading requirements or expectations, or who would rather be reading during recess than running around on the playground would be the perfect recipient for the bookworm award!

2. Van Gogh Award

A must-have award for an amazing artist in your class, the Van Gogh award will make natural artists feel happy and proud of their talents.

3. Homework Hero

This award is a must for the student(s) who always have their homework completed!

4. STEM Specialist

A wonderful way to recognize the problem solver in your classroom, this award is perfect for hands-on students who have showcased their talents in the STEM field throughout the year.

5. Peanut Butter and Jelly Award

This funny award is given to the two students in your classroom who are best friends. Because they go together like peanut butter and jelly, a good friend can be hard to come by, so celebrate their special, noticeable relationship!

Related Resource: Student Awards and Certificates Classroom Kit

6. Tech Pro

Whether they are able to design their own slideshow, fix any computer issues, or simply know technology better than anyone else in the classroom, the tech pro award is a genius way to recognize excellence in this area.

7. Super Scientist

Give this award to a student who really stood out in science class during demonstrations, experiments, labs, and activities. This student is eager, jumps right into lab days, and is helpful to all learners they were assigned to work with. They had creative ideas and interesting perspectives, which they shared when discussing the outcomes of experiments.

8. Right-Hand Man

An award that can go to a lady or gentleman, this student was always willing and able to lend a helping hand to you or a classmate. They are the students who jumped at the chance to run an errand, clean up a mess, assist a new student, and always ask if they could help anyone in any way!

9. Brightest Smile

Did you have a student who always entered the classroom with a smile on their face (even on a Monday)? The brightest smile award is for that little ray of sunshine in your room that seemed to make lemonade from lemons and was a positive role model for all students.

10. Washington Award

Perfect for the student who stood out in all areas and was an all-around leader and friend to all, the Washington Award makes sense to give them. Named after George Washington, this student showed strong ability to take initiative, bring others together to solve problems and complete tasks, and was brave and took risks in discussions and classwork! This can and should be the most prestigious award handed out.

Related Activity: A Letter To Next Year's Students

What Are Year of End Awards?

At the end of the school year, an awards ceremony is often scheduled so all students can be recognized for their hard work and for going the extra mile in some way. Whether it be an award for sportsmanship, an excellent team player, or the class clown, end-of-year awards celebrate all kinds of learners in a fun way. Whether your students are in elementary or high school, an award makes every student feel included, seen and heard.

Many teachers type up a template or write on a special printable certificate with the award’s title and a summary of why that student earned that specific classroom award. Sometimes, teachers give some goodies with it or take a picture of the student receiving the award that can be shared with the child’s family.

What Are Some Fun Awards for Students?

If you’re looking for fun awards for students, anything goes! It really depends on each student's personality, talents, quirks, and reflecting back to anything funny that has happened throughout the year.

For example, if a student is accident prone and clumsy, always dropping their supplies or pencil, they may earn the “Butterfingers Award,” complete with receiving a tasty Butterfinger candy bar. If a student is often observed trying to help two friends or classmates who argue sort it out, they could earn “The Peacemaker” award.

When it comes to creating fun awards for the end-of-year awards ceremony, think long and hard about some of the different experiences each student had that would stand out among everyone. Fun awards are all about shared experiences. It’s also fun to relive each situation as you explain why an individual student earned their fun award.

What Are Some Class Awards?

Teachers sometimes opt to avoid individual awards for students and create a special class award that applies to all learners in general. The class award tends to be different year after year and is celebrated by having an end-of-the-year class party or picnic. Consider creating a bulletin board or memory book as the final weeks of school approach to show your class what previous classes have earned in reward to award certificates and titles.

In conclusion, giving students individual or group award titles is a nice way to wrap up the school year and show students you’ve really got to know them and recognize their achievements - no matter how big or small. Learners of all ages like to be recognized, and handing out awards on the last day of school provides closure and is a great way to reminisce about the achievements of all and the good times we had with friends and faculty. Consider using these ten awards for your own class to go beyond generic awards and hand out something special.

Looking for more great ideas?

Head over to our Awards and Certificates Hub where you'll find a trove of printable academic awards for students and recognition certificates to celebrate their effort, achievement, and progress!

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About the author

Heather Aulisio


About Heather

Heather Aulisio (B.S., M.S. Ed.) is a 5th grade math and science teacher. She has been teaching in a public school setting for 19 years. Heather has previously taught third… Read more

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