The Scrooge in me says 'Make 'em work, we don't have time for frivolity!', but sometimes taking a break from the syllabus can be worthwhile. I've collected just a few ideas for those last lessons of term where half the class is out on trips/at rehearsals/mysteriously 'ill'...
My next go-to activity, especially if I want to hype students up, is Quizlet Live. I haven't known a student not enjoy it and teams get very competitive, plus they are practising their definitions so that keeps me happy. Here's Quizlet's video explaining how it works. As a teacher, you'll need a (free) account but students just need a device each. (If you have a few kids without a device, it's not the end of the world, just get them to join a group). If you are new to Quizlet, here are some vocab sets you might want to add to your collection to get you started:
You can easily copy sets wholesale and add or delete terms according to where you are in the course/your exam board, just click customise (looks like 2 rectangles on top of one another).
Tutor2U Quizzes are always a hit too, especially if prizes of Quality Street are involved. Here's this week's. Tutor2U also come up trumps with interactive games such as this one on average wages and this macro-themed horse race. This one looks at revenue streams for football clubs and this one looks at Entrepreneurs. My favourite is probably this on on Economic Indicators, but I like that all of these can be used wherever students are in their course.
Economics films and documentaries deserve a whole post to themselves, but I'll just go with the most obvious option for now: The Big Short. It's popular with the students and gives a nice intro to some of the financial stuff, plus its on Netflix. If you haven't seen it, it's a great film but a warning: it's a bit uncomfortable if Governors walk in half way through (as I learned from experience). Common Sense Media says...
'There's some raucous drinking, plenty of strong language (mainly "f--k" and "s--t"), and glimpses of topless strippers/exotic dancers in this finance-themed dramedy, which is best suited for adults and older teens.'
I do think it's easy to miss important details in the film because there are multiple story lines, so I think it's worth priming students with a quick 'who's who' to start with. I have used this powerpoint in the past: it's shamelessly copy and pasted from Wikipedia and I'm sure there's better out there, but its a place to start for now. This worksheet is designed to be used during the film to keep track of the events and vocab, and also for students to tally the number of times anyone says something along the lines of 'But the Housing Market is stable!'. This one by Clare Foster is ideal for use after the film for students to make links between what they've just seen and their knowledge of economic theory. I'd also be tempted to set this reading* so they understand where the film took artistic license vs what actually happened.
Not Economicsy, but for tutor time etc you might want to check out The Pirate Game. This takes about an hour to complete but you can stop at any time, and was a firm favourite in my school!
So those are mine, but I'd love to hear your favourite end-of-term activities!
*I've noticed I link to The Guardian a lot, I think it's probably because they don't have a paywall so I come across more of their content when searching...