Pass the Plate: A Heartwarming End-of-Year Activity for Every Grade

Pass the Plate: A Heartwarming End-of-Year Activity for Every Grade

As the school year draws to a close, it's time to reflect on the memories made, the friendships formed, and the growth experienced. One special activity that encapsulates all of these elements is "Pass the Plate," a heartwarming tradition that brings students together to celebrate their journey.

This idea is lives on 15 years later!!!

When I was in Mrs. Roy's High School Psychology class, we did this activity and I still have my original plate. I cherish it because of the way Mrs. Roy presented the activity that we need to take a moment to be thoughtful towards our classmates, that this can brighten someone's day because if you're feeling down, they can use the plate as a reminder of how others see you and hopefully it will lift their spirits.

Disclaimer: I go over what it means to give “plate-worthy” notes, so I give them a quote bank to pull from if they get stuck. But don’t you dare write H.A.G.S. They will use it.

Materials Needed:

  • Colored markers
  • Paper plate for each student

How it Works:

  1. Gather in a Circle: The entire class gathers in a circle, creating a sense of unity and togetherness.
  2. Write Your Name: Each student starts by writing their name in the center of their paper plate. This personalizes the activity and creates a keepsake for them to cherish.
  3. Pass the Plate: The plates are passed around the circle, with each student writing something positive or meaningful on the plate of the person to their left.
  4. Encouraging Words: Students can write compliments, memories, or words of encouragement to uplift their classmates. Whether it's a funny inside joke, a heartfelt thank you, or a wish for the future, the messages add a personal touch to each plate.
  5. Keep Passing: The plates continue to circulate until each one is filled with messages from every member of the class.
  6. Reflection: Once all the plates have been passed and written on, take a moment for reflection. Encourage students to share how they feel about the activity and what it meant to them.
  7. Take Home Your Plate: Each student gets to take home their plate filled with kind words and memories from their classmates. It serves as a reminder of the connections formed throughout the year.

Benefits of "Pass the Plate":

  • Building Community: This activity fosters a sense of community and belonging within the classroom. It highlights the importance of kindness and empathy towards others.
  • Boosting Confidence: Receiving positive messages from peers can boost students' self-esteem and confidence. It reinforces their value and worth within the group.
  • Creating Lasting Memories: The plates become cherished keepsakes that students can look back on in the future. They serve as a tangible reminder of the bonds formed during the school year.


  • "Pass the Plate" can be adapted for any grade level, from elementary to high school. The messages can vary based on the age and maturity of the students.
  • For younger students, you can provide prompts or sentence starters to guide their writing.
  • For older students, encourage them to reflect on specific moments or achievements shared throughout the year.

Conclusion: "Pass the Plate" is more than just an end-of-year activity; it's a meaningful tradition that promotes kindness, connection, and reflection. By taking the time to celebrate each other's accomplishments and lift each other up, students create lasting memories and strengthen their bonds as a class. As the plates are passed and filled with words of encouragement, they serve as a powerful reminder of the positive impact we can have on each other's lives. So, gather your markers and paper plates, and let the sharing begin!

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