This is a great resource that 5th-grade teachers can personalize for their classroom. The themes vary from celebratory day to milestone moment, so the graduates can both reflect on their future and the past. In fact, one idea to share baby photos was used by my son's elementary school this year requesting each child to bring an infant picture for their yearbook.
While this is an opinion board, it's important for teachers to realize both sides of the "graduation" experience. Some parents see the end of 5th grade as merely the passing of one grade to the next as usual so there is minimal acknowledgment. On the other side are parents who will celebrate what they see as a life milestone with full vigor.
This is another resource that I was able to experience personally with 5th graders as they prepare to leave elementary school. What I loved was the enthusiasm of both boys and girls singing about their accomplishment and what the future holds! Here is the youtube link with lyrics to teach your students!
I loved reading this link as advice from one of their own, ie a fifth-grade teacher speaking to her students about graduation as a "commencement" meaning the beginning and not the end. She gives the 7 keys to success not only as rising 6th graders but as young adults, including a printable version.
I personally watched this video in a class of 5th graders recently when presented by the visiting guidance counselor. There are several youtube videos on this topic but Emma stresses the positive side of middle school. My favorite point was school work first with the goal of high school.
Written by a graduating student's mother it has some realistic ideas for teachers and administrators to consider when planning the 5th-grade sendoff so that it can be enjoyed by all students and their families in the audience. Her main idea is promoted students instead of typical graduates who have high expectations for being rewarded instead of transitioning only.