Ideas for fifth-grade graduations include end-of-the-year field trips, school picnics, slideshows featuring events from the year and modest graduation or promotion ceremonies. Fifth-grade graduations should focus on the fact that the children haven't completed their education but are simply moving forward to a new phase.
As fifth-graders move into middle school, students and parents can take a moment to reflect on this change by writing each other letters about their hopes for the future. Students can also write letters to their future selves, which their fifth-grade teachers can collect and deliver to the child in seven years at their high school graduation. It's also meaningful when teachers write personal letters to students detailing their hopes and dreams for each child.
Students can also be matched up with older students from their future school to help them prepare for what's ahead, and these older students can be part of any graduation or promotion ceremony. Brief speeches and appropriate music can also be included in the ceremony.
Chicago Now points out, however, that throwing an elaborate party for a fifth-grade graduation may send the message that ordinary promotion from grade to grade is an extraordinary achievement, and it may diminish the significance of high school and college graduations in the future. A simple family dinner with a discussion of what the child has learned can be sufficient to mark the occasion.