At the end of every unit in expository writing, we celebrate  by creating a slideshow of our best lines.  I call it the Secret Santa slideshow.

Each student draws a fellow classmate’s essay at random.  He or she  selects a line of two from the essay and creates a slide for it complete with images, transitions, and images.  Finally, I compile all of them together into one long movie and we watch it with coffee, hot cocoa, cappuccino, and whatever goodies the students bring to share.  Yesterday we had homemade scotcheroos–that made the whole day worthwhile.

This has become one of my students’ favorite traditions in class.  The food helps, but they love seeing their words on the screen, and the surprise factor adds the “secret Santa” feel to it all.