4 Gift Ideas Your Secondary Students Will Love But Won't Break the Bank

My husband and I teach seniors in the same school. My husband is the AP Government/AP US History/Senior Government teacher, and I teach the AP English Lit and Lang classes and Senior English classes. We're also the senior class advisers. Between the two of us, we work with every senior student. That's over 100 students, so gift giving at the holiday time can be a challenge. What gift do you give 100+ people that is both meaningful and cost efficient? It would take a pretty penny to buy gifts for each of our students. Even at $5 apiece, we would be looking at over $500. I thought we surely could do better than that, so we did some brainstorming and research. The result is four gift ideas that your secondary students will love but won’t break bank.

Plus, keep reading for an awesome 12 Days of December giveaway and other great posts and resources from my teacher-author friends to save your sanity this holiday season!

Read this post for four inexpensive (and easy) but meaningful gift ideas that your secondary students will love!

1.       “Duck Out" Cards #lastminutegiftsforbigkids




This is our go-to gift year after year. We keep coming back it because our students LOVE and appreciate it (and best of all, it doesn’t cost a thing!). This clever card allows students to “Duck Out” of a small quiz or assignment. There is also a great life skills lesson inherent in this gift: responsibility! They must keep track of their cards in order to use them when the time is right. They are themed for the holiday, so they're perfect when you want to give your students a meaningful gift that they'll appreciate, but you also don't want to spend money during this expensive time of the year. You can check it out for FREE here. Also, search the hashtag #lastminutegiftsforbigkids on TeachersPayTeachers for other fun and {free} gift ideas for big kids.

2.        Literary Christmas Cards


Nothing says happy holidays like a punny card from your favorite English teacher. Students love funny memes, so B’s Book Love created these fun cards for her students. She offers this set of 24 cards for only $3.00. You can get them here. Add a candy cane and your students are sure to know you care, and they'll get a good laugh at the same time.



3.  Silicon bands with a motto


If you have a small budget, you should check out this great idea I got from my Instagram-teacher-friend, @schooledbystultz--check her out on Instagram! She made these fun personalized motto bracelets for her AP students from here. Here, you can get 200 bands for around $50. This would be a great gift to build class morale and community. I found several other websites that offer the same product even cheaper (around $30), so shop around! 



4. A fun lesson


Do you have a fun lesson that your students request time and time again? (If you don’t have one, don’t worry, I have you covered!) When I was in high school, we had a teacher who let us shoot paper basketballs in his trash bin during a review game. It was so simple, but it was always a treat to be able to do it. My students like our impromptu speaking practice (surprising, right?!). I did this lesson for the first time on Halloween, and since then, they’ve been asking to do it again, so I made a Winter Edition that we will do right before winter break. It’s fun, and they’re learning important real-world speaking skills. You can check it out here.



May you and your students have a happy holiday season! Make sure you enter the 12 Days of December giveaway below or click here, and when you're done, click on the picture below to read all of the posts for the 12 Days of December from my teacher-blogger friends!





The 12 Days of December


8 comments

  1. Yay, hooray! I love your "duck out" cards. :)

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  2. I love these ideas! I have seniors as well and couldn't think what to give them without it being childish to them! I love the idea of duck out cards since they can be made and free! (I'm getting married this month, so money is tight! But these kids are worth something and I think that would be perfect!)

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  3. How great the "duck out" cards are! Thank you for sharing them!!

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  4. I never really thought about doing a Christmas gift...but I like it. I use a monetary class system for rewards in my classroom, and I've decided to give a gift of $1 of class money - similar to the duck out cards.

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  5. I teach AP Lit and dual enrollment through Kenyon College. We definitely need to chat!

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  6. What an awesome blog post! I love the "duck out" cards! Thank you for sharing!

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  7. Well...I guess I'm just copying everyone else here, but I LOVE the "duck out cards" idea! I just downloaded them (so cute) and my kids will love them. Have you ever "wrapped" them?!? LOL! I'm wondering how I can adorably gift them to the kiddos...

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  8. Literary Holiday Cards!!!! I am IN! Love this idea. Thank you so much for sharing!!

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