Ideas for Celebrating Underappreciated Holidays: Groundhogs, Presidents, & Pizza!
When January rolls around, it’s easy to think, “The holidays are over.” The truth is, there is still plenty to celebrate in your classroom! Here are some fun ideas for celebrating holidays, both well-known ones and some of the lesser-known ones, too.
Groundhog Day (Feb. 2)
This holiday is the perfect time to teach elementary students about shadows. Try this suggestion from the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club: Have a student cast a shadow onto a piece of white paper while another student traces it. Add colors and backgrounds to create a shadow creature and then have students write a descriptive paragraph about their creature.
Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14)
Use candy hearts to teach STEM principles with these fun ideas. Valentine’s Day falls in the middle of Random Acts of Kindness week, so take the opportunity to encourage kindness in your classroom, too. Find inspiration here.
President’s Day (Feb. 20)
Pick a President to spotlight in your classroom for this holiday. Need an idea? You can find a plethora of primary-source materials on Abraham Lincoln, including original photographs, here.
Read Across America Day (March 2)
Celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday with a book party. Hold “D.E.A.R.” (Drop Everything And Read) moments throughout the day, make Cat in the Hat hats, or encourage students to dress up like their favorite book character.
St. Patrick’s Day (March 17)
Focus on creative writing for this holiday, prompting students to finish sentences such as, “If I found a leprechaun…” or “I’m the luckiest person in the world because…”
April Fools’ Day (April 1)
Let humor take center stage in your classroom on this holiday. Give your kids a chance to showcase their stand-up comedy skills or choose another fun idea from this list.
Earth Day (April 22)
Help your students understand that even one person can make a difference when it comes to the environment. The “Do One Thing” or “DOT” campaign encourages kids to get involved and reminds us that little things add up to big results.
Mother’s Day (May 14) and Father’s Day (June 18)
Use these holidays to reinforce letter-writing skills with your students. Have your kids write notes to their parents, thanking them for all they do or just telling them how important they are. Find inspiration for younger students by reading Notes from Mom or Notes to Dad.
Pizza Party Day (May 19)
Use this holiday to reinforce fractions in math class by making paper pizzas or have your class make their own mini pizzas using this recipe.
Armed Forces Day (May 20)
This day was established in 1949 to honor all branches of the military and many communities mark it with parades or other events. Have your class color American flags or make patriotic crafts to decorate your room.