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Dad's 'Magnetic' Personality

fathersday graphic

Return to Father Figures: Lessons to Honor Dear Old Dad!


  • Arts & Humanities
    Visual Arts
  • Social Sciences
    U.S. History


Pre-K, K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Brief Description

Students make small magnets featuring the names of father figures or other caregivers.



  • investigate the history of Father's Day
  • discuss the meaning of fatherhood
  • name individuals who are "fatherly"
  • draw and cut out letters to make names or initials
  • decorate letters with clippings and original drawings.


Father's Day, art, letters, alphabet

Materials Needed

  • traceable letters such as those used for bulletin boards (optional)
  • card stock
  • pencils
  • crayons or markers
  • scissors
  • glue
  • magazine and/or newspapers
  • sticky magnets or magnetic tape
  • Internet access (optional)
  • dictionary and/or thesaurus (optional)

Lesson Plan

Introduce the lesson by asking students to share any ideas they have or facts they know about the history of Father's Day. Why do we celebrate this holiday? How did it get its start? Share The Story of Father's Day or information from the school library.

Ask students to explain their definitions of fatherhood. What is a father? What do fathers do? Make a list of the characteristics of a father as listed by the students. Next, have the students identify some individuals they consider excellent father figures. These individuals do not need to be fathers, but they should be "fatherly." With the students, compare each of the individuals to the characteristics they have named and, as a group, vote fora few exemplary father figures.

Pass out the card stock, pencils, and scissors. Have the students create the letters in the word dad or the name (three or four letters) or initials of their fathers, stepfathers, or close father figures. (If students have no one in their lives they consider a father figure, they can choose a mother figure or another caregiver.) You may choose to have the students trace bulletin board letters and cut them out. The students should overlap the letters when drawing or connect the letters by overlapping them slightly and gluing them into position.

Distribute magazines and/or newspapers. Young students should cut out pictures or words that represent characteristics of their father figures -- for example, their hobbies, work, or favorite things. Older students can look for pictures or meaningful words that characterize their fathers. They can use a dictionary or thesaurus and add appropriate words if desired. All items should be glued to the front of the letters and trimmed so that the letters retain their shape and can easily be recognized. When complete, add magnets or magnetic tape to the back of the letters. If you choose, laminate the projects before adding magnets to preserve them as unique Father's Day gifts.

The students' word art would make an excellent display in the classroom on a bulletin board or hanging on strings from the ceiling.


Have students display their projects and explain the choices of pictures and words they made for the project and how each relates to their fathers.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Cara Bafile

Return to Father Figures: Lessons to Honor Dear Old Dad!.


Originally published 06/07/2002
Last updated 06/01/2017