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Holidays & Special Days

Be sure to see our Holidays and Special Days Archive
for more lesson ideas and articles arranged by month.

An Attitude of Gratitude
Middle-school students think "outside the box" to identify unusual things they're thankful for, and then use digital content (audio, images, movies) to represent those things on a PowerPoint slide. Students' slides are combined into a class slide show.

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Holidays and
Special Days

Hundreds of great themed teaching ideas.
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Printable sheets for daily language practice.
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It All Adds Up
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Constitution Day
America and its educators recognize each September 17 -- the day our Founding Fathers signed the U.S. Constitution -- as Constitution Day. Education World has scoured our site and the Internet to gather dozens of teaching ideas to help you recognize this landmark day.

Create A Poetry Calendar
In this lesson, students research, design, and create a school-year calendar based on the work of famous poets. The activity, which can take 4-5 class periods to complete, is a great culminating activity for a poetry unit for grades 3-12.

Take the Polar Express to Learning
Polar Express, the movie, arrives in movie theaters nationwide on November 10. Don't miss the movie and the opportunity to take advantage of this "teachable moment." Included: Education World connects you to lessons, resources.

A Spooky Adlib Story
Get creative this Halloween with this adlib activity in which students answer questions on an Excel sheet to create a silly, spooky story. Besides having fun, students can review basic spreadsheet skills and develop creativity.

Celebrating Asian and Pacific-Island Heritage
Each May -- during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month -- we recognize the special contributions of people of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage. The lessons here introduce students to famous Asian Americans and explore their origins and their literature.

Five "Eggs-traordinary" Lesson Plans: Just Add the Eggs!
Looking for a teaching theme to welcome spring? We have "eggs-actly" what you're looking for! Toss eggs into the curriculum mix. Eggs can be used to teach skills in math, geography, and science. And don't forget the art "eggs-hibit"!

Sink Your Teeth Into These Dental Health Month Lessons
February -- Dental Health Month -- is the time of year when many teachers help students "brush up" on their awareness of tooth care. This week's lessons capitalize on that once-a-year "teachable moment." Included: Five lessons students can sink their teeth into.

Groundhog Day: (Punxsutawney) Phil Your Day With Fun
On February 2, the world will be watching to see if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow. Will there be six more weeks of winter? Whether Phil's shadow appears or not, fill your day with Phil connections to math, science, geography, and more.

Unwrap Five New Holiday Lessons
We've wrapped up five new lessons just for you -- simply grab the bow and pull! You'll find lessons to develop vocabulary and reading skills, to teach about pop culture and multiculturalism, and to challenge students to create ABC books and timelines.

Pick a Pumpkin Activity!
Pumpkins are the ultimate October icons -- the fruit of the month, if you will. (Yes! Pumpkins are a fruit.) This month, celebrate pumpkins with these across-the-curriculum activities. Included: Art, science, language, and math activities.


Fantastic Field Days!
May is the month when many schools hold their annual field days. So, Ed World's editors decided to jump in with great activities to make this year's field day the best one ever! Included: Fun activities, relays, and games that all students can excel in.

Remembering Those Who Gave Their Lives: Lessons for Memorial Day
What does Memorial Day mean to your students? Do they grasp the significance of the sacrifice that American men and women have made to preserve our freedom? Included: Five lessons help students understand the meaning of Memorial Day.

Pet Week Lessons for Every Grade
It's National Pet Week! Have you been feeling like the proverbial "old dog"? Learn some new tricks with five lessons that bring the delightful topic of pets -- from feline to fish to fowl -- into the classroom to improve language arts, math, and science skills.

Five Lessons Teach Students to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Earth Day, first celebrated in 1970, is just around the corner. To celebrate, Education World offers five lessons to teach about trash and the importance of recycling. Included: A Mother's Day gift idea, recycle games, worms, scrap paper projects, more!


What is the Most Serious Problem Facing Earth? -- An Education World WebQuest
In this special Earth Day WebQuest, student teams research a critical threat to Earth's environment as they vie for $1 million in funding from the fictional Help Our World (HOW) Foundation. Included: student work sheets, lots of Earth Day resources, more.

Connect With Music: Lessons Any Teacher Can Teach!
No special training or skills are necessary to integrate music into your school day. Any teacher can make their core curriculum "sing by working in some music. Included: Dont miss a great PR opportunity -- tips for joining the Worlds Largest Concert.

Special Reading Fun for Read Across America Day
Each March, on Dr. Seusss birthday, schools celebrate Read Across America Day. This week, Education World recognizes this special day with five new reading lesson plans plus links to dozens of great reading projects culled from our archive.

We're In the Money: Lessons for Teaching About Money
Every time we spend a dime -- or a penny or a dollar -- we see the face of one of our presidents! What better time than Presidents Day can there be to teach kids about money? Included: Five hands-on lessons. Hold a "money bee, make predictions, learn about inflation/the cost of goods over time, more.

Winter Wonderland -- Lessons for Frosty Days!
Though the weather outside is frightful, wintry lessons are delightful! Whether the topic is snow, cold, or other icy treats, winter is a frosty focus that will motivate and entertain your class. Bundle up and brace for wild, windy, weather outside while showing your students the best of winter activities indoors! Included: Five lessons that make winter a winning subject!

Teaching @ Tolerance
Martin Luther King dreamed of a world more tolerant that the one he lived in. This weeks lessons are designed to teach kids about Kings dream of tolerance. Included: Lessons on stereotyping, appreciating differences, recognizing how words can hurt (or heal), and more!

Emphasize the Giving -- Not the Getting -- This Holiday Season
Are your students too focused on the "gimme elements of the holiday season? Teach them about the true meaning of the season by emphasizing the giving over the getting. Included: Ten classroom activities that focus on doing good things for other people!

Five Holiday Keepsakes Parents Will Love!
Is the pressure on to come up with a creative gift-making idea? Education World offers five gift ideas, including keepsake ornaments to hang, snowglobes to shake, and colorful candleholders to brighten the holidays.

Classroom Lessons Deliver Holiday Presence!
Capitalize on students excitement about the December holidays. Seven lessons combine fun and learning to deliver a holiday presence in the classroom. Included: Graphs, graphic organizers, bulletin board ideas, more!

Thinking About Thanksgiving: Lessons Across the Curriculum
Are you teaching about the "First Thanksgiving as it is written in many childrens books, or are you teaching about it as it really happened? This week, Education World helps put Thanksgiving in perspective and challenges students to "think about Thanksgiving. Included: Lessons that teach science, math, geography, foreign languages, more!

Father Figures: Lessons to Honor Dear Old Dad!
Father's Day is a time to recognize the fathers and father figures in all our lives. This week, Education World offers language arts, social studies, and art activities that applaud the contributions of guys who enrich the lives of children -- their dads! This June, add one more homespun creation to a father's box of treasures with a letter, memory book, or family tree created by a child!

Making the Most of the Dreaded End-of-School Days

"No more pencils, no more books,
no more..."

No more time? The last days of school may be upon us and your students may already be chanting the traditional end-of-school cheer, but that doesn't mean that you have to succumb to the temptation to start summer early. Why throw away the last few precious days? Instead, blow your students away with some cool end-of-year activities that combine fun and learning.

Raise the Flag (Awareness) in Your Class!
This year marks the 225th anniversary of the United States flag, adopted on June 14, 1777. Education World salutes this special anniversary with five new lessons that teach about the history of the flag history, the proper way to fold the U.S. flag, and more. The fifth lesson challenges students to search for the truth about Betsy Ross; did she really create the first American flag?

Celebrate Mother's Day in a New Way!
Tired of doing the same Mother's Day projects year after year? Take a look at five new lesson plans we've created to celebrate mothers on their special day! These lessons include math activities with a "mother" theme (studying data about mothers in the workforce), learning about the history of silhouettes (and actually making one), and turning old shoes into planters that are bound to sprout wonderful new memories!

Best Lessons on Earth (Day)!
Earth Day 2002 takes place on Monday, April 22. To recognize this special day, Education World offers five original lesson plans that will engage students in creating maps of an astronaut's view of Earth, exploring issues of junk mail and hazardous household waste, and learning about endangered species.

Hail to the Chief! -- Lessons for Presidents' Day
Observed this year on February 18, Presidents' Day is a holiday that lends itself to classroom activities and online exploration. Even President Bush's pets have a presence on the Web! As a tribute to all past presidents, Education World invites you and your students to tour the White House or design a presidential monument with these legendary lessons.


Let the Games Begin! Let the Learning Begin!
For the next two weeks, athletes from around the world will be competing in the events of the 19th Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. For the next two weeks, creative teachers around the world will be able to capitalize on this ultimate "teachable moment"! To help those teachers, Education World provides links to more than two dozen Olympics-related classroom activities.


Countdown to Salt Lake City!
In just a matter of days, athletes will begin to gather in Salt Lake City, Utah, for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. There, more than 1,300 athletes from more than 80 nations will compete for gold, silver, and bronze medals. A "teachable moment" such as this comes along only once every four years, so the Education World team has gathered a couple dozen ideas and created lessons to help you teach to the moment!


Martin Luther King Jr. Teaches Many Lessons
The life of American hero Martin Luther King Jr. offers many teaching opportunities. This week, Education World offers cross-curricular and cross-grade lessons you can use to share King's life and legacy alive with your students.


Holiday Projects: Classroom Decorating and Gift-Making Ideas!
Are you tired of doing the same holiday art project year after year? Or maybe you are looking for a new project kids can make for holiday gift giving? This week, Education World reaches into our holiday sack (and our archives too) to find just the project for you!


Fun Activities Get the School Year Off to a Good Start!
Every teacher has a different approach to the first few days of school. Whatever your approach, Education World has an activity for you!


Icebreakers 2001: Fifteen Getting-to-Know-You Activities!
Thanks to Education World readers, we now have an archive of more than 75 unique getting-to-know-you activities for the first days of school. Use these activities to get to know your students and to help them get to know you! This year, we offer 15 new activities from readers like you plus links to four more years of back-to-school icebreaker ideas!


Make a Difference on Earth Day!
Sunday, April 22, 2001, marks the 31st celebration of Earth Day, a time when people around the world hold events to honor our home planet -- and to remind everyone about the importance of our ecosystem. This week, Education World offers five service activities for students who want to help make a difference in their environment!

A Bundle of Fun Holiday Craft Activities!
It's the season of gift giving -- and gift making! This week, Education World offers ten fun activities for creating holiday crafts and gifts that will put everyone into the holiday spirit! Included: Activities that have students making holiday stockings, picture frames, cards shaped like Christmas trees, and much more!

Holidays Around the World: A Festival of Lessons!
'Tis the season! This week, Education World offers ten lessons about December celebrations, observances, and activities from several cultures. Included: A Hanukkah game, a Kwanzaa recipe, and an activity that involves students in diagramming similarities and differences in holiday celebrations!


Mother's Day Magic: Today's Gift, Tomorrow's Treasure
TDo you want some terrific ideas for student-created Mother's Day gifts? Education World offers ideas -- plus online resources to help educators find dozens more on the Web!


30 Activities to Celebrate the 30th Earth Day!
This years Earth Day marks the 30th anniversary of the event that inspired the modern environmental movement. This week, in honor of that anniversary, Education World offers 30 classroom a ctivities for use across the grades. Help keep Earth Day alive for another generation with these cross-curriculum activities!

Handmade Holiday Treasures: Student Projects That Make Great Gifts
Many of our most treasured holiday decorations and small gifts are special because they were made by hand --- especially if they were made by children's hands! Help your students make a memory this holiday season with a gift idea from the Web. These projects will put little, or big, hands to work on a masterpiece for a family member or friend.

December Days: Ten Activities to Celebrate a Month of Special Days!
The holiday season is upon us! Whether you observe Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or all of these, the Web is your source for holiday cheer. How do you make soofganiyot? What is a kinara? Who was St. Nicholas? Find the answers to these seasonal questions and tons of related activities as we celebrate ten holidays in December. Included: Activities for ten special dates in December, a geography teaching master, and more!

Goosebumps in the Classroom: Now That You Have Their Attention
The Guinness Book of World Records Millennium Edition lists Goosebumps as the best-selling children's book series of all time. Now you can take advantage of that popularity with this witches brew of Goosebumps-inspired lessons. Start with the following awesome activities, stir in one site of scary jokes, and wait for students to bubble with enthusiasm!

Ten Great Activities for Grandparents Day
One of the first holidays of the new school year, Grandparents Day will be observed on September 12 this year. With all the work to be done at the start of classes, have you had an opportunity to plan your celebration? If not, don't panic! The Web is your source for *grand* ideas for Grandparents Day!

The Memory Shall Be Ours: Celebrating Memorial Day
For many students, Memorial Day merely marks the beginning of summer fun. This year, introduce them to the true meaning of the holiday, and provide them with a glimpse into the lives of the men and women it honors. Included: An Internet Treasure Hunt plus Web-based activities for learning about and celebrating Memorial Day!

Straight from the Heart!
Valentine's Day means cinnamon hearts, conversation hearts, and paper hearts -- and a "hearty" collection of activities for children. If you haven't prepared, don't be brokenhearted These lessons will put you in the loving spirit of the holiday!

Brighten Up the Holidays with Cross-Curriculum Activities
Looking for a way to brighten up the holidays? Education World offers more than a dozen across-the-curriculum activities that teach skills while celebrating the season!

Pilgrim Projects
Have you had your fill of feathers? Are you tired of gobbling your way through a month of Thanksgiving activities? This year, try some of our Pilgrim projects instead. There's not a turkey among them! Included: Activities for younger students and older students!

The Fourth of July -- A Day to Remember!
Polls reveal that Americans know surprisingly little about their country's history. Education World remembers --- and celebrates America's struggle for independence with 13 patriotic activities, one for each of the original colonies!

Celebrate the Stars and Stripes!
Flag Day originated in a Wisconsin classroom more than 100 years ago. This month, Education World brings Flag Day activities and resources to your classroom. Included: Fourteen activities to help your students celebrate June 14!

Celebrate the Year of the Ocean
Eighteen activities for students to practice their math, geography, science, and language skills while learning about the world's oceans!

What on Earth Are You Doing for Earth Day?
Celebrate 28 years of Earth Days with 28 activities connected to this year's Earth Day Challenge!

Come to the Groundhog Day Party!
Learning Activities and Groundhog Games Across the Grades!

Happy Birthday, MLK!
Just in time to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday -- activities across the grades for learning about the life of the famous civil rights leader!

Happy New Year! Or Is It?
Happy New Year? That depends on which calendar you use! Students can explore the world's calendar options and create their own "perfect" calendars!

Christmas Around the World
A world of activities and Internet sites focused on the traditions and spirit of Christmas!

Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights
Read aloud a simple telling of the Hanukkah story and follow up with a handful of across-the-curriculum activities.

Habari Gani? -- What's the News?
Celebrate Kwanzaa, the world's fastest growing holiday, with activities and Internet links.

The "First Thanksgiving" -- A Feast of Activities
Looking to cook up a feast of across-the-curriculum fun? The table is set with a plentiful selection of ideas. Dig in!

It's Turkey Time!
"Gobble, gobble, gobble...." Increase your students' knowledge and skills when you use TURKEYS as a teaching theme.

The Great American Smokeout (November 20): Anti-Smoking Activities "Permeate" the Curriculum
November 20, The Great American Smokeout, is a great time to get out the message: Smoking kills! Included -- a "pack" of activities to drive home the anti-smoking message and a "carton" of anti-smoking Internet sites to visit!

Happy Birthday, Noah Webster!
Learn more on the Web about the life of Noah Webster, father of the dictionary (born October 16, 1758). Included -- Dictionary games! Cross-curriculum activities! Skills pages for use across the grades!

A Salute to Flag Day!
Classroom activities to recognize and celebrate Flag Day