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Gail S Hennessey's picture
Gail Skroback Hennessey taught for over 33 years, teaching sixth grade in all but two years. She earned a BA in early secondary education with a concentration in social studies and an MST in social...
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April Fool'sDay is Coming !(information and activities to use with your students)

"The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days

of the year. "- American humorist Mark Twain


All Fools Day as April 1st was once called~ is a custom that came to the American colonies from the French and British. Although the actually start of April Fools Day is not certain~ many say the day of doing pranks dates back to the 16th century France. At this time~ the new year was celebrated on April 1st and not January 1st. When a new calendar~ called the Gregorian Calendar~ was introduced~ the new year fell on January 1st. Without television~ radio~ internet~ etc.~ and with many people not being able to read~ some people didn't get the news of the new day for ringing in the new year for a couple of years! Other people just refused to change their celebration day for the new year. These people became the joke of others for whom tricks were played. Things done included sending these people on foolish errands~ or to try and tell them things which weren't true. The idea of April Fools Day soon spread to other countries. In England~ pranks are only done in the morning and its considered bad luck to attempt a April Fools trick on someone after noon time. And~ if you are the victim of someones joke~ you are called a noodle! In India~ in addition to pranks~ people put colors on each other to celebrate the start of spring. If you go to the country of Portugal~ watch for flying flour~ which is what people like to throw on April Fools Day! In France~ people call each other Poisson dAvril which means April Fish instead of April Fools! Why a fish? Thats because a young fish is thought to be easily caught~ not knowing better. A common activity on this day in France is to put a paper fish on someones back.

Pranks should be harmless fun~ and not cruel. Some people like to glue coins to the floor and watch as people try and pick them up. People have called the local zoo and ask to speak with Mr. Lion~changed the time on clocks or told people to look over there! to see if they will. Another common prank is to tell someone that a shirt has a hole in it or that someones shoelaces are untied.

A famous April Fool's Day Prank:

A famous April Fools activity occurred in 1998 when Burger King said they had a new left-handed Whopper which had the ketchup~ pickles and other condiments on the left side of the bun to help left handed eaters. Many came in to order left Whoppers on that day!

The entire list of activities and additional links is at my website:

Hope you find this of value...