February | An Idea for Every Day Calendar
It's nearly here - that month of cupids, presidents, and groundhogs. What's your favorite holiday in February? Are you the type that lives for or dreads Valentine's Day each year? Me? I've always loved Valentine's. I don't care if it really is just a holiday invented by greeting card companies to line their pockets in the Christmas to Easter slump. For me, I'm all in. Why? Because love is always worth spreading around. However, if you're not into Valentine's Day, there are twenty-eight other holidays to choose from this upcoming month. Why not set a new tradition? Sink your teeth into one of these:
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We encourage you, for this month of February, to find one national day that piques your interest. Just one. Then, choose an appropriate activity for your learners and do it! If you feel compelled, we would love to hear how it went.
Below, find some of the ideas this calendar holds. Just remember that there are many, many more if none of the ones we feature here captivate you.
Working on biographies? Science? Or desiring to help your female learners see themselves in the medical field. Then National Women Physicians Day is the day for you! Why not have your older learners choose an influential female doctor, either from the past or present, and write up a biography on her to share with the class?
You're teaching little learners and don't think they're ready to write a biography? Then consider having them fill out this "All About Me," page on a female physician. Or, work together as a class to fill it out on Elizabeth Blackwell after reading "Who Says Women Can't be Doctors?"
Perhaps learning about female physicians or writing biographies doesn't nicely fit in your curriculum right now. Maybe letter writing would? Then February 4, 2020, is the day for you! It's Thank a Mail Carrier Day. We think reading through Susanna Isern's The Lonely Mailman before writing a letter to one would be a perfect February activity.
Check out these February science learning opportunities. Whether you're studying weather or animals there's a national holiday for you! February 5th, National Weather Person's Day, provides the perfect reason to have little learners practice dressing for and tracking the weather while older learners make recycled rain gauges or even prepare a weather report. No time like the present to get those weather forecasting skills down. Who knows? A budding meteorologist might be under your leadership.
No budding meteorologists? How about zoologists? We're willing to bet there's an animal lover or two under your leadership. Besides, who can resist the polar bear? Little learners will explore how polar bears stay warm while older learners complete a polar bear profile or undergo more in-depth lessons found at Polar Bear International. Polar Bear International invites you to choose from unit plans to independent lesson plans on topics ranging from arctic biodiversity to a survival story. If you lead older learners, you'll want to check this resource out.
While art enhances every holiday, we thought these national holidays sparked unique creative outlets. While I'm not completely positive why National Umbrella Day is in February, (it's one of our heaviest snowfall months) we're completely behind using it as invitations to create. Your little learners could create an umbrella themed Valentine card from I Heart Crafty Things. We especially love the saying on it, "Showering you with love!" We want to be showered with love. Who doesn't?
Not looking for a Valentine themed card? Maybe your learners need to practice following directions. Try out this adorable umbrella art from Core Inspiration. It's a two-day activity with many artistic choice opportunities for your learners so each work of art is sure to be unique!
Maybe painting practice and folding skills better match your learner's needs. Then make paper umbrellas with krokotak! While we're certain these umbrellas would do absolutely nothing to protect you from the rain, we do think they work together to make an eye-catching, 3-dimensional art project that is perfectly suited for National Umbrella Day!
Then, nearing the end of the month, meet Fat Tuesday (aka Mardi Gras). To celebrate properly, your littles need adornment! No worries, we've found just what you need. Practice patterning by making necklaces out of Twizzlers with No Time for Flashcards. Show off their artistic flair with these Mardi Gras masks from Happy Hooligans. Finally, have learners don their self-made costumes while joining in the fun with some of these party games.
Good communication is so important in every relationship. So, in a month that celebrates relationships, set your littles up for success by working on those communication skills. National Love Your Pet Day is sure to get even reluctant littles talking. Warm them up to it by holding a discussion after reading Dr. Seuss's What Pet Should I Get? Then, have them fill out an "All About My Pet" sheet. Younger learners can always draw their pet and write (or dictate) phrases to accompany it. Finally, mediate a debate that explores which pet is the best. Consider letting older learners write out a persuasive paper proving their viewpoint.
Did you know over 6,500 languages exist in the world today? Speaking different languages definitely dampen communication. So, empower your learners to pick up a new one. The younger you start, the better. If you're working with little learners, check out Daniel Williamson's, Look at Me I'm Learning..., series. It is a fantastic starting point in early language learning. Currently, these books come in Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Italian, Polish, French and German with Chinese Mandarin, Hindu, Russian and Arabic in the works. You'll meet Mo, a boy who wants to make new friends but has difficulty because of language barriers. Learn along with him important key words and phrases such as greetings, numbers, colors, likes and dislikes, bedtime routines and more! Every page includes text both in English and the instructional language. With the aid of these engaging books, your learners will undoubtedly want to learn language with Mo more and more!
Perhaps your learners have already been introduced to the numbers and colors of the target language but need more practice. If so, you need to get out your Uno deck. Check out World Language Classroom's ideas for how to use it. After you do, I have a feeling you'll be coming up with some of your own practice ideas too.
Or maybe you're working on conversational language, but your learners need motivation to speak more in the target language. You should try Debbie's Spanish Learning's clothespin conversation technique. Learners each start with three clothespins. Then, each time they are caught speaking in their mother tongue, they forfeit a clothespin over to the person who caught them. The person with the most clothespins at the end of a predetermined time is the winner. What a captivating idea for motivating conversational language practice!
|Click here to download the February Idea for Every Day Calendar.|
Leaders, we sincerely hope this calendar inspires you to breathe new life into learning. Also, we would absolutely love to know: Which activity or national holiday is of the most interest to you? To your learners? Why does it interest you? How did you celebrate it?
Until next time, leaders, we sincerely hope you find a reason to celebrate every day!
At Your Service,
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