May 2021 - Ideas for Every Day
It’s almost May! How is your April going so far? I have some yardwork out there that’s calling my name that I keep ignoring. What are your feelings on yardwork? Do you love it or hate it?
May’s the month in school where kids literally taste the end coming. The scent in the air changes, energy levels rise, and teachers turn to their ultra-fun, secret lesson plans to keep them going. What is your favorite end of year activity? Skip forward to our favorite five activities for the month of May now, if you’d like.
We’re back with an "Idea for Every Day." If you need some help coming up with activities to keep your learners engaged, we have a few for you. We’ve paired daily holidays with learning and family activities for you to complete with your Preschool to Sixth grade learners. Take your pick from this interactive calendar or download your own.
If you’d like to read more about different days, here are links to May 2020's Ideas for Every Day:
May Day (5.1.2021)
National Truffle Day (5.2.2021)
Our Top 5 May 2021 Activities
Thursday, May 6, 2021 - Day of Prayer
We, at Wolfe Stew, believe there’s power in and plenty of need for prayer. If you’re looking to work on your prayer life, I highly recommend you read Fervent by Priscilla Shirer (links to our Wolfe Stew Review).
If you’re looking to teach your kids how to pray, Ministry Spark compiled a variety of ideas here for you. From prayers of lament to geographic-inspired prayers, you’re sure to find an idea that works for you and your learners both now and into the future. We like that they begin with a prayer format but expand to deepen and vary your prayers. One idea we’re looking forward to trying is names of God prayers. After generating a list of God’s names (the challenge is to find one for each letter of the alphabet), you craft prayers to go with each of God’s names.
Likely, you already pray for your kids. But, if you’re looking for a new routine for praying over your kids, try this one at Faith Gateway. By starting at their head and ending at their toes, you’ll recite memorable, meaningful, and wide-ranging prayers over them in this routine. Begin praying the prayers as written or use them as a springboard to write your own.
Finally, pray for the specific needs of your leaners using this scripture reference (links to a Pinterest image courtesy of JulieSanders.org). Find the need (listed in alphabetical order) then weave the scripture listed into prayers about your learner. For instance, if I felt my learner is struggling with listening, I would weave Proverbs 12:15 into my prayers regarding him: “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.”
Sunday, May 9, 2021 – Mother’s Day
We’re aware that Mother’s Day is a difficult day for many people. If you’re one of those people, our heartfelt condolences we offer. And we empathize with you, being childless ourselves. However, we know that there are a lot of mothers out there worth celebrating. Think of a woman in your life who takes on this role for you and celebrate her. Perhaps the truly best way to honor her is by thanking her for who she is and what she means to you. But, if you’re looking for other, more tangible ways to honor her, here are a few for you:
For a gift list, Good Housekeeping offers 60 suggestions. Ranging from personalized pillows to succulent plants, there’s likely something here for the mom in your life.
Or, if preparing food is more your thing, head to Food Network for 48 brunch ideas We’re personally drooling over: milk chocolate almond croissants, spinach mushroom quiche, and raspberry orange sparklers.
Make homemade craftswith these 59 ideas from Country Living. Save up your egg cartons to make this colorful wreath or rinse out the spaghetti jar container and turn it into a decorative candle holder. Add the finishing touch by attaching a clever quote reminding her of the color (quotes at Flowers Bloom Hope) or light (quotes from Healing Brave) she brings to your world. Or, choose from 57 other ideas she’s sure to not soon forget at Country Living.
Finally, if you’re seeking stories of inspiring moms, head to Reader’s Digest. They’ve gathered 20 short stories perfect for Mother's Day. Perhaps it will even inspire you to write a story to commemorate your mom. If you’re short on time, our favorites are “My Favorite Barista,” “A Stand-Up Woman,” and “A Scarlet Symbol.”
Tuesday, May 18, 2021 – Dinosaur Day
Our nephew loves dinosaurs. In fact, it’s currently his life goal to bring dinosaurs back into existence in a safe way that does not result in another Jurassic Park. In his honor, we choose Dinosaur Day as one of our top five favorite celebrations for May.
We always think starting with a book is a good idea and this Berenstain Bears (by Jan and Mike Berenstain) book fits the bill for your Preschool to Second Grade Learners: Dinosaur Dig. Check it out in this YouTube read aloud by Oxford Reading Academy. Next, make homemade dinosaur bones with Kitchen Floor Crafts and salt dough. Finally, wrap up your dinosaur celebration by dressing up a T Rex at the Ology portion of the American Museum of Natural History.
While at Ology of the American Museum of Natural History, pull your older learners over too. Have Third and Fourth Graders learn about paleontologists, help one out then bury some bones of your own. While Fifth to Sixth Graders learn how to find fossils, reconstruct a skeleton, and draw one.
After this Dinosaur Day, your learners might want to join ours in deeper dinosaur studies. Personally, I’m not in a hurry to come face to face with a T-Rex.
Monday, May 24, 2021 – Scavenger Hunt Day
I love scavenger hunts. They are such a fun, hands-on way to get learner’s critical thinking skills ticking. And the best part is that after they are pros at solving and finding the clues, you can promote them to making their own. My Joy Filled Life offers links to 75 ready-to-go scavenger hunts for use in the classroom or with your family. The three we’re looking at are the Atlas Scavenger Hunt (thanks to Education Possible), the Outdoor Bible Verse Scavenger Hunt (thanks to Rachel Wojo) and the Road Trip Scavenger Hunt (thanks to Mom’s Minivan).
If you’re teaching school remotely,you’re likely aware that scavenger hunts are a popular way to increase student engagement. Lucky for you, Vestal’s 21st Century Classroom rounded up 20 Zoom Scavenger Hunt Ideas for you. First, you’ll learn general tips for running a virtual scavenger hunt, then you’ll get to specific scavenger hunt ideas. The one we like is the “Funny Questions Scavenger Hunt.” Beforehand, learners bring three to five random items that they’ll need to use to answer provided questions. It certainly is a fun spin on traditional scavenger hunts.
Maybe you’d rather create your own scavenger hunt.Arguably, one of the lessons my niece most enjoyed was one where I split the content into a treasure hunt. She got to read the material in chunks, used her problem-solving skills to find the next clue, retained the knowledge due to the embedded fun, and received a prize for her hard work at the end. But, maybe, you don’t know where to start. If that’s true for you, Complete Literature provides tips for creating three types of classroom scavenger hunts. You’ll find ready-to-go scavenger hunts along with templates for writing in your own clues. One that we’re interested in trying is the “Identify the Picture” scavenger hunt.
If you test out or create a scavenger hunt that your learners loved share it with us, won’t you? We’d love to do it too!
Monday, May 31, 2021 – Memorial Day
We, at Wolfe Stew, believe memorials are important. They help us remember our past so we can learn from it and remember the good that came from it. In fact, in “The Wisdom of Ants – As Penned by Solomon,” we encourage you to create memorials so you can plan to remember the good - as God encouraged the Israelites to do in the Old Testament. Many times, the Biblical memorials reminded Israelites of God’s miraculous rescues from perilous times.
Similarly, Memorial Day encourages us to look at perilous times our country faced: wars. On this day, we honor those who died while serving our country. By recognizing their sacrifice, we honor their memory and acknowledge the contribution they made to our lives today. While you may, or may not, personally know anyone who died in service to our country, all of us can look back at the major conflicts of the United States and learn about brave soldiers who defended us - thereby allowing us to continue living in freedom.
Preschool to Third Graders learn about the making of a national symbol they likely see daily: the Star-Spangled Banner, in this lesson Smithsonian video and teaching guide. Then, choose an extension activity to dig in deeper. For Preschool to Second, we like this Math and Measuring (PDF) lesson that helps them visualize the area of the Star-Spangled Banner. For Third to Fifth Graders, we like that this Music, Poetry, and History analyzes our national anthem.
Bring history to life for your Fourth through Sixth Graders with a shoebox parade (Education World lesson plan) that commemorates American conflicts. In this cross-curricular, hands-on research project, your learner will design a shoebox to represent an American conflict. Combine several shoebox conflicts to create a visual timeline. Then, have each learner describe the contents of their shoebox and the conflict it represents. And there you have it: history in shoeboxes.
That wraps up our Ideas for Every May 2021 Day. We hope you found one (or two) that appeal to you. We’ll be back to bring you ideas for June. Until then, leaders, we’re sincerely hoping you find the JOY in every day.
At Your Service,
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