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September Holiday Fun

September 1, 2008 · Filed Under Holidays · Comment 

September is a great month with loads of possibilities for teaching and learning.  It’s Library Card Sign Up Month and Self-Improvement Month.  It’s also National Honey Month, National Potato Month and National Rice Month if you’re feeling hungry.

 

Remember that holiday links go to fun educational ideas for that specific day.  Here are some great ways to celebrate each and every day in September:

 

September 1…………………Emma M. Nutt Day

September 2…………………VJ Day (Surrender Ceremony to end WWII)

September 3…………………Skyscraper Day

September 4…………………Newspaper Carrier Day

September 5…………………Cheese Pizza Day

September 6…………………Fight Procrastination Day

September 7…………………Grandma Moses Day

September 8…………………Pardon Day

                   ………………….International Literacy Day

September 9…………………Teddy Bear Day

September 10………………..Swap Ideas Day

September 11………………..Make Your Bed Day

                     …………………Remember Freedom Day

September 12………………..National Chocolate Milkshake Day

September 13………………..Defy Superstition Day

                      ………………..Positive Thinking Day

                      ………………..Fortune Cookie Day

                      ………………..International Chocolate Day

September 14………………..National Cream-Filled Doughnut Day

September 15………………..Make a Hat Day

September 16………………..Collect Rocks Day

                      ………………..Trail of Tears Commemoration

September 17………………..National Apple Dumpling Day

                      ………………..Constitution Day

September 18………………..National Play-Doh Day

September 19………………..International Talk Like a Pirate Day

September 20………………..National Punch Day

                      ………………..International Eat an Apple Day

September 21………………..International Banana Festival

                     …………………Miniature Golf Day

September 22………………..Hobbit Day

                     …………………Elephant Appreciation Day

September 23………………..Checkers Day

September 24………………..Festival of the Latest Novelties

September 25………………..National Comic Book Day

September 26………………..Johnny Appleseed Day

September 27………………..Crush a Can Day

September 28………………..National Good Neighbor Day

September 29………………..Confucius Day

September 30………………..Mud Pack Day

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August 18 is Bad Poetry Day

August 14, 2008 · Filed Under Holidays · Comment 

You know the kind of poems I mean-the kind that make you say “ouch!” when you hear them.  Some bad poetry is created on purpose, and some is quite accidental.  All of it is fun to read, and you can have alot of fun writing it.

Limericks are some of the best bad poetry around.  These little poems are great jokes and puns, and some are hilarious.  They’re also pretty easy to write.  Writing limericks is an exercise in control over language and humor, and it’s as much fun as it is good for you.  Check out these favorite Limerick Sites:

Limericks A wide selection here, and some info about writing limericks.

Loony Limericks Here’s a fun collection, but it’s definitely rated PG.

Limerick Lesson Plan  Teaching a lesson on limericks?  Check this out.

Other poetry is simply bad.  It was done by accident, usually by someone who thought he or she was writing good poetry.  The author just completely missed the boat.  For examples, check out these websites:

The Bad Poetry Index

The Bad Poetry Page -this one features a do-it-yourself system!  You can post your own bad poetry here.

Very Bad Poetry  Visit here and you’ll be treated to a randomly selected bad poem.

Writing Bad Poetry  It’s true that you must truly master something to mess it up on purpose.  Check this one out!

Sometimes the best way to appreciate the good stuff is to read the bad.  Have fun with Bad Poetry Day!

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Happy Sea Serpent Day! (August 7)

August 5, 2008 · Filed Under Holidays · Comment 

Now here’s a holiday for all ages!  Celebrate sea serpents all day today.  Try writing a story or a poem with a sea serpent in it.  Make up a recipe for sea serpent stew.  Use rulers, yardsticks and tape measures to pace out imaginary sea serpents of various sizes.  Get artistic and draw a sea serpent.  The sky’s the limit, and you can really get your imagination in gear for this party.  How could you build a sea serpent or make a sea serpent costume with what you have around the house?  Let’s see…some blankets would come in handy, and maybe some rope. 

And check out these helpful links:

Look!  Sea Serpents in Wikipedia!

Are there real sea serpents?

Sea Serpent Coloring Page

Here’s a real winner: a Sea Serpent PARTY!

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Hooray for National Mustard Day!

August 5, 2008 · Filed Under Holidays · Comment 

August 5 is National Mustard Day, and what a great day for cooking with the kids.  Check your favorite cookbooks or internet recipe sites and find a few mustard-related recipes, like potato salad, baked beans, or honey-mustard sauce.  Head off to the kitchen and let the kids loose.  While they’re having fun, they will be learning about sequencing, following directions, reading comprehension, measurement, time management and more. 

And don’t forget that mustard is also a color.  Can you come up with a yellow art project to round out your day?  Try this with young children: get a collection of yellow paint sample sheets from your local hardware store.  Cut the yellows apart and then challenge your young child to arrange them in order of shade.  You can make this as easy or as tough as you like-just change the number of shades you use and how closely they resemble each other.

Finally, take some time to learn about mustard itself.  Where does it come from?  What is its history?  What is it used for?  Who makes it?  Do all of the plants with the name ‘mustard’ actually have anything to do with the condiment?  Why do they have the names they do?

Have fun!

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August Holiday Round-Up

July 28, 2008 · Filed Under Holidays · Comment 

Here is a summary of all the great holidays I’ve discovered for August.   Check back often, because I’ll be linking the days to activity ideas for children as I post them.

August 1…………National Raspberry Cream Pie Day

August 2…………National Ice Cream Sandwich Day

August 3………..National Watermelon Day

August 4…………Twins Day Festival

August 5…………National Mustard Day

August 6…………Wiggle Your Toes Day

August 7…………Sea Serpent Day

August 8…………Sneak Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night

August 9…………National Polka Festival

August 10……….Lazy Day

August 11……….Presidential Joke Day

August 12………Middle Child’s Day

August 13………Left Hander’s Day

August 14……….National Creamsicle Day

August 15………National Relaxation Day

August 16………National Tell a Joke Day

August 17………National Thriftshop Day

August 18………Bad Poetry Day

August 19………Potato Day

                         Aviation Day

August 20………National Radio Day

August 21……..National Spumoni Day

                        Senior Citizen’s Day

August 22……..Be An Angel Day

                        National Tooth Fairy Day

August 23…….National Spongecake Day

                       Ride the Wind Day

August 24…….Vesuvius Day

August 25…….Kiss and Make Up Day

August 26…….National Cherry Popsicle Day

August 27…….Petroleum Day

                       Just Because Day

August 28…….World Sauntering Day

                      Race Your Mouse Day

August 29…….More Herbs, Less Salt Day

August 30…….Frankenstein Day

                       National Toasted Marshmallow Day

August 31…….National Trail Mix Day

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Celebrate July 7

July 7, 2008 · Filed Under Holidays, Math, Reading, Writing · Comment 

Guess what?  It’s Chocolate Day!  Here is a wealth of ideas to try for fun and learning on this delicious holiday:

Research the History of Chocolate

Send the kids onto the internet, through the encyclopedia or over to the library to uncover exactly how and when this great treat was discovered.  Here’s a hint: check history records for the native Central and South Americas, and information about the Spanish explorers of the 1600s and 1700s.

Cook Together

Cook up some chocolate delight today.  Recipes abound!  Think of brownies, fudge, and cookies.  See if you can invent a new chocolate sensation together.  Cooking with children builds bonds, increases reading comprehension, develops the ability to follow written and oral directions, enhances science and math skills, and so much more.

Make a Candy Survey

Check in with family and friends to find out what their favorite chocolate candy is.  Keep records of their responses, then present the data in a graph.  Older students can also analyze the information: does age, gender or profession make any difference on candy preferences?  You have the makings of a science fair project for next year!

Try Some Chocolate Science

Get a few chocolate bars, some baking chips, and you’re all set for some science fun.  Place a chocolate bar on two supports, like a bridge.  How many pennies or other weights can it hold before it cracks?  What happens if the chocolate is warm and soft?  What if it’s been in the freezer?  Try putting chocolate in various shapes out in the sun.  Time how long it takes it to melt.  Use the chocolate chips to practice making arrays to demonstrate addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  Got yummy leftovers?  Eat ‘em up!

Write About Chocolate

Individually or as a family, write a story with chocolate as the main character.  This can be oral or written, just make sure it’s full of imagination!  Try these variations: Write a story starter (a few sentences) on a page and post it on the ‘fridge.  Family members take turns adding to the story all day long.  Try sitting in a circle or around a table and each adding a sentence to the story.  Let everyone write or dictate their own story and get a non-biased judge to evaluate your writing contest.

Happy Chocolate Day!

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Celebrate July 2

Guess what!  It’s I Forgot Day!  Make a list of the best excuses for forgetting things.  Write a story about a time that you forgot something important. 

More importantly, it’s Freedom from Fear of Public Speaking Day.  That means it’s a perfect day to hold a talent show!  Gather up as many kids and adults as you can, and let everyone prepare a short act to do.  You might even want to have everyone share a spoken piece, whether it’s a short joke, a poem, or a long soliloquy.  Try some story-telling or reading out loud, too.

Have fun, and keep on learning!

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Celebrate July 1!

Looking for a reason to celebrate today?  It’s more than just frivolity; it’s EDUCATION!  You can use international, little-known, and absolutely bizarre holidays to teach all sorts of things. 

And today is a great day to start-it’s Second Half of the Year Day!  Try these activities to have fun and promote learning:  Put the year in perspective.  Write a summary of what you’ve been doing the past six months.  What’s been good and what’s been not-so-good?  How are you doing on those New Year’s Resolutions?  Maybe it’s time for some renewed vigor in that direction, or even a time to make a few new mid-year resolutions.

It’s also Canada Day.  Do a little research to find out what our neighbors to the north are celebrating today.  How is the holiday celebrated?  Uncover facts and info about Canada.

Try this one for some cool fun today: July 1 is Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day.  What unique and delightful flavor can your child come up with?  You can actually try this one out, or try for the most bizarre suggestion on paper.  Turn it into an experiment, a survey (with graphing), or a writing exercise.

And it’s Build a Scarecrow Day.  Try it out, either by building a real scarecrow with old clothes, broomsticks and straw, or with an art project.  How about a Scarecrow Contest?

Finally, July 1st is Zip Code Day.  What can you do with Zip Codes?  Try checking your junk mail and making math problems out of them.  Which are larger or smaller and by how much?  How many pieces of mail did you get from the same Zip Code?  If you multiply that Zip code by the number of pieces of mail that you got containing it, what’s the answer?  Try this one, too: tell or write a story where the Zip code is actually a secret code for something besides moving mail efficiently.  What’s the code for and who is using it?  What happens?

Whatever you choose to do, have a wonderful July 1.  And don’t forget to visit http://sandyfleming.info again for more holiday fun!

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