Memorial Day, which is observed on the last Monday of May, commemorates the men and women who died while in the military service. In observance of the holiday, many people visit cemeteries and memorials, and volunteers often place American flags on each grave site at national cemeteries. http://www.va.gov/opa/speceven/memday/
Sunday, May 12 is Mother’s Day – a holiday that honors mothers for their love and dedication to their families. Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May each year. Here are some fun Mother’s Day projects from Kid News and Family Fun Magazine.
To download the page click here
(Note: If you are going to print the page, check the fit to page setting on your printer. The page is bigger than letter size.)
Cinco de Mayo is a national holiday in Mexico, but it is also widely celebrated by Mexican-Americans in the United States. The holiday, which in Spanish means the “Fifth of May,” commemorates the Battle of Puebla, when Mexican patriots stopped a French invasion. It often is confused with Mexico’s Independence Day, which is Sept. 16.
The Battle of Puebla victory was significant in that the smaller, less well-equipped army toppled the bigger, stronger one.
To honor the day, people throughout Mexico, as well as many cities throughout the United States, celebrate with festivals and fiestas, enjoying traditional Mexican food and special music and dances. People often don clothes of red and green — two of the colors of the Mexican flag (along with white). -McClatchy Newspapers
ACTIVITIES from the KRP Ultimate Holiday Activity Guide
While most Mexican-Americans celebrate the traditional American holidays, many also continue to observe the major holidays of their homeland, such as Cinco de Mayo. Often, they do so with fiestas. Explain to students that fiesta means festival, a colorful celebration that can include fireworks, dancing, the ringing of bells, parades, and plenty of food and drink. Another Mexican tradition, the pinata, is also usually present. Pinatas, which are commonplace in many American celebrations, are usually made of papier-mache and are shaped like animals. Find a papier-mache “recipe” and old newspapers and help your students make a pinata for Cinco de Mayo. Display their work throughout the school.
Discuss other ways Mexican-Americans have had an influence on American society and your community. Ask students to find and clip newspaper stories and photos that illustrate this influence. They can create a bulletin board display in honor of this important Mexican national holiday.
Mexico is an important American neighbor. Things that happen in Mexico often affect the United States and vice versa. Have students look for a news story about an event or happening in Mexico that will have an impact on the United States. Allow them to discuss their conclusions. Then have them look for a U.S. story that might have an effect on Mexico.
April 26 is the “national” Arbor Day. North Dakota’s Arbor Day is the first Friday in May. Each state has their own Arbor Day depending upon the planting season in their state. This year, however, ND is celebrating their State Arbor Day on May 17 at Annie’s House in Bottineau, N.D. Click on the following links to learn more:
- Work with a friend, a relative or a parent to clip pictures and names of trees from your newspaper over the period of a couple of weeks. Clip photos from newspaper stories or advertisements; clip the names of trees, try to draw your own picture of how each tree appears.
- Create a scrapbook of trees popular or commonly grown in your community. Paste or tape pictures of different trees on different pages of your scrapbook and identify the type of tree you have selected. If you clip names of trees, try to draw your own picture of how each tree appears.
- Finally, try to find an example of a leaf from most of the types of trees you identified in your notebook. Attach the leaf to the appropriate page. If you can’t find a particular leaf, do some research and draw a sample leaf from the tree.
- When you complete your scrapbook, add a page to the back of the scrapbook in which you describe any findings you and your partner made. Include any final statements about your research and what you learned about trees in your community.
Happy Easter! Here’s an Easter Coloring page for you to download and print by clicking here.
Here are some Easter ideas from FamilyFun Magazine and MCT. After dyeing and decorating your Easter eggs, turn them into sweet-faced critters. Just peel off the shells to begin.
Also be sure and check out Kid-Friendly Tips to Create Fun Easter Memories from American Profile Magazine.
The Christian observances of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter, and the Jewish Passover are important religious holidays that fall in March or April. The Eastern Orthodox Easter, called Pascha, also falls into this time period.
Spring holy days provide many opportunities for you to discuss such concepts as tolerance and respect for each other’s beliefs. Begin a discussion of tolerance by explaining to students that tolerance means to put up with practices and beliefs that are different from your own. Then ask them to find five items in the newspaper: stories, photos and comics that are examples of tolerance or intolerance. Conclude by asking them to describe the effects of the acts of tolerance or intolerance in each example.
Instruct students to find a newspaper photo that shows diversity among a group of people. Ask: What differences do you see between the people pictured? Have students discuss the level of tolerance or intolerance portrayed in the photo.
Information and activities are from A Plan For All Seasons: Using newspapers in grades 3-8 to make the most of holidays and seasonal events. Written by Ann West, NIE Consultant and distributed by the NIE Institute.
April Fools’ Day is often celebrated with harmless pranks and foolish happenings. In real life, many of us feel foolish on occasion about something we may have said or done without thinking.
The pages of the newspaper often contain news of people who have been foolish in some way. Some people in the news may have not thought before they acted; others may have gotten caught doing something they should not have done, leaving them feeling foolish.
Create an April Fools’ Day Hall of Shame by selecting photos or names of people in the newspaper who have said or done something foolish. These people may be famous people or they may not be so well known. You may even want to find comic strip characters who have done or said somthing foolish.
Clip from the newspaper one or two examples of foolish people and mount the names or faces on a sheet of construction paper. Explain the following items.
1. WHO the person is
2. WHAT the person said or did
3. WHEN this person said or did it
4. WHY you think this person deserves a place in the Hall of Shame
The first day of spring this year is March 20. This day is also know as the vernal equinox for the northern hemisphere. For more information on the vernal equinox visit http://www.factmonster.com/spot/riteofspring1.html
Here is a spring word search you can download and print. Just click here.
SHAMROCK: Shamrocks are actually clover plants. The small, three leafed herb appears on the United Kingdom’s coat of arms with the English rose and Scottish thistle. The shamrocks found in U.S. flower shops are often imposters.
IRISH FLAG: Green stands for Catholics, orange for Protestants and white for a wish for harmony.
LEPRECHAUNS: Fairies who work day and night mending shoes of other fairies.
SHILLELAGH (shi-lay-lee): A walking stick. The word is Irish for stout oak club or cudgel. It’s also the name of a forest that once stood in County Wicklow.
SAINT PATRICK AND LEGEND:
387: Born in Britain to a Roman family. His original name was Maewyn.
Early 400s: He was taken to Ireland as a slave; after six years, he escaped to France where he studied for priesthood.
432: He was sent back to Ireland as a Christian missionary by Pope Celestine I, who named him Patricius, which means noble in Latin. He introduced the Roman alphabet, Latin literature and Christianized the land.
Familiar legend: He drove the snakes from Ireland by beating a drum.