Friday, August 1, 2014

National Friendship Day **Introducing Calendar Time** Holidays

I'm planning a special blog series for this year. There are so many strange, unofficial holidays. Did you know there is a National Cordova ice worm day? Or even what is an ice worm?!! And how and why would one celebrate National Grouch Day? 

When I was a kid, I loved those On This Day...type of books. I thought this would be a fun series to share with your classroom. Not every day will have something that is suitable to share so be prepared to tell them that you won't have one for every day. There are some (National Missing Children Day, National Mammogram Day) that would not be appropriate for me to share with my 1st grade class. I'm going to focus on the best holidays - ones I like or ones that are funny and strange - and provide you with some information about them. I'll post a description of the holiday and something that you can use in your classroom. It might be a little freebie that I create for you or a list of books that you can use. It will be fun finding and compiling resources. I'm looking forward to sharing these with my class! I won't have students until the last week of August, but I know many of you are headed back to the classroom soon so I posted the August ones that you can share with your classroom. 

The first day that we will celebrate is an easy one! National Friendship Day is August 3rd. I love an excuse to think about the friends in our lives and to share with our students ways to be a good friend.
Here are some ways to celebrate this day:
1) Song: A Duo from American Tail 
This YouTube clip is an awesome way to introduce a discussion of friendship. I've always loved this song! I had it on a cassette tape and played it when my boys were younger. I was shocked when I searched on YouTube and found someone playing an LP of it! Really??? There were LP's in use when the American Tail movie was filmed? I feel soooo old....
2) Book: Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend by Melanie Watt
  Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend [SCAREDY SQUIRREL MAKES A FRIEN]

If you have not yet discovered the silliness and sweetness of the Scaredy Squirrel books, you REALLY need to read them. If I were to have a classroom mascot, it would be Scaredy Squirrel. Maybe it's because I relate so much to his germaphobe ways!! If you haven't read any of them, I recommend that you begin with the 1st one - Scaredy Squirrel - to introduce your students to this character. Scaredy definitely doesn't plan on making friends and yet an unlikely friendship happens in spite of his resistance! My firsties love the Scaredy Squirrel books. :)
3) The Best Me QR Code Cards for Listening Centers -
I know I just shared these with you, but I'm bringing them up again since they are so perfect for this topic. Most of them aren't specific to "friendship", but rather are stories that focus on the character traits of a good friend. It features books like Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon (bullying, being yourself) & Do Unto Otters (the golden rule - otter style!).
4) Free Friendship Task Cards by Rachel Lynette
These cards are for grades 1-5. These cards would be great as a whole class discussion or used as writing prompts. Lower elementary students could even draw a picture to illustrate the idea that is shared on the card.
5) Free Friendship Fun Activity Pack by First Grade Roars 
This pack is full of great ideas! If you use it in first grade, most of these pages would require a great deal of assistance from the teacher. It would be fun to take a few of the interview questions (help the kids practice reading them) and make a video using a smart phone or iPad. One student could be a videographer and record 2 students doing the interview.

I'd love to hear from you! What do you think of this new series? Are these ideas that you would use in your classroom? What unusual holiday(s) do you really want to see me review? Leave a comment so I know you're there!! :)

I'll be back in a few days to share another Calendar Time with you! Happy August, friends!!


  1. Great idea! I always do Talk Like a Pirate Day in September :)

    1. That would be such a fun one! Our 4th grade teacher usually celebrates that one with her students. I will have to think of some ideas for my 1st grade classroom. It would definitely be a great day to practice "ar"!! :)

  2. What a fun idea! I love Scaredy Squirrel. I think I have all of his books! I am trying to come up with something fun to share for National Friendship Day.

    1. Feel free to come back and post here if you thought of something else for Friendship Day. :) Thanks for the comment!



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