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June Holidays and Special Days: Elementary Classroom Activities, Ideas, and Lesson Plans
I have gotten a number of comments from parents about this series so I decided to continue it through the summer months. Teachers in traditional classroom settings may be able to use some of the resources for the beginning of the month holidays while summer school teachers and parents will be able to use all of the resources throughout the month.
Create variety in your curriculum by celebrating some of the special days and holidays in June. Even though many of these days are trivial, they will often peak students' interest and mix up the daily routine. It is relatively easy to work most of the holidays into your regular curriculum with some basic modifications. Other holidays can create a change of pace through a special lesson or snack. Finally, you can adapt a number of the suggestions for these holidays for just about any grade level. For example, for a written activity, younger students can draw pictures while older students can write sentences or paragraphs.
June 1 - Flip a Coin Day
- Have students experiment with flipping different coins. Are some easier to flip than others? Why or why not? Discuss the results.
- Set up a probability game. Students can write down their guesses for how many times they will flip heads and tails. Then they will complete the flipping and compare the numbers.
- Learn about the NFL football coin toss rules.
June 2 - National Rocky Road Day
- Enjoy some Rocky Road ice cream for a snack. If possible, you can make your own chocolate ice cream and then add the Rocky Road ingredients.
- Make another Rocky Road dessert, such as Rocky Road cookie bars or fudge. I've linked a couple recipes below. Search Pinterest for more recipes.
- Learn about the history of Rocky Road ice cream.
How to Make French Vanilla Ice Cream
June 4 - Hug Your Cat Day
- Conduct a classroom poll: Do you prefer cats or dogs? Graph and discuss this results. Alternatively or additionally, you could also do a class pet poll.
- Have students draw pictures or complete a writing prompt about cats. Even if they don't have cats at home, they may have favorite cats (i.e. a neighbor or relative's cat) or funny cat stories.
- Learn about caring for pet cats.
June 7 - National Chocolate Ice Cream Day
In case you didn't get enough chocolate ice cream for Rocky Road Day, you can revisit it for National Chocolate Ice Cream Day!
- Taste test different chocolate ice creams from the grocery store or from ice cream shops. Conduct a survey about preferences and discuss why you liked the favorite choices more than the others.
- Make your own chocolate ice cream using the plastic bag method or an ice cream maker.
- Experiment with different toppings/mix ins with chocolate ice cream (i.e. chocolate chips, nuts, etc.). What does or does not work well? Draw a picture or write a few sentences about your favorite combination or why you prefer your ice cream without toppings.
June 7 - VCR Day
- Do your students known what a VCR is? Have they ever used one before? If you don't have one available at school, if possible, bring one in from home.
- If you are able to bring in a VCR, demonstrate how to rewind and fast forward the tape as well as how to make a recording with a blank tape.
- Discuss the pros and cons of VCRs. Why are DVD and Blu-Ray players better? Is there anything that was easier or more convenient about VCRs? How about in comparison to digital files?
June 12th - Machine Day
- Brainstorm a list of the machines that you use every day. Consider everything in your daily routine from smaller machines, such as toasters, to larger or more complex machines, such as computers.
- Have students invent their own machines and draw them and/or write about them. This could be a quick activity or something that you make into a small unit. What machines don't exist yet that they would really like to see?
- Visit a factory to see how any type of machine is assembled. If this isn't possible to arrange, have students work in pairs or groups to search for videos online of machine assembly. Additionally, consider History Channel shows such as Modern Marvels that may have machine features.
P&H Mining Equipment 4100 AC Mining Shovel Walkthrough
June 13th - National Juggling Day
- Search for videos online of juggling routines. Discuss why some objects are easier to juggle with than others.
- Has anyone seen great juggling acts in person, such as at a circus? Did they juggle with anything dangerous, such as objects on fire? Discuss your experiences.
- Give it a try yourselves and juggle with bean bags or tennis balls. Start with two and work your way up from there. Can anyone juggle three or more objects?
Michael Moschen performs THE TRIANGLE
June 14 - Flag Day
- Learn about the history of the United States flag.
- Research flags from other countries and their histories. Which flags are your favorites?
- Have students create their own flags and write about them and/or present them to the class. You can provide as many materials for creating the flags as you like. Make sure that students consider why they are making the flags. A flag could be for a fictious country, a special event, etc.
June 16 - Fresh Veggies Day
This topic makes a wonderful addition to or an extension of a nutrition unit.
- Learn about some of the vegetables that are grown locally and where they are grown.
- Check out Cara's A to Z Vegetable Guide. Are there are unfamilar vegetables on the list? Look them up and consider some dishes that you can make with them.
- Enjoy some fresh vegetables for a snack or with lunch today. Provide Ranch and/or yogurt dip.
June 20 - National Wear Flip Flop Day
- Wear your favorite pair of flip flops today. Gather data about the type of flip flops that everyone wore, such as the colors, sizes, brands, etc.
- Discuss and make a list of when it is and is not safe to wear flip flops.
- Did you know that there are a lot of fun ways to decorate flip flops as well as a lot of fun crafts that you can make with flip flops, such as flip flop scrapbooks and wreaths? Consider making one of these projects with your class. Consider craft elements that will appeal to both boys and girls.
June 23 - National Pink Day
- Wear one or more of your favorite pink items today. It can be something bold such as a bright pink shirt or something subtle such as a pink watch or pin.
- Learn about the different shades of pink and discuss whether or not you think that they are accurate. For example, one shade of pink is rose. Are all pink roses the same shade?
- Brainstorm pink foods, such as gum and cotton candy. Is pink an appetizing color? Why or why not? Maybe you can enjoy a pink snack today. Consider making a cake or cupcakes and dying your frosting pink.
June 29 - National Camera Day
- Learn about the history of the camera and discuss how it has changed throughout the years.
- Have students bring in a favorite photo from home (photos must be appropriate). Bring in your own favorite photo, too. Take turns sharing the photos with the class and/or write about why you picked those photos.
- Create a school photo scavenger hunt or a version of I Spy With My Little Eye. Have students work in teams to take pictures of all of the items on the list. Later that day or later in the week, load their photos onto the computer and share some of the best findings with the class.
June 30 - Waffle Iron Day
- See if you can get permission to bring in a waffle iron and make waffles with your students for lunch. I did this once when I was teaching, and it was a blast.
- Brainstorm waffle toppings. Do you have favorite waffle toppings that you like to use at home or that you get at restaurants? If you do make waffles, work as a class ahead of time to decide what toppings you will have.
- Learn about different types of waffles and/or the history of the waffle maker.
June 30 - Meteor Day
- Get to know your meteor terminology. Learn the difference between a meteoroid, meteor (or shooting star), meteorites, and meteor showers.
- Has anyone ever experienced a meteor and/or a meteor shower in person? Share your experiences.
- Check out videos online of meteors and meteor showers. Learn about when the next shower will be in your area so you can try to catch it.
More holidays and special days resources from the author.
- July Holidays and Special Days: Elementary Classroom Activities, Ideas, and Lesson Plans
This article has ideas, lesson plans, and activities for 15 different holidays and special days in July. They are perfect for elementary school aged children to use at school or at home.
- August Holidays and Special Days: Elementary Classroom Activities, Ideas, and Lesson Plans
Celebrate just a few of the holidays and special days in August with lesson plans and activities. The ideas in this article are perfect for elementary school aged children of a variety of ages to use at school or at home.
- September Holidays and Special Days: Elementary Classroom Activities, Ideas, and Lesson Plans
Celebrate some of the special days and holidays in September with activities and lesson plans. This article contains many ideas that are ideal for elementary school aged children of varying ages to use both at home and at school.