National Zipper Day on April 29th leads the classroom into a study about simple machines. It’s an excellent way to introduce more STEM and STEAM to your students. Simple machines open up fun ways to experiment, too! We’ve provided a basic worksheet with questions to stimulate conversation. We also link you to projects to either send your pupils exploring or to do right in the classroom.
As always, the classroom includes puzzles and trivia to keep things interesting. The archive contains projects from previous celebrations, so be sure to check those out, too.
Sharing on social media isn’t required; learning is. But if you do, please use #NDCClassroom to share on social media.
LESSON 1 National Zipper Day
We use simple machines all day long without even thinking about it. The zipper is just one of thousands of them.
There are six basic simple machines. They are the lever, the wheel and axle, the pulley, the inclined plane, the wedge, and the screw. We use them every day to make difficult tasks easier. We’ve included a pdf outlining these with questions to get the classroom discussing.
This week the classroom looks to the skies! Sky Awareness Week takes place the last full week in April, and it’s a wonderful time to learn about meteorology, moon cycles, and astronomy.
We also include a crossword puzzle from one of our favorite days of the year – National Talk Like Shakespeare Day.
Don’t forget to explore the trivia and puzzle page, too! The archive takes a look back a Talk Like Shakespeare Day for a fun way to celebrate in the classroom. There’s always something to #CelebrateEveryDay around here!
As always, sharing on social media isn’t required; learning is. But if you do, please use #NDCClassroom to share on social media.
Resources – Sky Awareness Week
There are many resources on the internet and at your local libraries. Don’t hesitate to seek out more than what we list here, but we have provided several excellent resources for classroom projects regarding astronomy and weather.
NATIONAL DAY CALENDAR CLASSROOM | WEEK 34 | April 14, 2019
National Day Calendar gets excited when we can celebrate animals. This week, National Bat Appreciation Day makes its appearance in the classroom. We have several opportunities for learning about bats and how they improve our world. Get the students started with a word search puzzle dedicated to these fascinating creatures and a crazy maze!
Don’t forget to explore the trivia and puzzle page, too!
As always, sharing on social media isn’t required; learning is. But if you do, please use #NDCClassroom to share on social media.
bats are pollinators like bees and butterflies, so they are essential to our food source.
nearly 70 percent of bats are insectivores? Some bats can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes in an hour which means they help to rid many annoying insects.
that while bats can see at night, they find their food through echolocation. They emit a sound that echos helping them determine the distance and location of their prey and other objects.
some bats hibernate, others migrate to warmer climates, and some do both! Bats that hibernate will sleep for varying lengths of time to conserve energy for the winter and those who migrate, will move to warmer climates and better food sources.
bats are warm-blooded and are covered in fur, so they are mammals. They are the only mammals capable of sustained flight.
Sharing on social media isn’t required, learning is. But if you do, please use #NDCClassroom to share on social media.
Project 1 – National Name Yourself Day
Sometimes we get to play a role and pretend we are someone else. On National Name Yourself Day, we can temporarily change our name. You will need:
Markers or crayons
Stickers or other embellishments
Write your new name on your tag and decorate it.
National Barbershop Quartet Day
Music influences our lives in numerous ways. If possible, invite a barbershop quartet to your classroom to perform. Schools with chorus groups, encourage them to participate in the day. Ask your students to learn more about a capella styles of music.
There are four parts to a barbershop quartet. There are usually a tenor, bass, baritone, and the second tenor for men. For women, the four voices are a soprano, alto, tenor and bass. The second tenor or tenor carries the melody. Barbershop music is sung a capella, without instrumental accompaniment.
quartet = four a capella = without instrumental accompaniment
Challenge students to speak with a British accent all day. Though even their best effort will be far from the accent used during Shakespeare’s day, it will be fun to attempt an accent not quite like our own. Understanding how vowel sounds are formed differently by shaping our lips and placing our tongue further or closer to our teeth when speaking certain words also helps us to understand how to begin speaking a foreign language.
Have them try using these Shakespearean phases in places of their modern ones to get them started.
The game is afoot (I Henry IV)
A dish fit for the gods (Julius Caesar)
Knock knock! Who’s there? (MacBeth)
As good luck would have it (The Merry Wifes of Windsor)
Better foot before (King John)
Refuse to budge an inch (Measure for Measure)
Fancy Free (Midsummer Night’s Dream)
In my book of memory (I Henry VI)
Not slept one wink (Cymbeline)
Snail paced (Troilus and Cressida)
Swift as shadow (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
Tower of strength (Richard III)
LESSON 2 – National Telephone Day
Carrying our Shakespearean accents into the middle of the week, let’s imagine how the Bard would answer the telephone today. Perhaps he would need a few lessons in etiquette and message taking if he were to answer someone’s phone and they weren’t around.
Play a traditional game of telephone. Everyone sits in a circle, and one person starts a simple message by whispering it in their neighbor’s ear seated to their left. That person whispers to the person to their left and so on until the communication has traveled all around the circle. The last person to hear the message says what they THINK they heard for the entire class to hear. Is it the same message the first person said?
Now the class can pair up and pretend to make Shakespearean phone calls. Sit back to back, and one person will be the caller and one the receiver. Remember, you can’t hear when a person nods or shakes their head. Take turns being the caller and receiver.
The first caller should call with a list of items to pick up from the store. Make sure to take good notes! Did you remember to get everything?
The second caller wants to set a time and place to meet for lunch. Then, the caller calls right back and changes the plan. Did you get that message right?
The third call is a buddy you have been hoping to hear from for a long time. You want to make sure you have his phone number. Make sure you write it down correctly!
The last call is from your mom. She needs you to pick up your sister after school and take her to the doctor. She gives the address, but then she also needs you to run to the bank and make a deposit and call your father at work. She gives you the number. Did you get the address of the doctor, the correct amount to deposit at the bank, and your dad’s work number?
Lesson 3 – National Tell A Story Day
It’s the year 1500 in London, England and the telephone has already been invented. You’re William Shakespeare. How are your plays different because of the telephone? Tell your story.
Let the ink flow and words fill the pages. National Encourage a Young Writer Day on April 10 will be the focus in the classroom this week. We also hope National Scrabble Day on April 13 will find a way to challenge a few.
Lesson: National Encourage a Young Writer Day with writing prompts
Writing prompts are an excellent way to break into a new style of writing. They can offer a young writer a new challenge or instant inspiration. They come as scene starters, simple phrases, visual or auditory prompts. Here we offer a list of prompts to use in your classroom. Challenge your students to use these prompts for inspiration and creativity.
When she opened her hand, a single white feather swirled into the air.
Pickles. Sour, nasty pickles.
There were three doors on the south side of the gymnasium. The black one was always locked. We never knew why.
In the bright light I couldn’t make out the face, but the voice seemed familiar.
“Count ’em! Fourteen!”
The clouds puffed along like smoke from a train that day.
Thump. Thump. Thump. Then nothing.
The postmark was dated April 10, 2018.
The note taped to the door read, “I’ll be back in an hour.” That was three days ago.
She rang the bell on her tricycle over and over. The joy on her face reached her eyes and spread to those around her.
The last candle on the cake wouldn’t stay lit.
In a fit of giggles, we crumpled to the ground.
The cat crouched on the highest branch of the tree and cried.
Squinting at the playbook, the x’s and o’s blurred.
I was soaked by the spray of a taxi speeding through a large puddle on my way to my next appointment.
Lesson 2: Give a prompt, take a prompt
Have your students create a list of prompts to add classroom prompt book. The more who provide inspiration, the more the class can encourage each other to write and grow their creativity.
We’ve included a couple of visual prompts for young writers, too!
Lesson – National Find a Rainbow Day – April 3
The mnemonic ROYGBIV helps us to remember the color sequence of a rainbow. A rainbow occurs when white light bends and separates into red, orange, yellow, green blue, indigo and violet. These seven colors are usually cast across when the sun shines through raindrops after a storm creating a beautiful display of nature.
For your assignment, find a rainbow around you at home, in your backyard, where you play or study. Sometimes a rainbow is caused by the way the light is cast through a window or a glass of water. Does the light off a pair of sunglasses create a rainbow? Maybe all the vegetables in your supper line up just right to create a rainbow on your plate.
Using the honor system, see how many rainbows you can find. Make sure the colors are in the correct order. Keep track of the number of rainbows you find. Report where you see your rainbow and if your rainbow was the kind caused by light, explain what you think may have caused the colors to separate.
Rainbows caused by nature (a passing storm or puddles caused by a storm) – 5 points
Rainbows caused by other water sources – 3 points
Rainbows caused by man-made objects (refracting off eyeglasses, jewelry) – 2 points
Self-created rainbows (only 1 per student) – 1 point
Other rainbows (rainbows found in food, artwork, clothing, accessories, etc.. – 1 per student) – 1 point
The week ahead on National Day Calendar is full of the crusty comfort foods that come fresh from the oven. National Day Flavor will feature National Pretzel Day but start the oven for National Cherry Cheese Cake Day and keep it on for National Blueberry Pie Day, National Zucchini Bread Day and more! We can also begin the week with a leisurely picnic. Check out the tips for delicious and easy picnics. Let’s get started!
NATIONAL PRETZEL DAY
National Pretzel Day is observed annually on April 26. A bag of nice crunchy, salty pretzels or a big, warm, soft, cinnamon pretzel is the question of the day. Either one is an excellent choice.
There are a few different accounts of the origin of the pretzel. Most people agree that it does have a Christian background, and they were developed by the monks. According to The History of Science and Technology, in 610 AD, “an Italian monk invents pretzels as a reward to children who learn their prayers. He calls the strips of baked dough, folded to resemble arms crossing the chest, pretiola (little rewards).”
Another source puts the invention in a monastery in southern France. The looped pretzel may also be related to a Greek Ring bread from the communion bread used in monasteries a thousand years ago. In the Catholic Church, pretzels had a religious significance for both ingredients and shape. The loops in pretzel may have served a practical purpose: bakers could hang them on sticks, projecting upwards from a central column, as shown in Job Berckheyde’s (1681) painting.
The Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants introduced pretzels to North America in the 19th century. At this time, many handmade pretzel bakeries populated central Pennsylvania, and their popularity quickly spread.
It was in the 20th century that soft pretzels were very popular in areas such as Philadelphia, Chicago and New York.
Today, the average Philadelphian consumes about twelve times as many pretzels as the national average.
Pennsylvania is the center of American pretzel production for both hard and soft pretzels, producing 80% of the nation’s pretzels.
The annual United States pretzel industry is worth over $550 million.
The average American consumes about 1.5 pounds of pretzels per year.
Philadelphia opened a privately run “Pretzel Museum” in 1993.
Hard pretzels originated in the United States in 1850.
Picnics are light, laid back and often spur of the moment events. For planners of the world who have begun tallying the must haves, can’t-do-withouts and predict catastrophe, relax. We got this.
Keep it simple – finger foods only. Food that comes in their own wrappers doesn’t require containers. Fruit and vegetables are best.
Keep it cool – Make sandwiches by adding cold cuts and cheeses from the deli. They are easy to store and keep cold in a cooler.
Keep it hydrated – Bring the gang’s favorite beverages but make sure to keep plenty of H2O on ice.
Keep it fun – A frisbee, a book, radio, a blanket for the gang to relax on, and a small first aid kit (just in case).
Keep it clean – Toss in a package of baby wipes to clean everyone up before and after and something to tote away the garbage and recyclables. You’re all set!
1 envelope yeast 1½ cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
1 egg, beaten
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons baking soda
In large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add dry ingredients. Add enough water to make the dough tacky and then knead the dough until a ball forms. Cover and let rise in a warm space until double in size.
Divide dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope about 18 inches long. Form a circle with the two ends at the top. Loosely twist the two ends together twice. Draw the twisted end down to the bottom of the circle to form the pretzel.
Pre-heat oven to 475° F. Bring the water and baking soda to a boil and dip each pretzel in the water for 30 – 60 seconds. Remove and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
‘Never plan a picnic’ Father said. ‘Plan a dinner, yes, or a house, or a budget, or an appointment with the dentist, but never, never plan a picnic’ ~Elizabeth Enright, The Four-Story Mistake
About National Day Calendar
Founded in 2013 in the historic town of Mandan, North Dakota, National Day Calendar began as a kernel of curiosity that exploded into a growing collection of ways to Celebrate. Every Day, founder Marlo Anderson and his team seek out all the daily, weekly and monthly observations and celebrations to keep you up to date and informed. Through daily updates, social media, mobile applications and much more, National Day Calendar helps you #CelebrateEveryDay!
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