Spring brings many special holidays and historical events to enrich our homes and classrooms. Enjoy these resources to help your students understand and explore these interesting observances.
For a round-up of various links for January and February lesson plans and ideas, visit: http://www.amonco.org/jan_feb_celebrations.html
Black History Month – February
Black History Month, observed in February since 1926, provides many interesting opportunities to explore history, culture and food. The Creative Process can get you started with their “Celebrate Black History Month” page, linked here: http://www.amonco.org/spring8/montessori_spring8.pdf
You will find more information, resources and recipes in the links below.
http://www.lessonplanspage.com/blackhistorymonth-htm , http://seasonal.theteacherscorner.net/black-history-month , http://www.thinkfinity.org/?q=black-history-month , and http://www.soul-food-advisor.com/black_history_month.html
Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, February 12, 1809
There is no question that Abraham Lincoln is one of the most famous and most admired presidents of the United States. Many states no longer observe his birthday as a separate holiday; but his life, accomplishments and assassination are at the heart of one of the most complex and pivotal eras of American history. President Lincoln’s life and career make an excellent basis for unit studies. Explore these interesting websites for more information.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/abrahamlincoln , http://www.nps.gov/abli/index.htm , http://www.civilwarhome.com/lincolnbio.htm , and http://www.primaryteachers.org/abraham_lincoln_unit.htm
George Washington’s birthday, February 22, 1732 (Presidents’ Day observed February 20, 2012)
Sara L. Ambarian helps us get to know the man who is called “the Father of our Country”, with information about George Washington in her article, “Celebrating the Personal Life of George Washington”. You’ll find additional educational links about our first president at the end of the article. http://www.amonco.org/spring8/montessori_spring8.pdf
For more presidential lesson ideas, read “It’s Time to Think Outside the Box and Kindle, Too!” from Literatureplace.com, with its suggestions for studying Thomas Jefferson. http://www.amonco.org/spring3/montessori_spring_3.pdf You can also enhance your studies of government and politics with a batch of the famous, traditional and tasty Senate Bean Soup, from Dale and Rita at North American Montessori Center. http://www.amonco.org/spring4/montessori_spring4.pdf
St. Patrick’s Day, March 17
Visit these links for lesson and craft ideas for the “greenest” spring holiday! https://montessori21stcentury.wordpress.com/2008/02/13/st-patricks-day-crafts-origami-and-more http://www.fastq.com/~jbpratt/education/sstudies/geog/stpatricks.html and http://www.edhelper.com/st_patricks_day.htm
Easter, April 8
Georgette Baker from Cantemos offers some fun projects for Easter and other spring holidays. Check out her festive hat and easy tie-dye instructions. http://www.amonco.org/spring1/montessori_spring1.pdf
For long-lasting Easter fun outdoors, Jan from Garden Artisans shares a cute Hippity Hoppity Bunny Topiary project here: http://www.amonco.org/spring2/montessori_spring2.pdf
Bake up an interesting Italian tradition with Mary Ann Esposito’s Neopolitan Stuffed Easter Bread. If desirable, you could make it easier, more economical and/or more kid-friendly by replacing the fancy imported meat and cheese with meat or cheese of your choice. It might also be more kid-friendly if you dice the meat and cheese a little smaller than Ms. Esposito does in the tutorial. The recipe is full of interesting Easter symbolism, and what child wouldn’t be fascinated (as Ms. Esposito was herself) by the whole raw eggs baked into the bread! http://www.ciaoitalia.com/seasons/20/2020/neapolitan-stuffed-easter-bread
Find more Easter inspiration at the following sites.
Cinco de Mayo, May 5
Cinco de Mayo is not, as sometimes assumed, Mexican Independence Day (a separate holiday which is celebrated on September 16). It marks the Battle of Puebla in which Mexican troops defeated French troops. Find out more at: http://www.mexonline.com/cinco-de-mayo.htm
For introduction or reinforcement of Spanish language lessons, check out the offerings from Cantemos http://www.amonco.org/spring1/montessori_spring1.pdf and Professor Toto http://www.amonco.org/spring6/montessori_spring6.pdf
For Spanish-speaking students or those learning Spanish, check out our Unit Study Lesson Plan About Mexico in Spanish. https://montessori21stcentury.wordpress.com/2008/02/14/a-unit-study-lesson-plan-about-mexico-in-spanish
For more lesson ideas and some recipe ideas for Mexican food to make, check these interesting sites. http://seasonal.theteacherscorner.net/cinco-de-mayo/ , http://recipesource.com/ethnic/americas/mexican /, and http://www.mexicanrecipes.org /
Mother’s Day , May 13
Parents and educators are always looking for ideas and resources for the popular holiday, Mother’s Day. Dale Gausman from NAMC lists some books and ideas in his article, “Mother’s Day in the Montessori Classroom”. He also provides some lesson plan ideas for older students. http://www.amonco.org/spring6/montessori_spring6.pdf
These websites provide some additional ideas for crafts and decorations. http://www.mothersdaycentral.com/mothers-day-crafts/ and http://www.divinedinnerparty.com/mothers-day-ideas.html
Memorial Day, May 28
Memorial Day is a solemn, but potentially important holiday with which to acquaint children at age appropriate levels. NAMC’s Dale Gausman discusses the history of and Montessori perspective for teaching about Memorial Day in his “Montessori Curriculum Ideas for Memorial Day”. http://www.amonco.org/spring7/montessori_spring7.pdf
Find more information on the history of this day of remembrance, at: http://www.history.com/topics/memorial-day-history and http://virtual-markets.net/vme/memorial/dvm_mem.html
For more about holidays, in a convenient monthly chronology, see Rae from The Creative Process’s “Monthly Observances and Notable Dates”. http://www.amonco.org/spring2/montessori_spring2.pdf