With Mother’s Day just a little over a week away on Sunday 12 May, teachers are looking for classroom activities that are easy to implement but foster learning while making something special for the children’s mums to treasure. readilearn Mother’s Day suggestions help you do just that.
Benefits of written gifts
Writing letters, cards and books for mothers is one of the best ways of fulfilling all these requirements.
- are easily slotted into the class writing program
- provide opportunities for teaching and learning writing skills
- encourage creativity
- are gifts from the heart
- are unique and personalised for each mother or carer
- become treasures that never wear out and are easy to keep
- require little to no additional purchases or expenditure on the part of the teacher
Start with discussion
The best preparation for writing is discussion.
Discussion provides children with an opportunity to:
- share ideas
- be inspired by others’ ideas
- decide what they wish to write and how they might express it
- consider alternative recipients for their writing
Read books for inspiration
Many beautiful picture books celebrate mothers.
Reading aloud to children helps to:
- Foster a love of books and language
- Develop language and vocabulary
- Stimulate ideas
- Inspire creativity
A few of my favourite picture books about mothers are:
Koala Lou by Mem Fox
Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
I Love You with All My Heart by Noris Kern
Just Like That by Mem Fox (also available as Harriet, You’d Drive Me Wild)
Where’s Mum? by Libby Gleeson and Craig Smith
Getting Home by J.R. Poulter and Muza Ulasowski
Are You My Mother? By P.D. Eastman
Of course, there are many others too. What is your favourite?
Ideas for writing
- Discuss what a mother is and write a collaborative verse; for example:
Write the phrase, “A mother is someone who” on the board and ask children to complete the statement. Write their suggestions. Collect as many ideas as you can. Children will share a variety of special, mundane, humorous, complimentary, and perhaps not so complimentary, statements about their Mums.
Compile the suggestions into a verse. Print and distribute the verse for children to illustrate with pictures of their mums (ensure they sign their illustrations in the bottom right-hand corner).
When laminated or rolled into a scroll, these make a lovely Mother’s Day gift.
- Write “I love” poems
Discuss and list things children love to do with their Mums. Children write their own list poem of things they like to do with their Mums; for example:
- I love cooking with my Mum.
- I love it when my Mum reads me stories.
- I love watching television with my Mum.
- I love playing games with my Mum.
Refer to the free resource Write your own “I love” poem for other ideas and a printable card template.
- Write individual books about “My Mum”
The collaborative verse is a great way to get children thinking about all the special things their mums do for them. It is only a small step from here for children to make their own individual books composed of statements about their mothers. This time children write a series of statements beginning with “My Mum”. They may write things such as:
- My mum tucks me into bed at night.
- My mum reads me stories.
- My mum makes me feel better when I am sick.
- My mum goes to work
- My mum likes to watch TV.
If children write their statements into their writing books first, they can be edited and proofread before publishing in a book. With each statement written on its own page and illustrated, these books make a lovely gift. Presenting them in a heart shape makes them a little more special. (Refer to the resource My Mum – heart-shaped book template.)
- Write a letter to Mum
Write a letter to tell Mum why she is special. This activity provides a purpose for teaching the format of a basic letter and, at the same time, creates a special gift.
Children discuss then write something special they would like to tell their Mum.
The Little Koala – Invitation notepaper in colour makes lovely writing paper for children’s letters.
Add a little craft
- Draw or paint a self-portrait, or portrait of self with mother
Provide children with a selection of papers and drawing and painting media to make a self-portrait for their Mum. Alternatively, they may wish to make a portrait of their Mum or of themselves with their Mums. This activity works well if they have already had opportunities to work with different media; for example:
- felt pens
- gel pens
- watercolour paints
- acrylic paints
- powder paints
Provide a selection of collage materials from which children may choose to enhance their portraits if desired.
The finished portraits could be framed with strips of coloured paper and mounted on a stiff cardboard backing, or laminated for durability.
- Make a special waterlily Mother’s Day card
Waterlily cards are a special gift. Flowers are cut from circles of paper. A message is written inside the flower. The flower is folded and given to Mum on Mother’s Day. When she places the flower in water, it magically opens, revealing the message. (Refer to the resource Waterlily card for step by step instructions.)
- Make a photo frame card
Print a photograph of each child. Children add the photos to a frame and give it to their mothers for Mother’s Day – a special gift. (Refer to the New! resource Photo Frame Cards for templates and suggestions.)
- A Secret Message Chatterbox is also fun for sharing special messages with mothers or other loved ones.
Other ideas from the Father’s Day collection that can be adapted include:
Handprints can be presented as gifts in a number of ways; for example, in plaster or paint. An easy way is to make a handprint with paint then cut it out, leaving a border about 1 to 2 cm around it. Children write a special message around the handprint. Paste onto card and laminate for durability.
For other ideas and suggestions, refer to Mother’s Day posts from previous years:
readilearn: teaching resources for the first three years of school
Resources beyond worksheets – lessons for teachers made by teachers.
Let readilearn lighten your workload.
I appreciate your feedback and comments. Please share your thoughts below.
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