Here it is December already, the final month in a year unlike any other. We can only hope that things improve as we leave this one behind and step into the new year. But for now, I have some December days and events you may wish to celebrate with your children whether at home or at school.
Eat a Red Apple Day on 1 December is the perfect time to remind ourselves to eat healthy food, particularly as the party season is just beginning. It is also the perfect time to thank teachers for all the hard work they have done during the year.
International Day of People with Disability on 3 December aims to develop an understanding of disability, promote respectful ways of relating to those with a disability, and create an awareness of the benefits of an inclusive society that takes the needs of people with a disability into consideration. “Disability Day is not concerned exclusively with either mental or physical disabilities, but rather encompasses all known disabilities, from Autism to Down Syndrome to Multiple Sclerosis.”
When shopping recently, I was reminded of how difficult it can be for some to carry out everyday tasks that most of us take for granted, and how far we have yet to go to be fully inclusive.
A young man in a wheelchair pushed by a carer was shopping for a gift for a friend. He was intent on purchasing a gift from a kitchen shop that was filled with stock, no doubt in preparation for Christmas shoppers, from floor to ceiling and had little room for anyone to squeeze in. The young man had no hope of entering the store and sat in his chair at the entrance. The shop assistant did take items out for his consideration, but she seemed resentful of the extra burden it imposed upon her already busy day with other customers in the store. When the young man decided upon his purchase, it was up to his carer to enter the store and conduct the transaction. He was robbed of even that opportunity. Stores stocked like this one exclude shoppers in wheelchairs, motorised scooters and parents with prams.
As I walked around the shopping centre, I was appalled to see just how many other stores were inaccessible to so many of our people. It is something that requires more attention.
The readilearn collection features a story The Clever Children that includes a child in a wheelchair.
Kathy’s Hoopmann’s book The Essential Manual for Asperger Syndrome (ASD) in the Classroom provides helpful advice for teachers. Find out more in our post Teaching Children with ASD — Ideas for the classroom.
Make a Gift Day on 3 December is a perfect reminder that personal handmade gifts are special and to be treasured, it is also a perfect day on which children can make gifts for their parents and carers. They don’t need to be elaborate. Child-made cards, books, bookmarks and other small items are gifts from the heart to be treasured.
For suggestions, refer to these previous posts:
or download the new free Make It Your Own 2021 Calendar for children to personalise with a photo, drawing or verse. Easy to make, a treasure to keep.
Wildlife Conservation Day on 4 December aims to make people aware of wildlife crime. Animals all over the world, including endangered animals, are being illegally slaughtered for body parts and products and sold on the black market. People are urged to stand up for wildlife and not purchase products made from wildlife, especially from endangered animals.
This is a perfect day for discussing and reading books about animals, watching nature documentaries or visiting a virtual zoo.
You could invite children to write and sign a pledge with actions they can take to look after the world’s wildlife.
Zoos and animals
At Explore.org livecams you can visit animals in their natural habitat, on farms, and in zoos. You can see dogs, cats, bears, goats, manatees — there are so many different animals and environments to explore.
Just ten of the many other places also live streaming animals:
True to Life Books has 15 wildlife videos taken by wildlife author and photographer Jan Latta. The aim of the videos is to educate children about endangered wildlife. Videos include tigers, sloths, meerkats, pandas and koalas.
Computer Science Education Week runs from 7 – 13 December and encourages everyone to get involved in teaching computer science. A great way to be involved is through the Hour of Code. Great suggestions are available on the website. Even if your students don’t have access to computers, they can still be involved offline.
You will also find a lot of additional information and activities on the Ask A Tech Teacher website, curated by Jacqui Murray.
Human Rights Day is celebrated every year on 10 December. In 1948, the Declaration “proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being — regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages.”
Gingerbread Decorating Day occurs on 12 December. Why not include a little gingerbread making and decorating in your program? Great for reading, maths, and creativity.
Hannukah is the important Jewish Festival of Lights which is celebrated by many around the world. This year Hannukah begins on 10 December and continues until 18 December.
Christmas Day on 25 December is observed by many around the world. For Christians, it is a holy day celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. For others it has no religious significance, but is seen as a special holiday, a time to get together with family and friends.
I won’t list all of readilearn’s Christmas resources here, as I wrote about them in last week’s post Christmas Lessons and Activities for P-2. Alternatively, you can find them all in the Christmas section of the Cultural Studies resources.
New Year’s Eve on 31 December marks the end of the calendar year. Celebrations occur all over the world as people stay up past midnight to see in the new year. While it is often a tradition for people to make resolutions with the beginning of a new year, the tradition to break them can be just as common.
I wish you peace and joy throughout the month of December.
This list of December Days and Events is now available to download and print free from readilearn teaching resources.
While you are here, remember to check out the complete readilearn collection of
over 440 teaching resources for the first three years of school
Resources beyond worksheets – lessons for teachers made by teachers.
Let readilearn lighten your workload.
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