It’s almost June already and the change of season is upon us. I don’t know how you have felt during lockdown, but for me it has felt like time has stood still and sped by at the same time. Where have those months gone when so much has been put on hold, but teachers have still been working as they learn new ways of teaching and interacting with their students? I hope wherever you are, that you are staying safe and well and finding much to enjoy in life.
In this post, I share some dates in June you may wish to celebrate with your students, whether teaching in the classroom, as most are in Australia now, or online, as some are still doing overseas.
National Reconciliation Week is celebrated from 27 May until 3 June so it’s not too late to join in the celebration now. The aim of the week is to provide “a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.” For this to occur, “Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”
The theme for this year is “In this Together”.
You may wish to refer to the post I wrote last year for some suggestions and a list of picture books to read.
The list of picture books may be downloaded here (free).
World Environment Day is celebrated on 5 June . The theme of this year’s World Environment Day is Biodiversity with a focus on the ‘interdependence of humans and the webs of life, in which they exist’.
Follow this link to take a biodiversity quiz, find out how you can be involved in the day, and discover a wide range of projects for engaging children in activities that promote environmental awareness and action.
The teaching ideas for the International Year of Plant Health may also be useful to you.
Queensland Day on 6 June celebrates the date that my home state Queensland, separated from New South Wales and achieved status as an independent colony in 1859. I will be sharing more about that in next week’s post.
The koala is Queensland state animal emblem.
You may like to check out the interactive problem solving lesson Little Koala’s Party and related lessons and activities.
World Oceans Day on 8 June is a day for celebrating, protecting and conserving the world’s oceans. ‘The purpose of the Day is to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean, develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean, and mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world’s oceans.’
The theme for 2020 is ‘Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean’.
Here at readilearn we have many turtle-themed resources which are suitable for celebrating World Oceans Day; including:
Let’s find out about Sea Turtles, an interactive ebook.
What do you know about Sea Turtles, an interactive quiz based upon information in the interactive book.
Ten Tiny Turtles, an interactive lesson for teaching addition of numbers up to ten.
Turtle Island — a directions game, encouraging children to follow directions including forwards, backwards, left and right.
Turtle domino cards, turtle-themed domino cards to print, play and use in many maths activities.
And check out the interviews with authors and illustrators whose picture books encourage caring for the ocean and its inhabitants, including:
Kim Michelle Toft, author and illustrator of numerous picture books which encourage a curiosity and concern for the marine environment. Her beautiful silk paintings are stunning works of art.
Anne Donnelly, author and illustrator of Ori’s Clean-Up which provides children with strategies for keeping our oceans clean.
Renee Hills, author, and Anna Jacobson, illustrator of Turtle Love, a gorgeous picture book about caring for turtles.
Karen Tyrrell, author of the junior fiction chapter book Song Bird Great Barrier Reef Rescue.
Refugee Week is celebrated from 16 – 22 June. The theme this year is The Year of Welcome. Like most other celebrations, it will be held online this year. Do you have refugee children in your class? How can you ensure that they feel safe and have a sense of belonging?
World Refugee Day is held on 20 June during World Refugee Week. On World Refugee Day on, “we reflect on the courage of those who have fled and the compassion of those who welcome them.” It is important to work to give everyone a better future, together. “This not about sharing a burden. It is about sharing a global responsibility, based not only the broad idea of our common humanity but also on the very specific obligations of international law. The root problems are war and hatred, not people who flee; refugees are among the first victims of terrorism.” — UN Secretary-General, António Guterres
The International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice occurs on 21 June during winter in the Southern Hemisphere and summer in the Northern Hemisphere. This event is a perfect opportunity for discussing the seasons and the lengthening and shortening of the days. Although the June solstice marks the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere and the shortest in the Southern Hemisphere, it does not mark the middle of the seasons according to the calendar. Calendars mark the beginning of the respective seasons from 1 June.
World Rainforest Day is held on 22 June each year. The purpose of the day is to ‘raise awareness and encourage action to save one of Earth’s most precious resources, our rainforests’. This video narrated by Alec Baldwin and Jane Goodall does a lot to raise that awareness.
World Rainforest Day is the perfect time to discuss the International Year of Plant Health and strategies that can be implemented to save our rainforests. Some of the teaching ideas for the International Year of Plant Health may be useful to you in finding ways to celebrate.
Read the interviews with authors about their rainforest-themed books. They are perfect for reading aloud to your class or for independent reading by your more advanced readers.
Rebecca Johnson, author of the junior fiction Rainforest Camp chapter book which won the Wilderness Society Environment Award for Children’s Literature in 2017.
Karen Tyrrell, author of the Song Bird Superhero junior fiction chapter book Rainforest Rescue.
Aleesah Darlison, author of Stripes in the Forest, a story of the last wild thylacine.
Muza Ulasowski, illustrator of Forest Wonder, a gorgeous book written by Caroline Tuohey that celebrates animals of the Australian forest.
International Fairy Day is held on 24 June each year. What a great day for dressing up, reading fairy tales, making a fairy garden or discussing the tooth fairy.
Eric Carle’s Birthday is on 25 June. Why not enjoy a feast of Eric Carle books? With over 60 in his collection, there is no shortage of books to read. Maybe you will even find one or two you haven’t read before.
As well as being great for reading aloud and developing a love of words and story, his books lend themselves to all sorts of learning activities from literacy, through maths and science, particularly biological science.
I’ve also developed a series of lessons in critical thinking based upon everybody’s favourite, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Why not make a graph to show children’s favourite Eric Carle books.
There are also many resources you can download free from his website to help you celebrate.
International Mud Day was first celebrated on 29 June in 2009. The purpose of the day is to help all children of the Earth feel closer to each other. Instigators Gillian McAuliffe from Australia and Bishnu Bhatta from Nepal say that “Regardless of age, race and religion, covered in mud, we all look the same!” They say that to celebrate, you have to get dirty. You could make mud sculptures, mud pies or have a mud bath. They say, “Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, water bugs, tadpoles, frogs, mud turtles, wild strawberries, acorns, chestnuts, trees to climb. Brooks to wade…bees, butterflies, various animals to pet, hayfields, pine-cones, rocks to toll (sic), sand, snakes and hornets; any child who has been deprives (sic) of these has been deprived of the best part of…education.”
Which days will you celebrate in June?
This list of June days and events is now available to download and print free in the readilearn collection of teaching resources.
Inaugural Dirt Lane Press book-drop
I have just found out from the Australian Literacy Educators’ Association that the gorgeous picture book Where Happiness Hides, by Anthony Bertini and Jennifer Goldsmith, is available to download free by ‘anyone and everyone caught up, locked down, worn out or done in by the present COVID pandemic’. What a generous gesture.
To participate in the world-wide book-drop without even leaving your home:
- Click the button below to go to the website.
- Choose your language from those available. (more to be added daily)
- Download Where Happiness Hides.
- Share the link with anyone and everyone you think will be interested, in whatever language, and ask them to do the same.
Remember to check out the complete readilearn collection of
over 400 teaching resources for the first three years of school
Resources beyond worksheets – lessons for teachers made by teachers.
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