It’s November already and we’re starting the countdown to the end of the year, but there are many more things to celebrate before we welcome in the new year.
The month starts off in a wonderful way by celebrating reading with Australia Reads from 1 – 12 November. I don’t think there can ever be too many days to celebrate reading, literacy and literature.
The Australia Reads Kids digital event on Monday 9 November at 10.30 am is free for all Australian schools. For other events, including interviews with authors and digital story readings, check out this list. Events most days. The site also has some suggestions of great books for children at different year levels.
The week culminates on 12 November with the Reading Hour, when everyone is asked to drop everything and read! What a great excuse to spend more time reading and sharing the love of literature. You can read to yourself or read to the children.
You can join up at the Australia Reads website to take the pledge too (and even make your own logo, as I did):
“I will read for an hour on Thursday 12 November.
I will read books in any shape, form or size.
I will read, whether with bumps, letters, pictures, sound.
I will read to myself or someone else.”
Outdoor Classroom Day on 5 November is a perfect time for taking children outdoors to learn and explore. The day is “a global campaign to celebrate and inspire outdoor learning and play.” This year’s theme is Love the Outdoors.
The day recognises that “Outdoor learning improves children’s health, engages them with learning and leads to a greater connection with nature. Play not only teaches critical life skills such as resilience, teamwork and creativity, but is central to children’s enjoyment of childhood.” It’s definitely not an excuse but a reason to spend time outdoors.
There are many free lessons and resources aligned to the Australian Curriculum available on the website, but the ideas are not only suitable for Australia, teachers, parents and children from all over the world can be involved.
Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November in many countries with a minute silence at 11 am to mark the anniversary of the end of the First World War, and to remember those who fought to keep our countries safe and protect our freedom. The poppy is often used as a symbol of respect and remembrance.
Allison Paterson’s book Australia Remembers explains Remembrance Day in child-friendly ways. Find out more in the Author Spotlight which is free to download and print, or in the original blog post here.
World Kindness Day on 13 November encourages everyone to “look beyond ourselves, beyond the boundaries of our country, beyond our culture, our race, our religion; and realise we are citizens of the world. As world citizens we have a commonality, and must realise that if progress is to be made in human relations and endeavours, if we are to achieve the goal of peaceful coexistence, we must focus on what we have in common. When we find likenesses we begin to experience empathy, and in such a state we can fully relate to that person or those people.”
The day encourages everyone to be kind to each other and to engage in Random Acts of Kindness. There are many suggestions on the website here.
readilearn teaching resources for developing friendship skills are based on showing kindness to each other. Which ones have you used?
The UN International Day for Tolerance 16 November “affirms that tolerance is neither indulgence nor indifference. It is respect and appreciation of the rich variety of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. Tolerance recognizes the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of others. People are naturally diverse; only tolerance can ensure the survival of mixed communities in every region of the globe.”
Intolerance breeds in ignorance and fear. One of the best ways for fighting it is education, which is where we have a role. How do you educate for tolerance in your classroom?
The resources for teaching friendship skills (including those listed above) also help to develop respect and tolerance.
World Nursery Rhyme Week from 16 -20 November is another great one for us teachers of young children to celebrate. The week promotes the importance of nursery rhymes in early education.
We all know that children love nursery rhymes and that reciting nursery rhymes helps children develop phonological awareness as well as language.
Follow the link above to find lots of free resources to join in the celebration of nursery rhymes, and don’t forget to check out readilearn’s own nursery rhyme resources:
Other ideas for celebrating nursery rhymes:
- Invite children to recite a nursery rhyme to the class.
- Make a list of children’s favourite nursery rhymes.
- Have a nursery rhyme dress up day.
- Make some props for telling nursery rhymes.
Make a paper plate clock for telling Hickory Dickory Dock.
The purpose of World Toilet Day on 19 November is to raise awareness of the need for improved sanitation in many parts of the world.
The theme for 2020 is Sustainable Sanitisation and Climate Change.
Follow the link to read some of the facts about the access that people around the world have to toilets and sanitation.
Children may be interested to know that not everyone has access to the same facilities as they have, as shown in these facts from the World Toilet Day Toolkit:
- 2 in 5 schools around the world lacked basic handwashing facilities prior to the COVID-19 pandemic
- 40% – or three billion people – of the global population live without basic handwashing facilities with soap and water available at home. (UNICEF 2020)
- Around 297,000 children under five – more than 800 every day – die annually from diarrhoeal diseases due to poor hygiene, poor sanitation or unsafe drinking water. (WHO 2019)
(You might also like to check out Who Gives a Crap, an organisation that makes environmentally friendly toilet paper and tissues, and donates 50% of its profits towards building toilets where they are needed.)
World Children’s Day on 20 November recognises the rights of children, “including the right to life, to health, to education and to play, as well as the right to family life, to be protected from violence, to not be discriminated, and to have their views heard.”
How do we ensure these rights in our homes, our classrooms, our schools, our communities?
World Philosophy Day on 21 November highlights the importance of philosophy in developing critical and independent thought. “philosophy is a discipline that encourages critical and independent thought and is capable of working towards a better understanding of the world and promoting tolerance and peace”.
If you haven’t already, you might like to check out Philosophy for Children (P4C) resources from:
The Philosophy Club (Australia)
Since 1966, World Television Day has been celebrated on 21 November in recognition of its contribution to freedom of expression, democracy and cultural diversity.
Wondering how important television is now in our digital world? You may be interested in this video.
Ways to mark the day:
- Have children list their favourite television shows and present the information in a graph.
- Have children monitor what they watch on television during the week, recording shows watched and time viewed. Discuss what children viewed and for how long and compare with other forms of entertainment or activity.
- Discuss the number of television sets in children’s homes and the placement of them.
- Show children images of television sets over the years and compare the ‘smart’ televisions of today with those first invented.
- Many of the children’s grandparents may have grown up without televisions in their homes. Children might like to interview their grandparents to find out what they did for entertainment in the evening prior to the invention of television. They may also like to find out what other everyday appliances and tools have been invented in their grandparents’ lifetimes.
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November is a day to raise public awareness and mobilise people to bring about change. This year’s theme is “Orange Your Neighbourhood.”
Thanksgiving Day — a time for families to get together to celebrate, and appreciate, all that they have — is celebrated on 26 November.
Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends in the US.
I wish you all a wonderful November.
This list of November 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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