September has almost arrived, bringing spring to the Southern Hemisphere. I always enjoy spring when the world seems to brighten, and gardens fill with flowers, insects, birds and other small creatures. The days are pleasantly warm and don’t yet have the stinging heat of summer.
I hope wherever you are and whatever season you are in, you enjoy it too and that you find this list of September days and events useful.
Before we get into September days though, I want to share with you the sad news that Sir Ken Robinson passed away on Saturday 21 August after a brief battle with cancer.
Sir Ken has been an education hero of mine, and of millions of others around the world, since first hearing his TED Talk Do Schools Kill Creativity? Recorded in 2006, it is the most popular TED Talk of all time. This tribute in The Washington Post written by Valerie Strauss provides an overview of his career and impact on educational thinking.
To honour this great man, I again share his influential video on schools and creativity. It can never be shared or viewed too often.
He may be gone, but never forgotten, and greatly missed. Thank you for your contribution to making this world a better place, Sir Ken Robinson.
Now onto the September days.
National Wattle Day on 1 September welcomes spring to the Southern Hemisphere and celebrates Australia’s National Floral Emblem, the golden wattle. With many wattle trees in full bloom around the country, it is indeed a day worthy of celebration.
Did you know?
- When wattle trees are in flower, they display Australia’s national colours of green and yellow.
- Wattle trees are Acacia trees. They are known as wattle trees only in Australia.
- Use of the term ‘wattle’ to refer to the trees harks back to colonial Australia when their saplings and branches were used in making panels called wattles for the construction of huts.
- While there are over a thousand different types of Acacia trees, the majority of them are native, and many endemic, to Australia.
- Plantations of Australian wattle trees are grown around the world for their wood which is used in construction and furniture making, the tannins in their bark, their foliage as food for animals, their nutritious seeds and their beautiful and fragrant flowers.
- The benefits of the wattle trees were known and used by Indigenous Australians for thousands of years before their properties were ‘discovered’ by colonists.
- Wattles are hardy and grow all over Australia.
- Most wattles live for only 20 – 30 years, but some may live for more than 200 years.
- While the flowers of most wattle trees are yellow, there are some with white, pink, orange and even red flowers.
- Most wattle trees grow to about 3 or 4 metres in height, but some grow close to the ground and others may grow to 50 metres.
Father’s Day 6 September In Australia, Father’s Day is celebrated on the first Sunday in September, a day to recognise the important role of fathers and other father figures.
Here at readilearn, we can help you out with some inexpensive gift ideas the children can make for their fathers.
The free list of Father’s Day activities includes a number of suggestions, including:
Indigenous Literacy Day on 2 September is a day to celebrate Indigenous culture, stories, language and literacy. This year, due to COVID–19, the celebration is being shared online so you can join in and watch from all over Australia (and possibly the world, I’m not sure). Details of times are available here.
The 30-minute online event for 3 – 11 year olds begins at 2pm and features Jessica Mauboy and Gregg Driese and even a visit by Andy Griffiths.
Resources for teachers can be downloaded here.
Indigenous Literacy Day focusses on instilling a love of reading from a young age. They do this by providing books to children in remote Indigenous communities. You can help by supporting them with a donation here.
Read this article in Teacher Magazine for links to other helpful articles.
The previous blog post Resources for teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures also has some useful links, as does the free list of Indigenous Australian picture books and resources.
National Threatened Species Day 7 September With many plants and animals threatened with extinction, the purpose of National Threatened Species Day is to raise awareness of endangered and threatened species and what is being done, and can be done, to protect them.
The date for this event was chosen as it is the anniversary of the death of the last known thylacine (Tasmanian tiger) in Hobart Zoo in 1936.
I previously interviewed Aleesah Darlison about her award-winning picture book Stripes in the Forest, The Story of the Last Wild Thylacine. You can read that interview and find out where to purchase her book here.
International Literacy Day is celebrated on 7 September “International Literacy Day (ILD) 2020 will focus on Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond with a focus on the role of educators and changing pedagogies. The theme will highlight literacy learning in a lifelong learning perspective and therefore mainly focus on youth and adults.”
Although the focus for this year is on youth and adults, literacy learning begins in the early years and it is our responsibility as early childhood teachers to ensure children develop a strong foundation in literacy.
Literacy education is a major focus when creating teaching resources for the readilearn collection. Check out all the literacy resources here.
National Bilby Day is held on the second Sunday in September. This year it falls on13 September. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of the plight of the bilby, another threatened native Australian species, and enlists your support in helping to save it from extinction.
Check out readilearn’s own bilby themed resources, including:
Easter Delivery — an interactive digital problem-solving story
Who am I at Easter? — a caption book for beginning and emergent readers
Fill Mrs Bilby’s Wagon — a game for maths groups
Roald Dahl Day 13 September is Roald Dahl’s birthday and there’s no better time to celebrate the wonderful writings of Roald Dahl. The BFG is my favourite of his books. Which is yours?
You will find lots of information and fun things to do on the website as well as some information about Dahl’s life and some writing challenges here. Great for fans of Roald Dahl whether in the classroom or at home.
International Dot Day on 15 September is a celebration of creativity. The Dot is a lovely picture book by Peter H. Reynolds in which a caring teacher encourages a student to believe in her abilities and have a go. How will you celebrate it with your students this year?
Visit the website and register to participate and you will receive a free educator’s handbook full of great ideas and resources for celebrating the day.
You can also download our free list of ideas Getting creative with dots.
You can also download our free list of ideas Getting creative with dots.
Talk Like a Pirate Day on 19 September supports families of children with childhood cancer. What a fun opportunity to dress up like a pirate, read pirate stories, and learn to talk like pirates while raising money for Childhood Cancer Support. Click on the link to sign up your school or team or donate individually.
International Day of Peace 21 September This year’s theme is Shaping Peace Together. The intention is that we celebrate the day by spreading compassion, kindness and hope and beat the pandemic together. “Even though we may not be able to stand next to each other, we can still dream together.”
It is a perfect time to ensure we are treating each other with respect and kindness. These attitudes are valued highly here at readilearn and we have a range of resources to support your teaching of friendship skills.
International Week of the Deaf 21 – 27 September The focus of the week is Human Rights through Sign Languages and the theme for this year is Reaffirming Deaf People’s Human Rights.
Auslan is the Australian sign language. You can find out more about it from the Auslan Signbank.
Watch this video to learn some basic words in Auslan.
Have an enjoyable and peaceful September.
This list of September 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 430 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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