The beginning of September marks the beginning of spring in the southern hemisphere and brings, along with it, many days to celebrate.
Here in Australia, we welcome Spring on 1 September with Wattle Day. The golden wattle is Australia’s national floral emblem.
You could celebrate Wattle Day by:
- wearing a spray of wattle on your hat
- writing a poem about wattle flowers and springtime
- using yellow pom poms to make Happy Wattle Day cards to give to friends and loved ones
- going for a walk around the school grounds or local neighbourhood to check out the wattle trees in bloom. With nearly one thousand species of wattle in Australia, you are sure to see a variety. Comparing tree bark, leaves and blossoms helps to develop the ability to identify the similarities and differences that support scientific classification.
- investigating how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples use parts of the wattle tree; for example, for food, medicine, fuel, to make rope, fishing lines, string and tools such as boomerangs. Seasonal changes in the wattle trees indicate other changes that occur in the environment.
This year, Father’s Day coincides with Wattle Day on 1 September. Father’s Day is a day to recognise the important role of fathers and other father figures. You can find suggestions for easy and inexpensive gifts in the Father’s Day resources, including a free list of Father’s Day Activities.
Indigenous Literacy Day
Indigenous Literacy Day on 4 September “is a national celebration of Indigenous culture, stories, language and literacy. Through activities on the day, we focus our attention on the disadvantages experienced in remote communities and encourage the rest of Australia to raise funds and advocate for more equal access to literacy resources for remote communities.”
The website suggests ways that individuals, schools, communities and organisations can get involved to help close the literacy gap. With 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages, it is especially important to do what we can to assist. While the aim is to raise much needed funds to improve literacy, raising awareness is also important.
In previous posts; such as National Reconciliation Week in the Classroom and Let’s Celebrate National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, I provided links to other websites with resources to assist your teaching. You can also download a free list of a selection of Indigenous Australian picture books and resources right here at readilearn.
National Threatened Species Day
The aim of National Threatened Species Day on 7 September is to raise awareness of plants and animals that are threatened with extinction, including what is being done and can be done, to protect them. The number of species threatened with extinction is frightening. During the last 200 years, over one hundred species of native Australian plants and animals have become extinct.
The website provides information on getting involved and events, links to the curriculum and downloadable resources, videos about threatened species and actions that can be implemented to preserve them. While it is an initiative of the New South Wales Government, the resources are useful wherever you are located.
I have had the pleasure of interviewing some authors of books with environmental themes. You might like to read their interviews and check out their books to read with your class here:
International Literacy Day
The theme for this year’s celebration of International Literacy Day on 8 September is Literacy and Multilingualism, a perfect complement to The International Year of Indigenous Languages and Indigenous Literacy Day. The theme statement says that “Despite progress made, literacy challenges persist, distributed unevenly across countries and populations. Embracing linguistic diversity in education and literacy development is central to addressing these literacy challenges and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Of course, literacy is always important, but International Literacy Day presents a time to reflect on the International Literacy Association’s Children’s Rights to Read and evaluate our own teaching of literacy against them.
The main focus of readilearn teaching resources is teaching literacy in context and across the curriculum. Check out readilearn literacy teaching resources here.
But wait, there’s more
All of these wonderful occasions for celebration, and it’s only a week into the month. There are many more days to follow including:
Roald Dahl Day on 13 September
International Dot Day on the 15-ish September
Check out some suggestions here:
This year’s theme of International Day of Peace on 21 September is Climate Action for Peace “which draws attention to the importance of combatting climate change as a way to protect and promote peace throughout the world.” The challenge is for individuals, schools, communities and organisations to take up the challenge to reduce the effects of climate change through implementing awareness programs and environmentally friendly practices.
The International Week of the Deaf begins with International Sign Language Day on 23 September and concludes on 29 September. The theme this year is Sign Language Rights for All —a perfect time to consider how we can make our schools and communities more inclusive.
If that’s not enough days for you, check out the Days of the Year September 2019 Calendar for more suggestions.
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.