Sunday, June 17th marks the 2012 Father’s Day celebration. Not receiving recognition until 1972 from President Nixon, the holiday originates around a 1907 memorial service that paid honor and respect to a group of men who had died in a West Virginia mining accident. Most of the men were fathers, and the idea of celebrating a holiday honoring our fathers was born. Today, we honor those men who are not only biological fathers, but also grandfathers, uncles, and those men who serve as a support system and/or positive role model. By using the latter definition, celebrating Father’s Day in the classroom can be a beneficial experience.
Commemorating Father’s Day can be an enjoyable and engaging classroom activity or unit of study that utilizes reading, writing, and presentation skills mastered throughout the school year - not to mention the importance of taking a moment to recognize the special people in our lives. From reading and writing lessons, to research projects, there are a variety of ways to celebrate Father’s Day. The following are perfect projects, lessons, and activities that are sure to fit any end-of-the-year timeline and class environment.
Family Essay and Power Point Presentation
A family essay project is an effective method for reviewing a spectrum of literacy skills. In my own teaching experience, this project can be assigned at various times of year, celebrating a variety of holidays, or accompanying other units of study. For middle schoolers, this is an enjoyable and engaging way to review reading, writing, and research skills. The project begins by conducting online research and interviewing family members in order to gain not only a sense of family history, but to also learn interesting facts about the father, or other family member being researched. The written component includes pre-writing data collection, graphic organizing of data into an outline, and an essay that describes the person being researched. The essay includes information about the chosen family member’s chronological life, interesting stories, facts and details that make Dad important in their life. After final drafts are completed, PowerPoint projects are constructed and presented to the class. If it can be arranged, inviting the dads for presentation is often a special and emotional occasion for both the presenter and the audience.
A less time consuming alternative to the essay and Power Point project is a scrapbook. Although the intended recipient of the scrapbook is Dad, the subject can be about anything that would interest him. Subjects can include family photos and recorded memories, hobbies, special memories between child and Dad, or a record of Dad’s accomplishments with written pieces of how he is appreciated. This is a very personal way for students to choose to honor the special father, or father-figure, in their lives.
Another project that includes personality of the recipient is a poetry anthology. This poem-collection project includes originally authored, as well as published poems about Dad, his hobbies, and memories. In my own classroom, I require a set number of published and self-authored poems. Handing young poets this assignment makes writing poetry meaningful, and I have had the pleasure of reading many memorable poems. I always remind my class that poems can be any genre - the purpose is to write for the special person being recognized. In the end, the poems are placed into a handmade book. The pages can be typed or handwritten. Artwork and pictures included along the way only make this anthology more special.
Celebrating Father’s Day in the classroom can be a personal way for all learners to demonstrate a variety of literacy skills. From a multiple-step project to a simple poetry writing assignment, commemorating Father’s Day can fit into almost any classroom experience and end-of-the-year timeline.
Father’s Day Lesson Ideas
Father’s Day Lesson: The Story of Last Names
Learn how last names originated in medieval times. Activity handouts that help pupils in learning and identifying various forms of last names accompany this lesson.
Like Father, Like Son?
Study the impact of a change in leadership within Morocco’s monarchy. This resource expands to include the overall effect of leadership in Middle Eastern countries.
It’s all in the Family with Mother’s and Father’s Day
Celebrating both Mother’s and Father’s Day, this focuses on researching and creating a family tree. Activities within this lesson include interviewing family members, introductory genealogy research, and holiday card creation.
Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag
This is a study of modern-day marketing devices and the role of the modern-day father. Taking both into consideration, the project presented here requires middle to high schoolers to create a device and marketing presentation to appeal to today’s dad.