April is full of fun learning opportunities such as National Poetry Month, Arbor Day, and John James Audubon’s birthday. Here are some simple and creative learning ideas for April.
National Poetry Month
National Poetry Month is a great time to introduce children to the world of poetry. By starting with highly engaging poems, you incrase the chance of lighting an interest in poetry so choose poems that will grab the attention of your particular child.
- Keep a collection of age-appropriate poetry books for children to read during quiet reading time, indoor recess, or when they finish their work early.
- Highlight a different poet each day by reading aloud a poem. If daily is too much, focus on a different poet each week and read a different poem by him/her each day that week.
- Have children write their own poems. Depending on their writing level, have them write their own poem or do something simpler like an acrostic poem.
National Lawn and Garden Month
When spring arrives, everyone is ready to be outdoors! Help children understand the importance of gardening and encourage them to consider how gardening can be both fun and beneficial.
- Grow something! If you need to start simple, plant beans in Styrofoam cups or sprout them in a baggie with damp paper towel. Other plants that can be grown include sweet potatoes and grass. Each one will sprout and grow quickly.
- Focus on flowers! Bring in a bouquet of flowers and discuss the various kinds of flowers, their unique characteristics, and how they are grown.
- Explore fascinating facts with my Flowers and Plants Fun Fact Cards. Children love learning these little tidbits!
- Have students design their own backyard gardens with flowers, vegetables, and fruits. Have them draw a diagram of what they would like to grow and where.
- Use my Free Plants and Gardening Literacy Sampler Pack for additional ideas.
While many teachers teach about trees in the fall, Arbor Day is a great time to get students thinking about the role trees play in the world.
- Complete an Arbor Day KWL to get the learning started.
- Celebrate the importance of trees. Make lapbooks about trees, highlighting their parts, how they grow, and the importance they play in the world.
- Coordinate with a local nursery for each child to receive a tree to take home and plant. Include a handout that explains how to plant and care for the tree.
- Create a “Trees are Important” bulletin board. Place a large trunk and branches on the board. Then have students write important tree facts on leaves that they then add to the tree.
- Use my Tree Fun Fact Cards to explore all different kinds of interesting facts about trees.
Famous April Birthdays
Several important people were born in April. Take the opportunity to consider their contributions to the world.
Hans Christian Andersen (April 2)
- Select several books with stories and fairy tales by Hans Christen Anderson. Make them available to the students to peruse when they have time.
- Read aloud a few favorite stories. Have students illustrate their favorite.
Thomas Jefferson (April 13)
- Introduce students to Jefferson and Monticello. Using a book or the internet, explore the beauties of Jefferson’s home.
- Research Jefferson’s gravestone and what was engraved on there. Discuss why he wanted certain accomplishments on there and why others were left off.
William Shakespeare (April 23)
- Discuss plays and why Shakespeare is still so popular after many years.
- Show students a clip of a Shakespearean play so they can get a feel for the costumes and language.
- Have older students prepare a short scene from one of Shakespeare’s works and perform it for the younger students.
John James Audubon (April 26)
- Using a book with Audubon’s illustrations, discuss the importance of his accomplishments.
- Explore why Audubon was so popular in Europe and was nicknamed “the American woodsman.”
- Have students create a bird book of their own that features birds prominent in their area.
- Learn more about birds with my Birds Fun Fact Cards!