Here is a list of May themes, events, and holidays with correlating activities to go with them. Use these ideas for inspiration to create your own lessons and activities, or use the ideas provided.
Celebrate May Themes, Events, and Holidays all Month Long:
- Get Caught Reading Month - The Association of American Publishers nationally launched Get Caught Reading Month to remind people how much fun it is to read. Celebrate this month by having students see how many books they can read in the month of May. The winner of the contest can receive a free book!
- National Physical Fitness and Sports Month - Celebrate by getting active, learning about nutrition, and creating sports crafts.
- American Bike Month - Celebrate American Bike month by having students ride their bikes to school on May 8th, and learning the rules of road and how to be safe.
May Holidays and Events with Correlating Activities
- May 1st - May Day - Celebrate May Day with crafts and activities.
Mother Goose day - Explore the truth about Mother Goose by reading the Real Mother Goose.
Hawaiian Lei Day - In 1927 Don Blanding came up with having a Hawaiian holiday that everyone can celebrate. Honor his wishes by partaking in Hawaiian traditions and learning about the culture.
- May 2nd - Holocaust Remembrance Day - Learn about the history of the Holocaust, and read age appropriate stories such as "The Diary of Anne Frank" and "One Candle" by Eve Bunting.
- May 3rd - Space Day - The ultimate goal of Space Day is to promote math, science, and technology, and inspire children about the wonders of the universe. Celebrate this day by having your students partake in a few fun space-related activities to help nurture their curiosity of the universe.
- May 4th - Star Wars Day - This is a day to celebrate the Star Wars culture and honor the films. A fun way to celebrate this day is by having students bring in their action figures. You can use these figures as inspiration to create a writing piece.
- May 5th - Cinco De Mayo - Celebrate this Mexican holiday by having a party, making a pinata, and making a sombrero.
- May 5th-11th - National Postcard Week - Celebrate National Postcard Week by creating postcards and sending them to other students acorss the country.
National Pet Week - Celebrate Pet Week by having students bring in a photograph of their pet to share with the class.
- May 6th - No Homework Day - Your students work hard each day, celebrate this day by giving your students a "No Homework Pass" for the day.
- May 6th-10th - Teacher Appreciation Week - During this week schools across the nation celebrate the hard work and dedication of teachers. Try a few of these activities with your students.
- May 7th - National Teacher's Day - Finally a day to honor and celebrate all of the hard work teachers do! Show your appreciation for our fellow teachers by having students write a letter of appreciation to each of their teachers (art, music, physical education, etc).
- May 8th - National School Nurses Day - Honor your school nurse by having students create a special gift of appreciation.
May 8th - No Socks Day - To celebrate this wacky and fun day have students create crafts out of socks,learn the history, and wear fun colored socks to school for the day.
- May 9th - Peter Pan Day - On May 9, 1960 James Barrie (the creator of Peter Pan) was born. Celebrate this day by learning about the creator James Barrie, watching the movie, reading the story, and learning the quotes. After reading his quotes have students try and come up with their own.
- May 12th - Mother's Day - Celebrate with this collection of Mother's Day activities, or try these last minute lesson plans. You can also use this word list to help you create a Mother's Day poem.
- May 12th - 18th - National Police Week - Invite a local policeman to your school, or plan a field trip to your local police station to honor this week long celebration.
National Transportation Week - Celebrate the community of transportation professionals by having students explore possible jobs in the transportation field. Have students research and fill out an application for a job opening in the field of their choice.
- May 13th-19th - Children's Book Week - Since 1919, National Children's Book Week has been dedicated to encourage young readers to enjoy books. Celebrate this day by providing activities that will encourage your students to love reading.
- May 14th - The Start of the Lewis and Clark Expedition - This is a great day to teach your students about Thomas Jefferson. Learn the history of the expedition, and read students the book "Who Was Thomas Jefferson" by Dennis Brindell Fradin and Nancy Harrison, and visit the Monticello website for photos and additional resources.
- May 15th - National Chocolate Chip Day - What's a better way to celebrate National Chocolate Chip Day than to bake some cookies with your students! For some added fun, try this chocolate bar math lesson.
- May 16th - Wear Purple for Peace Day - Help make the world a better place by having all students wear purple for peace day.
- May 18th - Armed Forces Day - Pay tribute to the men and women who serve the United States armed forces by having students write a thank you letter to someone in your local armed forces.
- May 20th - Weights and Measures Day - On May 20, 1875 an International treaty was signed to establish an international branch of weights and measures. Celebrate this day with your students by measuring objects, learning about volume, and explore non-standard measures.
- May 23rd - Lucky Penny Day - Lucky Penny Day is celebrated to reinforce the theory that if you find a penny and pick it up, you will have good luck. Celebrate this fun day with your students by creating a penny craft, counting and sorting pennies, or using pennies to graph Another fun idea is to give students the writing prompt, "Once I found a lucky penny and when I picked it up..."
- May 24th - Morse Code Day - On May 24, 1844 the first Morse code message was sent. Celebrate this day by teaching your students Morse Code. The students will love the "secretiveness" of it all.
- May 27th - Memorial Day - Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday of May each year. This is a time to celebrate and honor the soldiers that sacrificed their lives for our freedom. Honor this day by providing students with a few fun activities, and teach students the value of honoring the memory of those who came before us with a Memorial Day lesson plan.
- May 29th - Paper Clip Day - In 1899 Johan Vaaler, a Norwegian inventor invented the paper clip. Honor this amazing little wire by having students come up with a new way to use it. Here are 101 uses for a paper clip to give you some ideas.
John F. Kennedy's Birthday - John F. Kennedy was one of the most beloved United States Presidents of our time. Honor this remarkable man and all of his accomplishments by having students create a KWL Chart, then read your students his biography, called "Who Was John F. Kennedy?" by Yona Zeldis McDonough.
- May 31st - World No Tobacco Day - World No Tobacco Day is a day to reinforce and highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use. Take time out on this day to stress the importance of why students should not smoke. Show students a brief video, and have them view this online resource to gain valuable information.