Tag Archives: teaching resources

Special Days and Biographies

I’ve been asked several times, “How exactly do you teach from your Special Days lists?”  The answer to that comes in multi-parts, but usually starts with “Biographies, lots of biographies!”

Every Special Days list includes birthdays of famous people throughout history.  I’ll ask the boys what they know about that author/artist/scientist/historical figure/religious leader.  If they are not familiar with him/her, we’ll do biography study!  Some days we only have a brief discussion about the person, or a review if we had studied him or her in the past couple of years.  Other days we will go more in depth and I’ll include reading resources, videos, and quotes into the lessons.  Some biography studies can be finished in a couple of hours.  Some biography studies catch a bigger interest and I won’t stop the study until that interest is satisfied, even if it means having to cancel my other special days lesson plans for a week or more.  Whoever we miss, we can try to catch next year or the year after when their special day happens again.

This past school year we started notebooking some of our biography studies and plan to continue with this for the upcoming school year.   We arranged the pages in a timeline order and as the notebooks fill up, we can start a new one.  However, the boys prefer projects over notebooking, so we’ll do some of each.

Below is my “go-to” resource list for online resources for biographies, how-to’s, and notebooking printables.  Also, our local library has a wonderful collection of biographies and Youtube has many video biographies suitable for children and youths, so don’t forget to check those when you are looking for resources.

Biography Project Ideas 

Lesson Plans for 6 sessions of the “Writer’s Workshop  – The Biographical Sketch” http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/writers-workshop-biographical-sketch-1039.html?tab=4#session1

How to Write a Biography  –                                                           http://www.howtowriteabiography.org/

100+ Biographies and Printables (These are short and written for younger readers, however older students will find these helpful as a starting place when researching a historical person.  Also the printables are a useful for work samples for portfolios or history based notebooks)   http://gardenofpraise.com/leaders.htm

Artists Biographies  –                                                                 http://www.vangoghgallery.com/artistbios/

Composer Biographies with Music Selections                                   http://www.classicsforkids.com/

Kid Safe Scientist Biographies Resources-                                                   http://www.kidtopia.info/science_biography.html

President Biographies Resources  –https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2014/02/14/resources-for-presidents-day/

Church Leaders, Missionaries, Hymn Writers, and Evangelists Biographies  http://www.wholesomewords.org/biography/index.html

Kid Safe Online Encyclopedia  –            http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Biographies

1000’s of Biography E-books to download or read online  http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Biographies_%28Bookshelf%29#Pierre_Abelard

When we write biographies, we generally include the person’s birth and death dates, where they were from, a childhood fact or two, and their accomplishments as adults including spouse and children.  We will usually add a quote to the notebooking page, too.

Biography Notebooking Printables from The Notebooking Fairy






Timeline Facts

For Any Person 

Missionaries  (from the Proverbial Homemaker)

Composers (from Homeschool Giveaways)

Portraits of Historical Figures (public domain)  for when we want a photo to print off for the notebooking page                                                   http://www.lib.utexas.edu/exhibits/portraits/index.html

Sometimes we’ll look over a history timeline to get the idea of what was going on in the world during our subject’s life.                                                             https://www.factmonster.com/us/timeline-archive

In accordance with my state’s homeschooling regulations, I keep a daily subject checklist.  On biography days I will check off the relevant History/Science/Art/Music and Reading Comprehension boxes. And, if we made a notebooking page I’ll check off Composition and Penmanship, too.  Don’t you just love it when one topic can cover multiple subjects!

And every now and then we’ll bake and decorate a birthday cake because …

I’d love to hear how you go about biography studies!  Please share about them in the comments.

(This post is actually ‘Part 2’ of a series in which I’m explaining how my family learns across the curriculum with topics selected from the Special Days list.  For the series introduction click here.)

betty jo








Special Days and the Evolution of Morning Calendar Time


Like many other homeschooling families and classrooms worldwide, we used the calendar as part of our early learning activities.   Calendars are the best way to learn the name of the months and days of the week.  Counting down to holidays and birthdays were some of our earliest math lessons. “Morning Calendar Time” was often the highlight of our homeschooling day.  When we started calendar learning with our second child, we added a few things for our oldest, such as the month’s name origin, gemstone, and prominent constellations.  And, this type of calendar learning continued on through the preschool years of children three, four, and five.  Cross curricular and multi- level unit studies of seasons and holidays were extensions from that “Morning Calendar Time” and were something we all looked forward to as we would break from our regular learning.

Then one August morning,  Joshua (child #4) was rather distraught about the lack of a family birthday or holiday being on our calendar.  Our local homeschool support group did not have a party or field trip scheduled for August either. He was so disappointed. There was nothing “special” to look forward to.   His unhappiness was contagious.

At that time, the older children were working on a study of the Middle Ages so we began adding the birthdates of the people we were learning about to the calendar. Then one day, we stumbled upon a food calendar so we added food days to our calendar (and often to our shopping list and menu) and nutrition studies to our schooling.

In September of the next year, we learned that there was a “Talk Like a Pirate Day”! Of course we added that to our calendar and lesson plans. Soon we were discovering odd and unusual holidays for every month. No longer was Joshua going to be sad during morning calendar time because there weren’t special days. In fact, we had collected so many special days, the wall calendar didn’t have enough room for us to accommodate them all! Thus, a Special Days list was started!

The following year we were focusing our studies on US History.  We added presidents, explorers, and patriots birthdays and statehood anniversaries to our list. We also included the opening and dedication dates of state parks and monuments. War related dates were put on the list as well. The following year as we were learning about world cultures and religions, we were able to add their holidays to our special days collection.

A friend, knowing our building interest of  calendar studies, gifted us with an educational activity book that was based off of authors, artists, and composer birthdays. The book also listed the dates for invention patents and historical events.  Yes, you guessed it!  Many of those dates were put on our list!

It was never my intention to turn our Morning Calendar time into a full curriculum, but that is what  happened. Every month offers so many holidays, famous persons birthdays, foods, statehood anniversaries, historic and scientific anniversaries,  foreign nations heritages observances, health related observances,  wildlife  and conservation awareness days, arts, music, and physical activities that we’ve been able to learn more than enough to cover nearly all of our core subjects and elective studies!  Some days we’re even able to incorporate a math lesson with the special day!

This upcoming school year will be our 4th year of having nearly all of our learning coming from the calendar!  We are not even close to exhausting the educational possibilities based on the monthly Special Days lists. And, we are still making it longer! Starting  July, 2017, the updated Special Days lists will included foreign country Independence Days and National Days.

The current month’s Special Days list and resource collections are always accessible from the right side bar of my blog page. Other months can be found by an archive search or search bar (also in the right margin). The lists are updated often.

Along with my friend, Fran from Funschooling, I hostess a Facebook group based on fun learning activities for seasonal themes and special days. You can request to join Fun Days Homeschooling Co-op here. We’d love to have you!

“How do you make your Special Days lists your curriculum?” is a question I hear often.  I’m planning a blog series, “Special Days and …” to answer that “how” question for each subject along with  resources and ideas.

I have co-authored an Activity Companion for learning with August’s Special Days and the September and October Activity Companions are in the works.

How do you use the Special Days list in your classroom or homeschool?  I’m looking forward to your responses!  And, if you have questions, let me have those too!

betty jo



September’s Special Days Activity Companion Resource List

Fran from Funschooling and I had such a blast making the August Special Days Activity Companion that we’ve teamed up again to publish another Activity Companion for September!

To purchase this ebook filled with great ideas to companion the days listed below, please use the following link:                                                                                                                                         Etsy: September’s Special Day Activity Companion

The following resources have been provided to help with the ideas and suggestions found in the September’s Special Days Activity Companion and can also be found at Funschooling & Recreational Learning.

9/1 –  Emma M. Nutt Day  –  The A-Z of Manners & Etiquette: Telephone Etiquette

9/2 – Great Fire of London – 1666 –  Great Fire of London

9/3 – Skyscraper Day –   Skyscraper Resource List

9/4 – Inventor Lewis Howard Latimer born 1848  –   Lewis Howard Latimer

9/5 – Cheese Pizza Day  –  Pizza Project Resource List

9/6 – Iguana Awareness Day  –   Lizard Resource Page

9/7 –  Grandma Moses Born 1860  –    Grandma Moses Resource List

9/8 – Popcorn Festival Begins  –  Popcorn Project

9/9 –  Teddy Bear Day  –   Teddy Bear Facts

9/10 – Sewing Machine Patented 1846  –  Sewing Machine

9/11 –  I Want My Own Business Day  –   Biz Kids Lesson Plans and Resources

9/12 – Video Game Day  –   Video Games Research Project

9/13 –  Author, Roald Dahl Born 1916  –   Dahl Resource List

9/14 – Star Spangled Banner Composed by Francis Scott Key, 1814 –  The Star Spangled Banner Resource List

9/15 –  Make a Hat Day  –  iKat Bag: Cardboard Hat Patterns and Instructions

9/16 – Illusionist David Copperfield born 1956  –  Magic Tricks Resource Page

9/17 –  Constitution Day  –   Constitution Resource List and   U.S. Constitution Research Page 

9/18 – Cheeseburger Day  –   National Cheeseburger Day

9/19 –  Talk Like a Pirate Day  –   Pirate Resource List

and  Pirate Resource Page & Knots

9/20 – Artist Dale Chihuly born 1941  –   Dale Chihuly Resource Page

9/21 –  Banana Festival  –  LiveScience: Bananas: Health Benefits, Risks & Nutrition Facts

9/22 – Scientist Michael Faraday born 1791  –   Michael Faraday Resource Page

9/23 –  Neptune Discovered 1846  –  Planets for Kids: Planet Neptune Facts

9/24 – Jim Henson born 1936  –  The Jim Henson Resource Page

9/25 –  Poet, Author, Song Writer Shel Silverstein Born 1930  –                                              

Silverstein Biography and Resources

9/26 – Johnny Appleseed born 1774  –  Johnny Appleseed Resource Page

9/27  Rosetta Stone Deciphered 1822  –  Rosetta Stone Facts

Sept. 28 – Strawberry Cream Pie Day  –  Strawberry Projects and Resources:                

 Strawberry Craze  and

 National Strawberry Cream Pie Day

9/29 –  Confucius Day

 Chinese New Year

 Confucius Quotes

Traditional Chinese Games

9/30 – Hot Mulled Cider Day  –  

Time & Date:  Hot Mulled Cider Day

Food Network: Mulled Cran-Cider



June Resources

Here is a wonderful list of free resources for learning (and teaching) through the month of June,  Check back often for updates and more resources to be added throughout the month.

The BIG List of Special Days in June, 2017  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2017/05/26/special-days-in-june-2017/

June Themes

Statehood Anniversaries

  • Kentucky – June 1, 1792
  • Tennessee – June 1, 1796
  • Arkansas- June 15, 1836
  • West Virginia – June 20, 1863
  • New Hampshire – June 21, 1788
  • Virginia – June 25, 1788

States Facts, History, and Videos –   http://www.history.com/topics/us-states

Presidents with June Birthdays

  • George H.W. Bush – June 12, 1924

Learning and Review Resources for all presidents – https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2014/02/14/resources-for-presidents-day/

June 2017 Daily Specials

June 1 – Volunteers Week begins – Easy Volunteering Activities for Kids – http://lifestyle.howstuffworks.com/crafts/quick-easy-crafts/easy-volunteer-activities-for-kids.htm

June 2 – Business Etiquette Week begins – How to conduct your business by showing respect and consideration – http://www.a-to-z-of-manners-and-etiquette.com/business-etiquette.html

June 3 – Egg Day – Experiments, Facts, and Resources – http://www.franw.com/2012/04/bird-eggs.html

June 4 – Aesop born – Learning Resources and Activities https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2014/06/04/story-telling-with-aesops-fables/

June 5 – 1st Hot Air Balloon Flight 1783 – Learning Resources and Activities – https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/06/05/hot-air-balloons/

June 6 – Russian Language Day –  Free Introduction, Basic, and Advanced Lessons with audio  http://www.russianforfree.com/lessons-russian-language-contents.php

June 6 – Yo-Yo Day – Check out this yo-yo video series – http://www.monkeysee.com/play/1079-how-to-yo-yo

June 7 – Daniel Boone Day – Learning Resources https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/10/22/daniel-boone/

June 7 – Chocolate Ice Cream Day – Resources and Activities http://www.franw.com/2011/07/ice-cream.html

June 8 – World Oceans Day – Celebration and Activity Ideas – http://www.worldoceansday.org/

June 9 – Donald Duck debut 1934 – Watch The Wise Little Henhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5dowCyaP7I

June 11 – Great Barrier Reef Discovery 1770 – Learning Resources – https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/06/11/reef/

June 12  –  Baseball Invented 1839  –  History, Facts, Rules, Records                 http://www.baseball-almanac.com/

June 14 – Flag Day – Learning Resources and Activities – https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/06/14/flag-day/

June 16- Mathematician M.C. Escher born 1898 – Learning Resources and Activities – https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/06/17/mathematical-art/

June 19 – Garfield’s (the cartoon cat) birthday – Learning Resources and Activities- https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/06/19/garfield-the-cat-not-the-president/

June 19 – Scientist Blaise Pascal born 1623 –  Learning Resources and Activities for Pascal and His Triangle – https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2015/06/18/blaise-pascal/

June 21  –  Make Music Day  –  Online Music Making –                                         http://fun2think.com/free-online-music-making-for-kids/

–  Musical Instrument Crafts  –http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/musicalinstrumentsartscraftstideashandmadekids.html

June 24-Fairy Day and UFO Day – Learning Resources for Both – https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/06/24/faries-vs-aliens/

June 24 – Great American Backyard Campout *– Resources and Activities – https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/06/22/the-great-american-backyard-campout/

June 25 – Log Cabin Day – Learning Resources – https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/06/25/log-cabin/

June 26 – Velocipede (bicycle) patented 1819 – Bicycle Facts, Safety, and Activities https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/06/26/bicycle-lessons/

June 27 –  Columnist Day * (4th Thrus.)  – Journalism Lesson Plans http://www.schooljournalism.org/lesson-plans-4/

June 27  –  Helen Keller born 1880 – Biography and Printables  http://gardenofpraise.com/ibdkell.htm

June 28  –  American Flowers Week begins *  –  USA Map with Flowers Coloring Page  https://americanflowersweek.com/2017/06/14/usa-map-of-state-flowers-free-promotional-material-for-american-flowers-week/

My “Go-To” Resource List for Special Day lesson planning each month  https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2016/07/31/learning-resources-for-special-days/

Happy June Learning!

betty jo

Special Days in June, 2017

June is loaded with holidays, observances, food themes, awareness days , historic figures and authors birthdays, science and historic based anniversaries, and more! Whether you’re looking for something special to study, trivia, a day to celebrate, or a food to add to the menu, this list of special days in June gives you plenty to choose from!

June Awareness/Observance Days and Themes:

  • Accordion Awareness
  • Adopt a Cat
  • Aquarium
  • Audio Book Appreciation
  • Bathroom Reading
  • Black Music
  • Camping
  • Caribbean-American Heritage
  • Childhood Cancer Awareness
  • Child Vision
  • Children’s Awareness
  • Effective Communication
  • Entrepreneurs “Do It Yourself” Marketing
  • Fight the Filthy Fly
  • Fireworks Safety
  • Forest System
  • GLTB Pride
  • Great Outdoors
  • International Men
  • Perennial Gardening
  • Potty Training Awareness
  • Rebuild Your Life
  • Rivers
  • Rose
  • Safety
  • Skyscraper
  • Smile
  • Sports America Kids
  • Student Safety
  • Surf Music
  • Zoo

June’s Food Themes:

  • Aprium
  • Beef Steak
  • Candy
  • Corn
  • Country Cooking
  • Cucumber
  • Dairy
  • Dairy Alternative
  • Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
  • Ice Tea
  • Lemon
  • Mango
  • Okra
  • Papaya
  • Pluot
  • Soul Food
  • Steakhouse
  • Turkey Lovers

June’s Daily Specials:  (the * means that the special day does not fall on the same date every year)

June 1

  • Barefoot Day
  • Dare Day
  • Flip a Coin Day
  • Global Day of Parents
  • Heimlich Maneuver Day
  • Kentucky Statehood 1792
  • Nail Polish Day
  • Olive Day
  • Oscar the Grouch Birthday 1969
  • Pen Pal Day
  • Say Something Nice Day
  • Stand for Children Day
  • Tennessee Statehood 1796
  • Volunteers Week begins
  • Mormon Leader Brigham Young born 1801

June 2

  • Bubba Day
  • Doughnut Day *(1st Fri.)
  • Leave the Office Early Day
  • Milk Days
  • Radio Patented 1896
  • Rocky Road Ice Cream Day
  • Rotisserie Chicken Day
  • Yell “Fudge” at the Cobras in North America Day

June 3

  • Boating Week begins *
  • Chimborazo Day
  • Chocolate Macaroon Day
  • Egg Day
  • Fishing Week begins *
  • Prairie Day * (1st Sat.)
  • Repeat Day (I said “Repeat Day”)
  • First U.S. Space Walk 1965
  • Trails Day *(1st Sat.)

June 4

  • Aesop born 620 BC
  • Applesauce Cake Day
  • Audacity To Hope Day
  • Business Etiquette Week begins *(1st full week)
  • Cancer Survivor’s day * (1st Sun.)
  • Cheese Day
  • King George III born 1738
  • First Ford Built 1896
  • Hug Your Cat Day
  • Old Maid’s Day
  • Pet Appreciation Week *(1st full week)
  • Shopping Cart invented 1937
  • Tienanmen Square (Beijing) Massacre 1989

June 5

  • Patriot Nathan Hale born 1755
  • 1st Hot Air Balloon Flight 1783
  • Gingerbread Day
  • Author Richard Scarry born 1919
  • Veggie Burger Day
  • World Environment Day

June 6

  • D-Day 1944
  • Drive-in Movie Day
  • Gardening Exercise Day
  • Higher Education Day
  • Russian Language Day
  • Yo-Yo Day

June 7

  • Chocolate Ice Cream Day
  • Daniel Boone Day
  • Muhammad (Islam Founder) born 570
  • Running Day *(1st Wed.)

June 8

  • Best Friends Day
  • Suction Vacuum Cleaner patented 1870
  • Upsy Daisy Day
  • Inventor Frank Lloyd Wright born 1867
  • World Ocean’s Day

June 9

  • Donald Duck debut 1934
  • Peter the Great born 1672
  • Inventor George Stephenson born 1781
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day

June 10

  • Ball Point Pen patented 1888
  • Black Cow Day
  • Herbs and Spices Day
  • Ice Tea Day
  • Knit in Public Day *
  • Author Maurice Sendak born 1928

June 11

  • Corn on the Cob Day
  • ET premiered 1982
  • Jacque Cousteau born 1910
  • German Chocolate Cake Day
  • Great Barrier Reef discovered 1770
  • Making Life Beautiful Day

June 12

  • Baseball Invented 1839
  • President George H.W. Bush born 1924
  • Children’s Day
  • Crowded Nest Awareness Day
  • Ann Frank born 1929
  • Jerky Day
  • Loving Day
  • Men’s Health Week begins *
  • Peanut Butter Cookie Day
  • Red Rose Day
  • Shavuot
  • Superman, Man of Steel Day
  • World Day Against Child Labor

June 13

  • Kitchen Klutzes of America Day
  • Sewing Machine Day
  • Weed Your Garden Day
  • Poet William Butler Yeats born 1865

June 14

  • Bath Day
  • Flag Day
  • Pop Goes the Weasel Day
  • Race Unity Day *(2nd Sun.)
  • Author Harriet Beecher Stowe born 1811
  • Strawberry Shortcake Day
  • US Army established 1775
  • World Blood Donor Day

June 15

  • Arkansas Statehood 1836
  • Celluloid patented 1869
  • Dump the Pump Day * (3rd Thurs.)
  • Benjamin Franklin’s Kite Experiment Anniversary 1752
  • Electricity Day
  • Fly a Kite Day
  • Global Wind Day
  • Lobster Day
  • Magna Carta signed 1215
  • Nature Photography Day
  • National Day of Prayer for Law Enforcement Officers
  • Smile Power Day
  • Worldwide Day of Giving

June 16

  • Bloomsday
  • Flip-Flop Day *(3rd Fri.)
  • Fresh Veggies Day
  • Fudge Day
  • Recess at Work Day

June 17

  • Apple Strudel Day
  • Battle of Bunker Hill 1775
  • Cherry Tart Day
  • Eat Your Vegetables Day
  • Artist/Mathematician M.C. Escher born 1898
  • Composer Igor Stravinsky born 1882
  • World Juggling Day * (Sat. closest to the 17th)
  • World Sea Turtle Day *

June 18

  • Animal Rights Awareness Week *
  • Carpenter Ant Awareness Week begins *(last full week)
  • Father’s Day * (3rd Sun.)
  • Go Fishing Day
  • International Panic Day
  • Picnic Day
  • Napoleon defeated at Waterloo 1815
  • Splurge Day
  • Sushi Day
  • Turkey Lovers’ Day * (3rd Sun.)

June 19

  • Garfield the Cat’s birthday 1978
  • Juneteenth Day
  • Scientist Blaise Pascal born 1623
  • Slavery Abolished (US) 1865
  • Theologian Charles Haddon Spurgeon born 1834
  • Statue of Liberty arrived in US 1885
  • Watch Day
  • World Sauntering Day

June 20

  • Bald Eagle Day
  • Daylight Appreciation Day *
  • Hike with a Geek Day
  • Ice Cream Soda Day
  • Composer Jacques Offenbach born 1819
  • Surfing Day
  • Summer Solstice *
  • Vanilla Milkshake Day
  • West Virginia Statehood 1863
  • World Refugee Day

June 21

  • Atheists Solidarity Day
  • Day of the Gong
  • Go Skateboarding Day
  • Make Music Day
  • Peaches ‘N’ Cream Day
  • New Hampshire Statehood 1788
  • Reaping Machine patented 1834
  • Selfie Day
  • World Handshake Day
  • World Humanist Day

June 22

  • Chocolate Eclair Day
  • Onion Rings Day
  • Stupid Guy Thing Day

June 23

  • Don’t Let Nouns Get You Down Day
  • Hydration Day
  • Let It Go Day
  • Pecan Sandies Day
  • Pink Day
  • Public Service Day
  • Saxophone patented 1846
  • Take Your Dog to Work Day *(Fri. after Father’s Day)
  • Typewriter patented 1868
  • United Nations Public Service Day
  • US Secret Service established 1865

June 24

  • Great American Backyard Campout *(4th Sat.)
  • Fairy Day
  • Pralines Day
  • Swim a Lap Day
  • U.F.O. Day

June 25

  • America’s Kids Day *(4th Sun.)
  • Battle of Little Big Horn 1876
  • Author Eric Carle born 1929
  • Catfish Day
  • Eid-Al-Fitr *
  • Catfish Day
  • Log Cabin Day
  • Scientist Walther Nernst born 1864
  • Author George Orwell born 1903
  • Strawberry Parfait day
  • Virginia Statehood 1788
  • Watermelon Seed Spitting Week (last Thurs. – Sun.)

June 26

  • Beautician’s Day
  • Bicycle patented 1819
  • Chocolate Pudding Day
  • Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
  • Forgiveness Day
  • Please Take My Children to Work Day *(last Mon.)
  • Toothbrush invented 1498

June 27

  • Columnists’ Day *(4th Tues.)
  • Decide to be Married Day
  • “Happy Birthday To You” song published 1924
  • Helen Keller born 1880
  • Orange Blossom Day
  • PTSD Awareness Day
  • Sunglasses Day

June 28

  • American Flowers Week begins *
  • Paul Bunyan Day
  • Artist Peter Paul Rubens born 1577
  • WW1 Began 1914

June 29

  • Bomb Pop Day *(last Thurs.)
  • Camera Day
  • Handshake Day * (last Thurs.)
  • Hug Holiday
  • Parchment day
  • Waffle Iron Day

June 30

  • Gone With the Wind published 1936
  • Meteor Day
  • NOW (National Organization for Women) Day
  • Social Media Day

For specific Special Day Resources  for June https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2017/06/03/june-resources/

My “Go-To” list of Resources when planning lessons for Special Days         https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2016/07/31/learning-resources-for-special-days/

I make my monthly special days calendars by using several sources including old calendars, holiday books, newspapers, and the web. If you know of a special day that I do not have listed, please comment and let me know what it is so I can add it in. Below are the links to my favorite online special days and calendar resources.







Happy June!

betty jo

A Special Days Project!


In accordance with my philosophy of “Learning Something New”, I’m excited to tell you about a project I’ve been working on!  My friend, Fran, from Funschooling, has invited me to co-author an e-book with her!  It’s going to be an activity companion to go along with the Special Days lists that I compile each month.   I’ve never co-authored before and have absolutely no experience with writing an e-book, but she’s a wonderful teacher and guide so I’m learning!

As we work on our book, I’ll be posting various resources here that the book will link to.  So, when I share something that seems to not fit with the current date, you’ll know why.

We plan on having the August Special Days Activity Companion e-book available in June!  I’ll be sure to let you know about it as soon as we publish it!  And, hopefully we’ll be publishing activity guides for the other months as well.

betty jo

Special Days in May, 2017

May is full of holidays, observances, food themes, awareness days, historic figures, artists and authors birthdays, science and historic based anniversaries, and more!  Whether you are looking for something special to learn about, celebrate, observe, or a food to add to the menu, this Special Days in May 2017 list gives you an awesome variety of choices!

May’s Themes, Awareness, and Observances

  • Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage
  • Better Hearing and Speech
  • Better Sleep
  • Bikes
  • Civility Awareness
  • Clean Air
  • Creative Beginnings
  • Date Your Mate
  • Eco Driving
  • Electrical Safety
  • Family
  • Foster Care
  • Get Caught Reading
  • Gifts From the Garden
  • Good Car Keeping
  • Haitian Heritage
  • Heal the Children
  • Healthy Vision
  • Inventors
  • Jewish-American Heritage
  • Military Appreciation
  • Older Americans
  • Photograph
  • Physical Fitness and Sports
  • Preservation
  • Recommitment
  • Revise Your Work Schedule
  • Smile
  • Teen CEO
  • Tennis
  • Ultra-violet Awareness
  • Victorious Woman
  • Wetlands
  • Youth Traffic Safety

Mays Food Themes

  • Asparagus
  • Barbecue
  • Beef
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Celiac Awareness
  • Egg
  • Grapefruit
  • Hamburger
  • Kiwi
  • Mediterranean Diet
  • Salad
  • Salsa
  • Strawberry
  • Vidalia Onions
  • Vinegar

Daily Specials For May 2016   (the * means that the date may not be the same each year)

May 1

  • Batman Day
  • Beltane
  • Cartoon Appreciation Week begins
  • Cheerios Cereal introduced 1941
  • Children’s Book Week begins * (1st Mon.)
  • Chocolate Parfait Day
  • Choose Privacy Week begins
  • Empire State Building dedicated 1931
  • Activist Mary Harris Jones born 1830
  • Hawaiian Lei Day
  • Herb Week begins
  • Law Day
  • Loyalty Day
  • May Day
  • Mother Goose Day
  • Pen-Friends Week begins
  • Public Service Recognition Week * (1st Mon.)
  • Save the Rhino Day
  • Smithsonian Institute dedicated 1847
  • Walking Week begins * (1st Mon.)
  • World Laughter Day * (1st Mon.)

May 2

  • Asthma Day * (1st Tues.)
  • Baby Day
  • Brothers and Sisters Days
  • Magician Doug Henning born 1947
  • Louisiana  Purchase 1803
  • Inventor Elijah McCoy (“the real McCoy”) born 1844
  • Play Your Ukulele Day
  • Truffle Day

May 3

  • 1st Comic Book (Famous Funnies) published 1934
  • Garden Meditation Day
  • Great American Grump Out * (1st Wed.)
  • Lumpy Rug Day
  • Paranormal Day
  • Textiles Day
  • Two Different Colored Shoes Day
  • World Press Freedom Day

May 4

  • Bird Day
  • 1st Colony (Rhode Island)  to declare independence from Great Britain 1776
  • Columbus reached Jamaica 1494
  • Green Peace launched 1971
  • Intergalactic Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Be With You)
  • Kent State University Vietnam War Protest 1970
  • Educator Horace Mann born 1796
  • National Day of Prayer * (1st Thurs.)
  • National Day of Reason * (1st Thurs.)
  • Orange Juice Day
  • Renewal Day
  • Respect for Chickens Day
  • Weather Observers Day
  • World Password Day

May 5

  • Astronaut Day
  • Cartoonist Day
  • Children’s Day (Japan)
  • Cinco de Mayo
  • Hoagie Day
  • International Midwives’ Day
  • No Pants Day * (1st Fri.)
  • Oyster Day
  • Totally Chipotle Day
  • Office Fax introduced 1964
  • Space Day * (1st Fri.)
  • Tuba Day * (1st Fri.)

May 6

  • Beverage Day
  • English Channel Tunnel opened 1994
  • Fire Escape patented 1878
  • Psychiatrist Sigmund Freud born 1856
  • Hindenburg exploded 1937
  • Join Hands Day * (1st Sat.)
  • Kentucky Derby * (1st Sat.)
  • No Diet Day
  • No Homework Day
  • Nurses Day
  • Scrapbooking Day * (1st Sat.)
  • Tourist Appreciation Day

May 7

  • Be Kind to Animals week begins * (1st full week)
  • Composer Johannes Brahms born 1833
  • Infertility Survival Day * (1st Sun.)
  • Lemonade Day * (1st Sun.)
  • Lusitania anniversary 1915
  • Postcard Week begins  * (1st full week)
  • Composer Tchaikovsky born 1840
  • Tourism Day
  • Update Your References Week begins * (1st full week)

May 8

  • Coconut Cream Pie Day
  • Etiquette Week begins * (2nd Mon.)
  • Have a Coke Day
  • Iris Day
  • Kids Win Week * (Mon. of 1st full week)
  • No Socks Day
  • Principal’s Day *
  • Teacher Appreciation Week begins * (Mon. of 1st full week)
  • President Harry Truman born 1884
  • VE Day 1945
  • Wildflower Week begins * (Mon. of 1st full week)
  • World Red Cross Day

May 9

  • Author Eleanor Estes born 1906
  • Lost Sock Memorial Day
  • Lemuria
  • Missionary Andrew Murray born 1828
  • Teacher Appreciation Day * (Tues.of 1st full week)

May 10

  • Clean Up Your Room Day
  • Donate A Day’s Wages to Charity * (2nd Wed.)
  • Lipid Day
  • Lupus Day
  • Receptionists’ Day  * (2nd Wed.)
  • School Nurse Day * (Wed. of 1st full week)
  • Shrimp Day

May 11

  • Song Writer Irving Berlin born 1888
  • Missionary Andy van der Bijl born 1928
  • Bike to Work Week begins
  • Artist Salvador Dali born 1909
  • Eat What You Want Day
  • Poet Edward Lear born 1812
  • Minnesota Statehood 1858
  • Twilight Zone Day

May 12

  • Child Care Provider Day * (Fri. before Mother’s Day)
  • Limerick Day
  • Florence Nightingale born 1820
  • International Nurses Day
  • Military Spouses Day * (Fri. before Mother’s Day)
  • Nutty Fudge Day
  • Odometer Day

May 13

  • Apple Pie Day
  • Archery Day * (2nd Sat.)
  • Babysitter’s Day * (Sat. before Mother’s Day)
  • Belly Dance Day * (2nd Sat.)
  • Birth Mother’s Day * (Sat. before Mother’s Day)
  • 1st Settlers arrived at Jamestown 1607
  • Fair Trade Day * (2nd Sat.)
  • Frog Jumping Day
  • Leprechaun Day
  • Migratory Bird Day * (2nd Sat)
  • Miniature Golf Day * (2nd Sat.)
  • Windmill Day * (2nd Sat.)

May 14

  • Buttermilk Biscuit Day
  • Chicken Dance Day
  • Scientist Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit born 1686
  • Food Allergy Week begins *
  • Artist Thomas Gainsborough born 1727
  • Israel became an independent state 1948
  • Lewis and Clarke’s Expedition began 1804
  • Mother’s Day (US)  *
  • Reading is Fun Week begins * (2nd full week)
  • Salute to Moms 35+ Week begins * (on Mother’s Day)
  • Skylab Space Station launched 1973
  • Underground America Day
  • 1st Webster’s Dictionary Published 1847

May 15

  • Author L.F. Baum born 1856
  • Chocolate Chip Day
  • Day of Families
  • Kangaroo Care Awareness Day
  • Mercuralia
  • Peace Officer Memorial Day
  • Straw Hat Day
  • Transportation Week begins * (week with 3rd Fri.)

May 16

  • 1st Academy Awards 1929
  • Biographer’s Day
  • Drawing Day
  • Love a Tree Day
  • Pencil Day
  • Sea Monkey Day
  • Wear Purple for Peace Day

May 17

  • Cherry Cobbler Day
  • Hypertension Day
  • Physician Edward Jenner born 1749
  • New York Stock Exchange begins 1792
  • Pack Rat Day
  • Walnut Day
  • World Telecommunications Day

May 18

  • Mt. St. Helen Eruption Anniversary 1980
  • Museum Day
  • No Dirty Dishes Day
  • Notebook Day
  • Visit Your Relatives Day

May 19

  • Bike to Work Day * (3rd Fri.)
  • Boy’s Club Day
  • Defense Transportation Day * (3rd Fri.)
  • Devil’s Food Cake Day
  • Doo Day Day *
  • Endangered Species Day * (3rd Fri.)
  • Activist Malcolm X born 1925
  • May Ray Day
  • NASCAR Day * (3rd Fri.)
  • Pizza Party Day  * (3rd Fri.)
  • Queen Anne beheaded 1536

May 20

  • Armed Forces Day * (3rd Sat..)
  • Be a Millionaire Day
  • Eliza Doolittle Day
  • Learn to Swim Day * (3rd Sat.)
  • Dolly Madison born 1768
  • Pick Strawberries Day
  • Quiche Lorraine Day
  • Weights and Measures Day

May 21

  • Backyard Games Week begins * (3rd week)
  • Bike Week begins * (3rd week)
  • Fossil Hunter Mary Anning born 1799
  • American Red Cross Founders Day
  • End of the World/Rapture Party Day
  • International Pickle Week begins * (3rd week)
  • New Friends, Old Friends Week begins * (3rd week)
  • Artist, Henri Rousseau born 1844
  • Stepmother’s Day * (Sun. after Mother’s Day)
  • Strawberries and Cream Day
  • Take Your Parents to the Playground Day *
  • Missionary James Hudson Taylor born 1832
  • Vejovis
  • Waiters and Waitresses Day
  • World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
  • World Trade Week begins * (3rd full week)

May 22

  • 1st Atlas published 1570
  • Biological Diversity Day
  • Buy a Musical Instrument Day
  • Artist Mary Cassatt born 1844
  • Maritime Day
  • Sherlock Holmes Day
  • Toothpaste Tube invented 1892
  • Vanilla Pudding Day
  • Victoria Day * (Mon. before May 25)

May 23

  • Crohn’s and Colitis day
  • Feminist Margaret Fuller born 1810
  • Lucky Penny Day
  • Rosalia
  • Shavuot
  • South Carolina Statehood 1788
  • Taffy Day
  • World Turtle Day

May 24

  • Brother’s Day
  • Brooklyn Bridge opened 1883
  • Hurricane Preparedness Week begins
  • Indianapolis 500
  • 1st Morse Code Message Sent 1844
  • Puppeteer Frank Oz born 1944
  • Scavenger Hunt Day
  • Tiara Day

May 25

  • Ascension Day * (40 days after Easter)
  • Brown Bag It Day
  • Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson born 1803
  • Missing Children’s Day
  • Nerd Pride Day or Geek Pride Day
  • Dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson born 1878
  • Star Wars premiered 1977
  • Tap Dance Day
  • Towel Day
  • Wig Out Day * (Fri. before Memorial Day)

May 26

  • Blueberry Cheesecake Day
  • Don’t Fry Day * (Friday before Memorial Day)
  • Heat Awareness Day * (last Fri.)
  • Indian Removal Act signed into law 1830
  • Astronaut Sally Ride born 1951
  • Tiananmen Square Protest 1989
  • Actor John Wayne born 1907

May 27

  • Activist Amelia Jenks Bloomer born 1818
  • Conservationist Rachel Carson born 1907
  • Cellophane Tape introduced 1930
  • Golden Gate Bridge opened 1964
  • Grape Popsicle Day
  • Ramadan begins *
  • Sunscreen Day

May 28

  • Amnesty International Day
  • Big Ben arrived in Westminster 1859
  • Brisket Day
  • Hamburger Day
  • Poet May Swenson born 1913
  • Whooping Crane Day

May 29

  • Patriot Patrick Henry born 1736
  • International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers
  • President John Kennedy born  1917
  • Learn About Composting Day
  • Memorial Day * (last Mon.)
  • Paperclip patented 1867
  • Pink Flamingo Day
  • Rhode Island Statehood 1790
  • Wisconsin Statehood 1848

May 30

  • Compact Disc introduced 1981
  • Hole in My Bucket Day
  • Hug Your Cat Day
  • International Jazz Day
  • Lincoln Memorial dedicated 1922
  • Civil Rights Leader Clara Luper born 1923
  • Mariner launched 1971
  • Queen of England Jane Seymour born 1508
  • Shavuot *
  • Water a Flower Day
  • Wireless Telegraph patented 1872

May 31

  • Autonomous vehicle Day *
  • Macaroon Day
  • Save Your Hearing Day
  • Speak in Sentences Day
  • Poet Walt Whitman born 1819
  • What You Think Upon Grows Day
  • World No Tobacco Day

I make my monthly special days lists by using several sources including old calendars, holiday books, newspapers, and the web. If you know of a special day that I do not have listed, please comment and let me know what it is so I can add it in. Below are the links to my favorite online calendars.











Wishing you a happy April!

betty jo