Looking for ways to spice up your daily classroom routine this month? While you already know that November is the month of giving thanks, did you know there is also a day that is dedicated to sandwiches? Check out our list of classroom activities to celebrate the common and not-so-common days of November with your students.
November 3rd: National Sandwich Day
National Sandwich Day is named after John Montagu, the 4 th Earl of Sandwich, who, in 1762, reportedly put meat between two pieces of bread to create the first sandwich. To celebrate National Sandwich Day, have your students write a short story about how they think sandwiches were created. Then, they can share the recipe of their favorite sandwich with the class, or invent a brand new sandwich! You can even kick off the festivities with a classroom sandwich party!
November 8th: Election Day
In 1845, Congress established the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November as Election Day. This was the perfect time for farmers and shipmen to get to the polls. As our society and laws have changed, many groups have pushed to change the date and method in which we vote. Have your students research the history of Election Day, and then write a one-page paper explaining why they think the date should either stay or change.
November 8th: National Young Readers Day
In 1989, Pizza Hut® and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress declared the second Tuesday of November as Young Readers Day. You can celebrate the day by designating class time for sustained silent reading, or have each student write a book review about their favorite book and present it to the class. You can make the day extra special by having a pizza party during the presentations!
November 11th: Veteran’s Day
Veteran’s Day, originally known as Armistice Day, was first celebrated in 1921 to honor the veterans from World War 1. In 1954, President Eisenhower changed the name to Veteran’s Day in honor of veterans’ service in all wars.
In honor of Veteran’s Day, invite a veteran to your class to talk about his/her experiences. Check out History.com’s Take a Vet to School program for resources and ideas about how to connect this to your curriculum.
November 13th: World Kindness Day
World Kindness Day was born in 1997 during the World Kindness Movement conferences in Japan, when humanitarian groups came together and made a “Declaration of Kindness.”
To celebrate this day, you can first have your students share a story about something someone did for them that made them happy. Then, ask them to do something kind for a classmate, a family member, or even a stranger. For additional ideas, resources, and lesson plans to teach kindness, check out the Random Acts of Kindness website.
November 15th: America Recycles Day
America Recycles Day originated in 1997 and was formally recognized by President Bush in 2004. As you would expect, this day is dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and to buy recycled products. To get your students involved, ask them to research local recycling programs and write two to three ideas about how to improve recycling. For more ideas, check out the America Recycles Day Toolkit.
November 21st: World Hello Day
In 1973, World Hello Day was created in response to the conflict between Egypt and Israel as an expression of concern for world peace. The object of the day, which has been observed by people in 180 countries, is to greet people in the name of peace. Celebrate by teaching your students to say hello in a variety of languages.
November 23rd: National Eat a Cranberry Day
National Eat a Cranberry Day is one of the unique days in November. And, while we don’t know the origins or creator of this day, it’s a good time to discuss healthy eating. You may also want to celebrate this day by teaching some facts about cranberries. Check out this info sheet from TeacherVision for more information about cranberries.
November 24th: Thanksgiving Day
Thanksgiving dates back to 1621 when it was a celebration of thanks for the previous year’s harvest. Originally, Thanksgiving was celebrated on the last Thursday in November, but in 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt signed a joint Congressional resolution to change the official date to the third Thursday in November. For Thanksgiving teaching ideas, check out Scholastic’s site.
November 28th: Red Planet Day
Red Planet Day recognizes the launch of Spacecraft Mariner 4 in 1964, which brought the world the first close-up photos of Mars.
Celebrate the day by linking it to your lessons about the solar system. Assign a planet to student groups and task them with researching the planet, collecting photos, and creating a travel guide in which they explain whether or not they would like to visit the planet and why. NASA also offers a number of classroom activities to teach your students about Mars.