Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!
For those who celebrate Halloween tomorrow, it’s not to late to help raise funds for children worldwide. Why?
Universal Children’s Day is coming in a few weeks…it’s celebrated each year on November 2o. This year’s theme is Children of Today, our Keepers Tomorrow.
Create some buzz about this day in your classroom…attention-getting buzz…
buzz that can open students’ eyes to the world beyond their windows.
Watch kids smile at the news that a day is set aside each year to celebrate children.
Point to a globe in your classroom and explain that this special day was created because some children around the world have less access to education, healthy living, and care than other children do.
Historical Brief on Universal Children’s Day – Give your class a brief overview of how Universal Children’s Day came about. Offer historical bits and pieces such as…
Universal Children’s Day was first proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1954.
(Ask or tell, depending on the grade level you teach, where the United Nations is headquartered.)
Explain that Universal Children’s Day was established to encourage all countries to set aside a day that would encourage children to learn about and appreciate other children around the world.
Add that this special day is also meant to push for public actions that benefit and promote children’s welfare…actions such as the formation of programs that help feed hungry kids.
The day is meant, too, to draw attention to children who face challenges because of their differences…be it religion, minority issues, or disabilities.
Ask for a show of hands from kids who helped collect money for UNICEF on Halloween. What’s the connection?
UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, promotes and coordinates Universal Children’s Day, working to improve children’s welfare.
Thank anyone who plans to participate in a UNICEF collection on Halloween tomorrow.
Lucky Children Get to Learn – As you celebrate Universal Children’s Day, take the opportunity to point out how lucky are the children who get to come to school.
Note to the class that in some communities around the world, school is not available to children because of war, cultural traditions, transportation problems, and other reasons.
Of course you may have some students cheer at the idea of “No School!”
Push the conversation further and ask them to consider what their lives would be like without school. Would they miss their school friends? How would they learn without school? Point out how many questions there are to consider.
Suggest that going to school is a privilege…all the more reason for students to pay attention and stay focused and on task in class!
Help kids make a strong connection between paying attention and learning well. Lead a discussion about how staying focused helps someone learn.
Here’s another idea…
Celebrate Universal Children’s Day by connecting your class to children across the globe. How?
Create Online Penpals – Announce that you have plans for students to connect via the Internet with penpals…children in other nations, to celebrate Universal Children’s Day together.
Penpal programs can be fun for the whole family!
Consider involving parents in your online penpal program. This adds another layer to efforts to promote children’s welfare.
Setting up penpal exchanges with your class also encourages writing…an added benefit.
How else can you get ready to celebrate Universal Children’s Day?
YOU Be the Teacher! – The expression, “Children learn what they live,” is a perfect fit for celebrating Universal Children’s Day.
Give kids an opportunity to learn what it’s like to be in your shoes; to “be a teacher for a time.”
Assign student volunteers different subjects to teach to the whole class as part of your Universal Children’s Day celebration.
If you work with students in upper elementary grades, ask one volunteer to research information about children in different countries, such as what they study, what they wear to school, what their homes look like, etc. and make a report to the class.
This assignment reinforces the international ties of Universal Children’s Day.
YOU Be the Healthy Good Eating Cook! – Children in every nation love to eat! Include food in your celebration of Universal Children’s Day.
Catch kids’ attention by asking who wants to be a “chef for a day.”
Invite students to write healthy meal plans to share with the class.
Add some fun and gain interest in participation in this activity by allowing student chefs to include sweet treats in their meal plans.
Ask kids to make posters of their meal plans with photographs and/or illustrations of foods they include.
Plan time for volunteers to “teach” in front of the classroom, presenting what foods are healthy and why.
If possible, delight kids by bringing an edible ending to this activity. Fun.
Continue the Celebration – The celebration of Universal Children’s Day continues to evolve.
Five years ago, in September 2012, the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations led the initiative for children’s education. All teachers are part of this initiative.
How will you celebrate Universal Children’s Day? Please send comments.
Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!
Talk with you again soon,
Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet