New Year's Etymology & Writing Activity
Teach your students about the history and etymology of New Year's Day, and have them apply the knowledge to a creative writing activity.
In ancient Rome this day was spent honoring Janus, the god of gates and doors and beginnings and endings, for whom January is named. Janus had two faces, one on the back of his head and the other on the front, allowing him to look forward into the future and back into the past.
Ancient Romans spent New Year's Day considering what the past year had meant to them and making plans for the coming year. The first of January became generally recognized as New Year's Day in the 16th century, when the Gregorian calendar was introduced.
Etymology: Calendar is a more complicated word than most people think. Meaning a chart of the year, it comes from the Latin calendarium, which was an account book kept by money lenders to keep track of debts due to them on the calends the first of each month. This word itself came from calare, to call, which was what was done to proclaim the due date!
New Year's Creative WritingHave each student design an image of Janus and then write stories in the first person telling what Janus might say about the past year and the year to come. Display the pictures with the stories (in cartoon balloons above each Janus) for an interesting first-of-the-year bulletin board display.
Ask the students to write about the past year, telling how and why they changed in some way during that time.
Excerpted from The Complete Teacher's Almanack.
Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month
May is Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month! Don't overlook this opportunity to study and enjoy activities about the history and culture of Asian-Pacific American communities.
Top 10 Galleries
Explore our most popular Top 10 galleries, from Top 10 Behavior Management Tips for the Classroom and Top 10 Classroom Organization Tips from Veteran Teachers to Top 10 Free (& Cheap) Rewards for Students and Top 10 Things Every Teacher Needs in the Classroom. We'll help you get organized and prepared for every classroom situation, holiday, and more! Check out all of our galleries today.
May Calendar of Events
May is full of holidays and events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Children's Book Week (5/13-19), Biographers Day (5/16), and Memorial Day (5/27). Plus, celebrate Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month, Clean Air Month, and Physical Fitness & Sports Month all May long!
Common Core Lessons & Resources
Is your school district adopting the Common Core? Work these new standards into your curriculum with our reading, writing, speaking, social studies, and math lessons and activities. Each piece of content incorporates the Common Core State Standards into the activity or lesson.