Every day is a holiday with these Holiday of the Day Writing Prompts for upper elementary.
Did you know that as of August 2021 there are 12 federal holidays in the United States? Take a moment to see if you can come up with all 12.
Want to see if you’re right? Here is the full list of federal holidays in the US.
- New Year’s Day
- Inauguration Day
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday
- George Washington’s birthday (Presidents’ Day)
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Columbus Day
- Veterans Day
Did you get them all right?
Inauguration Day often throws people off because it is the only federal holiday that is not an annual occurrence.
The list above includes all the federal holidays in the United States, but did you know there are actually many many…many more holidays celebrated each year? Many countries, cultures, and religions have their own holidays and even some cities and states have their own holidays. There are also holidays dedicated to such things as National Creamsicle Day, International Lefthander’s Day, and National Thrift Shop Day.
It seems there are holidays for almost everything these days, so we’ve decided to take all those holidays (some obscure and some very well known) and create a series of holiday writing prompts that you can share with your upper elementary students.
Thus, the Holiday of the Day Writing Prompts resource was born.
Each month we are putting out a new set of holiday of the day writing prompts that you can share with your students. August and September are done and ready to go, so you can now check them out using the links below, or continue reading to learn all about these resources and how you could use them in your upper elementary classroom.
This resource was created to be a fun way to get your students talking and/or writing about high-interest topics. It includes digital and printable versions. It can be used in a wide variety of ways including…
- Morning meeting
- Writing response
- Writing station
- Writing warm up/ELA warm up
- Morning work
- As an intro for holiday theme days
There are holiday of the day writing prompts for every day of the month, so teachers can choose to use them everyday or just choose a few to do each week. Many sets also include Bonus Holidays teachers can use instead of the ones provided in the set.
Since we know that things change and we need to remain flexible, every slide is editable so you can change out any holiday you’d like. You can also work in some of the holidays that are not on specific days every year such as President’s Day, Thanksgiving, Mardi Gras, Memorial Day, etc.
How to use these Holiday of the Day Writing Prompts
Step #1: Decide HOW you’ll use the resources.
Are these prompts going to be used as a morning warm-up or are you going to use them as a center activity? Will you use them every day or will you use them sparingly? Make decisions focusing specifically on HOW you’ll use these prompts and how often.
Step #2: Review the writing prompts and make necessary changes.
Depending on how often you are using the prompts, you either need to choose which prompts you’ll be using or you may need to make some changes to the prompts. Since each prompt is fully editable, feel free to make any necessary changes whether that includes adding a holiday, moving several prompts to a single day, or changing the prompt to include additional details. Then finalize which prompts you plan to use.
If you decide not to use all of the slides, and you want to save only a small section of the resource, follow along with the instructions in this post called How to Copy Part of a Google Slides Presentation. Saving the portion of the slides you plan to use will make it easier to make changes without altering your original copy, and you’ll be able to quickly find the next slide you plan to use.
Step #3: How are you going to display the prompts?
Decide if you are going to display the prompts on a computer, project them onto a board, or if you are going to print them off for use in centers. Once you’ve decided which method you are going to use to share the writing prompts, either save the slides or print the slides as needed.
Step #4: Print or share the student response sheets.
Next, print off the student response sheets for the days you are planning to use, or if you plan to complete the prompts digitally, create smaller sets of slides to share with students. Follow the instructions in this blog post to create smaller sets of slides to share with students.
Step #5: Consider adding to the activity.
Although this resource is designed to be writing prompts and does not require any additional or extension activities to be effective, there are not any rules stating that you can’t get creative with how you use them. What are some ways you can expand on the Holiday of the Day Writing Prompt activity? Here are some ideas you may want to consider.
- Display printed student writing prompts around the room for other students to read and comment on.
- Spend time discussing prompts as a class
- Give students time to share their responses in small groups.
- Ask advanced students to pick a holiday they are interested in to research a little more about the day to share with the class.
- Pick a few students each day to share their thoughts.
- Use the writing prompts to practice editing.
- Use the writing prompts to practice other ELA skills like figurative language or different sentence patterns.
- Adjust requirements daily that limits the number of sentences or words students can write to work on and expand on the concept of word choice.
- Give students time to exchange writing with others and provide feedback or comment on other’s ideas.
Every day is a holiday in your upper elementary class when you incorporate these writing prompts into your daily activities, and with holidays like World Elephant Day and Pluto Demoted Day, these Holiday of the Day Writing Prompts are sure to add just the right amount of celebration to your daily classroom routines. We can’t wait to see how you use them!