A Learning Activity for Father’s Day
by Alan Haskvitz
National Teachers Hall of Fame

Father’s Day is an opportunity for a fun, yet meaningful lesson, but also time to be mindful that not all children are living with a father. Although there are a variety of activities that largely revolve around creating a poem or a craft that can be given as a gift a more notable lesson can make it learning relevant. Before starting the teacher needs to see which students don’t have fathers at home. These students may elect to send this card to any male in their family. The teacher should discuss this matter with the students first so that there aren’t any hurt feelings. A call home may also be in order.

Once this is accomplished the students create a card such as the one here:
http://myhero.com/go/hero.asp?hero=famousfathers

The My Hero Theme is an excellent one, but the heroic figures that the student uses needs to be their own. Research on five or so of famous male heroes in history enables this activity to be a true learning activity as well.

To start the lesson the students research famous men in history. The make a list of their character traits and what they accomplished. They decide on which five have the traits that the “father” in their live might have. Next give them a blank card. This can be simply cut poster paper, a large index card or something more elaborate. On the front they write the names of the five men and what they accomplished. They can also consider drawing or printing out pictures to place next to the names.

On the inside cover the student writes “Happy Father’s Day” with some art work of their own making.
On the third page that write, You have the traits of these famous men in history. After they list the name they write the trait and what that person accomplished. For example, you remind me of John Muir because you love the outdoors (http://www.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/life/muir_biography.aspx)
and you remind me of John Glenn because you encourage me to meet new challenges
(http://www.biography.com/people/john-glenn-9313269#awesm=~oGevs1ohyfl4Ox)
and you are like Martin Luther King, Jr. because you believe all people are equal
http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1964/king-bio.html

On the back page the student can create a poem to their father.
The result is an activity that is requires new learning and is most appreciated by the parent or guardian because it is unique.

Sites with relevant lessons

History of Father’s Day
http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/fathers-day

Most Famous Fathers in Literature
For older students. They need to read the book,
http://www.shortlist.com/entertainment/books/30-most-memorable-literary-fathers
Or
A short version of famous literature fathers-day
http://kendall-h.hubpages.com/hub/Famous-Fathers-in-Literature

Lessons for all levels
http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/lesson269.shtml

ESL lessons
http://www.eslholidaylessons.com/06/fathers_day.htm

Mainly primary arts and crafts

Link site to a variety of Father’s Day lessons and activities
http://www.henry4school.fr/Celebrations/fathers-day/fathersday.htm#res

Statistics about Fathers
These could be used as the bases for a math activity
http://www.census.gov/search-results.html?q=fathers&search.x=0&search.y=0&page=1&stateGeo=none&utf8=%26%2310003%3B&affiliate=census

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