May’s Marvels: Exploring Festivities and Traditions with Kids!


May arrives adorned with vibrant celebrations and acknowledgments! From cultural observances to honoring individuals, this month offers a rich tapestry of learning experiences for young minds. Let’s venture into the wonders of May together!

Embracing May’s Diversity

Engaging Activities

Cinco de Mayo: Discover the history and significance of this Mexican holiday. Engage in cultural activities, learn traditional dances, or create Mexican-inspired crafts.

Mother’s Day: Celebrate mothers and mother figures. Encourage heartfelt messages, creative cards, or activities honoring caregivers.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Recognize the contributions and cultural heritage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Explore their traditions, food, and stories.

Memorial Day: Honor and learn about the significance of Memorial Day. Engage in activities to commemorate and understand its historical importance.

What can you do with these printables? These are some suggestions: 

  • Talk about each special day
  • Have students do a blog about it
  • Organise a writing competition
  • Get students to write a song or rap about it
  • Do a role-play about it
  • Have students design a poster about it
  • Watch a video about it
  • Display a quiz about it
  • Go to a museum about it
  • Create a reading list about it
  • Research more about it online

Every day is a special day in the ESL classroom – but these are our favorite!

May is…

Barbecue Month

Bike Month

Blood Pressure Month

Hamburger Month

Photograph Month

Special Days:

May Day

1- Mother Goose Day

1- Save the rhino

1- Space Day

2- Baby Day

2- Brothers and sisters Day

4- Birds Day

4-Star Wars Day

5- Cinco de Mayo

5- National Teachers’ Day

6- National Nurses Day

10- Mothers’ Day

12- Limmerick Day

18- International Museum Day

18- Victoria Day (Canada)

25- Memorial Day

28- Hamburger Day

30- Water a flower Day


Here's a list of engaging read-aloud books perfect for young learners in May:

"The Very Busy Spider" by Eric Carle: A story about a spider's industrious efforts to build a web despite being interrupted by various farm animals.

"Curious George Plants a Tree" by Margret Rey: Join Curious George as he learns about planting trees and taking care of the environment.

"Oh, the Places You'll Go!" by Dr. Seuss: A motivational book about life's journey and its adventures, perfect for discussions about goals and aspirations.

"The Night Before Summer Vacation" by Natasha Wing: A fun and relatable story about a family getting ready for their summer vacation.

"The Relatives Came" by Cynthia Rylant: A heartwarming tale about a family reunion and the joy of spending time together.

"Llama Llama Misses Mama" by Anna Dewdney: Follow Llama Llama as he starts school and deals with missing his mama, perfect for discussions about new experiences.

"How Do Dinosaurs Go to School?" by Jane Yolen: A humorous book that shows how dinosaurs would behave in school, great for discussing behavior and manners.

"Bee-Bim Bop!" by Linda Sue Park: A delightful story about a family preparing and enjoying a traditional Korean dish, introducing multicultural experiences.

These books cover themes of summer, family, school, and new experiences, providing ample opportunities for discussions, vocabulary building, and imaginative storytelling for young learners in May. Enjoy sharing these wonderful stories with your students!

Themes to teach during May

May provides a range of thematic opportunities for ESL classes. Here are some engaging themes that could be relevant and interesting for ESL learners during this month:

Spring and Nature: Continuing discussions on spring-related vocabulary, exploring changes in nature, and outdoor activities. 
Grab some ideas here

Mother's Day/Family: Discussing family relationships, honoring mothers or caregivers, and exploring the concept of family in different cultures. Grab some ideas here

Memorial Day/Remembrance: Learning about Memorial Day, discussing its significance, and honoring those who served in the military. 

Gardening and Plants: Exploring vocabulary related to gardening, discussing the growth of plants, and perhaps engaging in planting activities. Grab some ideas here

Cultural Diversity: Celebrating and discussing the diversity within the classroom or exploring different cultures around the world.

Travel and Vacation: Discussing travel-related vocabulary, dream vacations, and different types of holidays people take.

Health and Fitness: Focusing on health-related vocabulary, discussing exercise routines, and the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

End of School Year: Reflecting on the academic year, discussing achievements, and looking forward to summer break. Grab some ideas here

These themes provide ample opportunities for vocabulary expansion, cultural understanding, discussions on various topics, and language practice within an ESL classroom. Tailor these themes to suit the language proficiency level and interests of your students for a more engaging learning experience.

May cultural celebrations and observances around the world:

Cinco de Mayo (Mexico and the United States): Celebrated on May 5th, it commemorates the Mexican army's victory over the French Empire. Festivities include parades, traditional music, folk dances, and Mexican cuisine.

Vesak (Buddhist countries): Celebrated on the full moon day in May, Vesak commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and passing of Buddha. It involves visiting temples, meditating, lighting lanterns, and giving to charity.

Europe Day (European Union): Celebrated on May 9th, it marks the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, promoting peace and unity in Europe. Events include concerts, cultural exhibitions, and flag-raising ceremonies.

Memorial Day (United States): Celebrated on the last Monday of May, Memorial Day honors the military personnel who died while serving in the country's armed forces. It involves ceremonies, parades, and paying respects at memorials.

Dragon Boat Festival (China and other East Asian countries): Usually in May or June, this festival involves dragon boat races, eating zongzi (sticky rice dumplings), and honoring the ancient poet Qu Yuan.

Ramadan (Islamic month of fasting): The dates vary yearly based on the Islamic lunar calendar, and it extends through May in some years. It's a month of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community gatherings, culminating in Eid al-Fitr.

Holi Hai (Festival of Colors in various countries): In some regions outside India, Holi is celebrated in May. It involves throwing colored powders and water, dancing, and revelry.

These celebrations in May highlight a wide array of cultural traditions, religious observances, and festive customs observed by various communities around the world. Each celebration carries its unique significance and offers insights into the values and customs of diverse cultures.

Let's make this May a time of cultural appreciation, gratitude, and remembrance in our ESL classroom! Embrace diversity, celebrate caregivers, and honor the importance of history.

Grab your free copy here
How do you plan to celebrate these significant days in your classroom? Share your ideas below and let's create a vibrant learning community together!

Happy May!

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