July’s Celebrations: Exploring Festivities and Cultural Celebrations with Kids!

July arrives adorned with a tapestry of vibrant celebrations and historical acknowledgments! From national observances to global festivities, this month offers an array of enriching experiences for young minds. Let’s delve into the wonders of July together!

Embracing July’s Diversity

Engaging Activities

Independence Day (USA): Explore the history and significance of July 4th. Engage in patriotic crafts, learn about American symbols, and discuss freedom.

International Friendship Day: Celebrate global unity and friendship. Engage in activities promoting kindness, cultural exchange, and understanding.

World Nature Conservation Day: Highlight environmental preservation. Engage in nature walks, discussions on conservation, or eco-friendly projects.

National Ice Cream Day: Delight in the joy of this sweet treat! Explore flavors, create ice cream-themed art, or organize a tasting session.

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!

Canada Day: July 1
International Joke Day: July 1
International Reggae Day: July 1
National Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day: July 1
World UFO Day: July 2
Independence Day: July 4 (for the United States)
International Kissing Day: July 6
World Chocolate Day: July 7
Video Games Day: July 8
National Sugar Cookie Day: July 9
Pick Blueberries Day: July 10
National Kitten Day: July 10
Cow Appreciation Day: July 12
National French Fry Day: July 13
Bastille Day: July 14
Shark Awareness Day: July 14
National Mac and Cheese Day: July 14
Guinea Pig Appreciation Day: July 16
World Emoji Day: July 17
International Chess Day: July 20
National Fortune Cookie Day: July 20
National Hot Dog Day: July 21
National Lollipop Day: July 20
National Merry Go Round Day: July 25
Bagpipe Appreciation Day: July 26
International Tiger Day: July 29
International Day of Friendship: July 30


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

"The Watermelon Seed" by Greg Pizzoli: A humorous story about a crocodile who's afraid of swallowing a watermelon seed, perfect for laughs and discussions about summer fruits.

"Pete the Cat: The Great Leprechaun Chase" by James Dean: Join Pete the Cat as he goes on an adventure searching for leprechauns, perfect for imagination and fun.

"Curious George Goes to the Beach" by Margret Rey: Follow Curious George as he explores the beach, learns about tides, and encounters various beach activities.

"Summer Days and Nights" by Wong Herbert Yee: A story that follows a little girl's adventures during the summer, exploring activities from dawn to dusk.

"The Berenstain Bears Go on Vacation" by Stan and Jan Berenstain: Join the Berenstain Bears as they go on a family vacation and learn about different holiday experiences.

"Froggy Learns to Swim" by Jonathan London: Join Froggy as he learns how to swim, perfect for discussions about overcoming fears and learning new skills.

"How I Spent My Summer Vacation" by Mark Teague: A humorous story about a boy's exaggerated tale of his summer vacation adventures, perfect for sparking imagination and storytelling.

"The Seashore Book" by Charlotte Zolotow: A beautifully illustrated book that captures the essence of a day at the seashore, perfect for discussions about nature and the beach.

These books cover themes of summer, vacations, beach adventures, and outdoor activities, providing ample opportunities for discussions, vocabulary building, and imaginative storytelling for young learners in July. Enjoy sharing these delightful stories with your students!

Themes to teach during July

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

Independence Day: Learning about American culture, discussing the history and traditions of July 4th, and exploring the significance of independence in different countries. 
Grab some ideas here

Summer and Vacation: Continuing discussions on summer-related vocabulary, discussing travel plans, summer holidays, and activities. Grab some ideas here

Beach and Seaside: Exploring vocabulary related to the beach, discussing beach activities, sea creatures, and safety measures.

Picnics and Barbecues: Discussing food vocabulary, exploring popular picnic foods, and traditions associated with outdoor gatherings.

Cultural Celebrations: Learning about cultural celebrations or events that occur in July around the world.

Weather and Seasons: Discussing the characteristics of summer weather, comparing seasons, and how weather impacts activities during summer.

Nature and Wildlife: Exploring nature-related vocabulary, discussing outdoor adventures, and learning about local flora and fauna.

Healthy Living: Focusing on health-related vocabulary, discussing summer diets, hydration, and outdoor exercises.

These themes provide ample opportunities for vocabulary expansion, cultural understanding, discussions on global events, 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.

July is filled with a variety of cultural celebrations and observances across the world:

Independence Day (United States): Celebrated on July 4th, it commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Festivities include fireworks, parades, concerts, barbecues, and patriotic events.

Bastille Day (France): Celebrated on July 14th, it marks the French National Day, commemorating the French Revolution. Festivities include fireworks, parades, parties, and communal gatherings.

Fiesta de Santiago (Spain and Latin America): Celebrated on July 25th, it honors St. James, the patron saint of Spain. Festivities include processions, cultural events, music, and feasting.

Obon (Japan): Celebrated in mid-July or August, it's a Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of ancestors. Festivities involve lanterns, traditional dances (Bon Odori), visiting family graves, and offerings.

Gion Matsuri (Japan): Held in Kyoto throughout July, it's one of Japan's most famous festivals. It features massive floats (Yamaboko Junko), processions, traditional performances, and street festivals.

Eid al-Adha (Islamic holiday): The date varies based on the Islamic lunar calendar, marking the end of Hajj pilgrimage. Celebrations include prayers, animal sacrifices, feasting, and sharing with the community.

Perahera (Sri Lanka): Celebrated in July or August, it's a grand Buddhist festival involving parades with beautifully adorned elephants, traditional dancers, drummers, and religious rituals.

Naadam Festival (Mongolia): Typically held in early July, it includes traditional Mongolian sports like horse racing, archery, and wrestling, along with cultural performances.

Esala Perahera (Sri Lanka): Celebrated in July or August in Kandy, it's a vibrant Buddhist festival featuring a procession of elephants, dancers, and musicians honoring the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha.

These celebrations in July showcase a rich variety of cultural traditions, religious observances, historical commemorations, and festive customs celebrated by diverse communities around the world. Each celebration carries its unique significance and offers insights into the values and customs of different cultures.

Let's make this July a time of patriotism, friendship, environmental stewardship, and indulgence in our ESL classroom! Embrace diversity, celebrate unity, and promote environmental responsibility.

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 July!

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