September’s Splendor: Exploring Festivities and Cultural Observances with Kids!


September arrives adorned with a mosaic of vibrant celebrations and cultural acknowledgments! From global observances to significant historical events, this month offers an array of enlightening experiences for young minds. Let’s embark on an enriching journey through the wonders of September together!

Embracing September’s Diversity

Engaging Activities

Labor Day (USA): Understand the significance of Labor Day and its tribute to workers. Engage in discussions about labor rights, careers, and community contributions.

International Literacy Day: Promote the love of reading and literacy. Organize book drives, reading sessions, or storytelling activities.

Hispanic Heritage Month (Begins in September): Celebrate the cultural richness of Hispanic heritage. Explore traditions, art, music, and influential Hispanic figures.

World Gratitude Day: Foster a culture of gratitude. Encourage reflective activities, gratitude journals, or acts of kindness.

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!

Labor Day First

Monday of month

Hispanic Heritage Month

Honey Month

4 Newspaper Carrier Day

6 Read a Book Day

Grandparents’ Day

9 Teddy Bear Day

11 911 Remembrance

11 Make your Bed Day

12 Chocolate Milk Shake Day

13 Positive Thinking Day

16 Mexican Independence Day

16 National Playdough Day

17 Citizenship Day

17 Constitution Day

19 International Talk like a Pirate Day

21 Oktoberfest begins in Germany

21 World Gratitude Day

21 Peace Day

22 Elephant Appreciation Day

23 Autumn Equinox-Fall begins!

26 Johnny Appleseed Day

28 National Good Neighbor Day

29 Rosh Hashanah

30 National Mud Pack Day


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

"The Kissing Hand" by Audrey Penn: A heartwarming story about a young raccoon nervous about going to school for the first time, discussing separation anxiety and love. Grab more ideas here

"Chrysanthemum" by Kevin Henkes: A story about a little mouse named Chrysanthemum who learns to embrace her uniqueness, perfect for discussions about individuality and bullying. Grab more ideas here

"First Day Jitters" by Julie Danneberg: A fun and relatable story about Sarah Jane Hartwell's first day at a new school, perfect for calming first-day nerves.

"David Goes to School" by David Shannon: Follow David as he navigates through a school day, learning about rules and behavior.

"The Dot" by Peter H. Reynolds: A story about a girl who discovers her artistic talent, perfect for discussions about creativity and self-expression.Grab more ideas here

"Llama Llama Misses Mama" by Anna Dewdney: Follow Llama Llama as he adjusts to being away from his mama and starting school, perfect for discussions about separation anxiety.

"The Pigeon HAS to Go to School!" by Mo Willems: A humorous story about a pigeon who's reluctant to go to school, perfect for giggles and discussions about school routines.

"School's First Day of School" by Adam Rex: A story about the first day of school from the school building's perspective, perfect for a unique take on the first day experience.

These books cover themes of starting school, first-day jitters, friendship, and self-expression, providing ample opportunities for discussions, vocabulary building, and imaginative storytelling for young learners in September. Enjoy sharing these wonderful stories with your students!

Themes to teach during September

September 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:

Back to School: Exploring vocabulary related to school supplies, routines, subjects, and classroom activities. Grab more ideas here

Cultural Diversity: Discussing different cultures represented in the classroom, sharing traditions, and learning about each other's backgrounds.

Daily Routines and Time Management: Focusing on daily activities, discussing time-related vocabulary, and managing schedules. Grab more ideas here

Friendship and Social Skills: Discussing qualities of a good friend, how to make friends, and the importance of friendship in different cultures.

Literacy and Reading: Celebrating reading, discussing favorite books or authors, and engaging in reading activities.

Fall/Autumn: Exploring vocabulary related to the changing season, discussing autumn traditions, and activities associated with fall.

Healthy Habits: Focusing on health-related vocabulary, discussing healthy eating, exercise routines, and self-care habits.

Community Helpers: Learning about different professions and community roles, discussing how various jobs contribute to society.

These themes offer ample opportunities for vocabulary expansion, cultural understanding, discussions on everyday life, 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.

September cultural celebrations and observances around the world:

Mid-Autumn Festival (China, Vietnam, and other East Asian countries): Celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, usually falling in September, this festival honors the harvest and family reunion. Families gather, enjoy mooncakes, light lanterns, and appreciate the full moon.

Oktoberfest (Germany): Starting in late September and extending into early October, Oktoberfest is the world's largest beer festival. It features beer from Munich breweries, traditional Bavarian food, music, and vibrant celebrations, drawing millions of visitors annually.

Ganesh Chaturthi (India): This Hindu festival honors Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom and prosperity. Celebrated with grand processions, music, dancing, and the installation of Ganesha idols, followed by immersion in water.

Chuseok (South Korea): Chuseok, also known as Korean Thanksgiving Day, is a major harvest festival and a time for families to gather, pay respects to ancestors, share traditional food like songpyeon (rice cakes), and participate in cultural activities.

Independence Days: Several countries celebrate their independence in September, such as Brazil (September 7th), Costa Rica (September 15th), Mexico (September 16th), and Chile (September 18th), with parades, concerts, and cultural events marking their national pride.

Muharram (Islamic New Year): The Islamic New Year, beginning with the month of Muharram, is observed by Muslims worldwide. The day holds religious significance, marked by fasting, prayers, and reflections on the Hijri calendar.

These celebrations in September showcase a rich tapestry of cultural diversity, traditions, and festivities observed across various regions and communities around the world. Each celebration offers insights into unique customs, rituals, and values that are integral to different cultures.

Let's make this September a time of appreciation, cultural exploration, literacy promotion, and community acknowledgment in our ESL classroom! Embrace diversity, celebrate achievements, and foster a love for learning.

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 September!

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