November's Delights: Exploring Festivities and Cultural Observances with Kids!


November brings forth a tapestry of vibrant celebrations and cultural acknowledgments! From global observances to traditional festivities, this month offers a spectrum of enriching experiences for young minds. Let’s embark on an illuminating journey through the wonders of November together!

Embracing November’s Diversity

Engaging Activities

Diwali (Deepavali): Explore the significance of the festival of lights. Engage in activities like making diyas (lamps), Rangoli art, or learning about cultural customs.

Veterans Day: Honor and learn about veterans' service and sacrifice. Organize discussions, create thank-you cards, or explore the history of Veterans Day.

Thanksgiving: Understand the history and traditions of Thanksgiving. Discuss gratitude, share stories, or participate in activities centered around thankfulness.

Universal Children's Day: Celebrate the rights of children globally. Engage in discussions on equality, storytelling, or activities promoting children's well-being.

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

November Special Days

Cookie Monster Day

1- All Saint’s Day

1- Día de todos los muertos

3- Sandwich’s Day

4- National Candy Day

5- Gundpower Day

5- Guy Fawkes Day

30- Saint Andrew Day

This months is..

National Novel Writing Month

Family Stories Month

Military Family Appreciation Month

National Scholarship Month

National Native American Month

Aviation History Month

Music Month


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

"The Very First Thanksgiving Day" by Rhonda Gowler Greene: A story that explains the origins of Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims' journey. 

"Turkey Trouble" by Wendi Silvano: A humorous tale about a turkey trying to avoid becoming Thanksgiving dinner. Grab more ideas here

"Bear Says Thanks" by Karma Wilson: Follow Bear as he hosts a dinner with his friends, expressing gratitude and sharing.Grab more ideas here

"The Story of the Pilgrims" by Katharine Ross: A simple and informative book about the journey of the Pilgrims to America.

"I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie" by Alison Jackson: A Thanksgiving-themed twist on the classic nursery rhyme. Grab more ideas here 

"The Thankful Book" by Todd Parr: A colorful book that encourages gratitude and highlights things to be thankful for.

"Arthur's Thanksgiving" by Marc Brown: Join Arthur and his friends as they learn about the meaning of Thanksgiving.

"The Great Thanksgiving Escape" by Mark Fearing: A humorous story about two cousins trying to avoid the kids' table at Thanksgiving dinner.

These books cover themes of Thanksgiving, gratitude, and friendship, providing ample opportunities for discussions, vocabulary building, and exploration of the holiday for young learners in November. Enjoy sharing these heartwarming stories with your students!

Themes to teach during November

November 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:

Thanksgiving: Exploring vocabulary related to the holiday, discussing traditions, history, and the concept of gratitude. Grab more ideas here

Harvest and Food: Exploring vocabulary related to harvest, discussing seasonal fruits and vegetables, and traditional dishes associated with autumn. Grab more ideas here

Cultural Celebrations: Learning about various cultural celebrations that occur in November, such as Diwali or Hanukkah, and comparing traditions. Grab more ideas here

Family and Traditions: Discussing family relationships, sharing family traditions or stories, and exploring the importance of family.

Fall/Autumn: Continuing discussions on vocabulary related to the changing season, exploring nature, and fall-related activities. Grab more ideas here

Community and Service: Discussing the importance of giving back to the community, volunteering, and acts of kindness.

Literature and Storytelling: Engaging in storytelling activities, discussing favorite books or stories, and exploring various storytelling techniques.

Gratitude and Thankfulness: Focusing on expressing gratitude, discussing things to be thankful for, and the importance of appreciating others. Grab more ideas here

These themes offer ample opportunities for vocabulary expansion, cultural understanding, discussions on seasonal changes, 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.

November  significant celebrations across the globe:

Diwali (India and South Asian countries): While Diwali primarily falls in October or early November, celebrations can extend into the month. It's a major Hindu festival marked by lighting oil lamps (diyas), fireworks, exchanging gifts, and enjoying festive foods.

Guy Fawkes Night (United Kingdom): Celebrated on November 5th, this event commemorates the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605. It involves bonfires, fireworks, and the burning of effigies of Guy Fawkes.

All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day (Various Christian communities globally): Observed on November 1st and 2nd respectively, these days honor saints and departed souls. People visit cemeteries, light candles, and offer prayers for the deceased.

Mawlid al-Nabi (Various Muslim-majority countries): This celebration marks the birth of Prophet Muhammad. It involves religious gatherings, processions, recitations of poetry, and sharing stories about the Prophet's life.

Thanksgiving (United States and Canada): Celebrated on different dates in both countries, Thanksgiving involves gatherings with family, sharing a traditional meal (turkey, stuffing, etc.), and expressing gratitude for blessings.

Loi Krathong (Thailand): Celebrated on the full moon night of the 12th Thai lunar month (usually in November), it involves floating decorated baskets (krathongs) on rivers to honor the water spirits.

Independence Day (Several countries): Some nations celebrate their independence in November, like Poland (November 11th) and Latvia (November 18th), with parades, concerts, and cultural events.

Sinterklaas (Netherlands): Celebrated on December 5th, but preparations and festivities begin in November. It involves the arrival of Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) with gifts for children and lively parades.

These diverse celebrations in November highlight the richness of cultural traditions, religious observances, historical commemorations, and expressions of gratitude observed by various communities worldwide. Each celebration carries its unique significance and provides a glimpse into the values and customs of different cultures.

Let's make this November a time of cultural appreciation, gratitude, and acknowledgment in our ESL classroom! Embrace diversity, honor veterans, celebrate thankfulness, and advocate for children's rights.

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 November!

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