Fathers and other caregivers are central figures—and oftentimes, role models—in our lives. They have taught us what we know, supported us, and cheered us up when we were down. Whether you have a father in the traditional sense or will be honoring another family member this Father's Day, take the time to think about and acknowledge what that person means to you.
The five activities below are geared mostly toward elementary school students, though they can also be adapted for slightly younger and older students. As the school year winds down, use these activities as a fun way for your students to celebrate those who care about them!
1. Making Cards
Students can express gratitude and appreciation for the men or caregivers in their lives by making cards. This can also be an opportunity for students to get creative! You will need:
- Construction paper (various colors)
- Crayons, colored pencils, and/or markers
- Stickers, glitter, and anything else you can think of to make the cards colorful and fun!
The specific writing requirement attached to this activity will vary depending on the age group, but one idea is for middle schoolers to write one to two properly structured paragraphs. You may ask them to reveal the importance of their father or caregiver in their lives or to write a reflection on their favorite memory with this person.
2. Read Father’s Day Books
Picking up a Father’s Day book or one about fatherhood in general—and telling your dad or caregiver about it at the end of the day—is a great sentiment. For young students in Pre-K through elementary school, here are some wonderful HMH reads illuminating fathers and the role they play in kids’ lives.
- I Love My Pirate Papa by Laura Leuck, Kyle M. Stone (Pre-K–K)
- Daddy Makes the Best Spaghetti by Anna Grossnickle Hines (Pre-K–K)
- A Perfect Father’s Day by Eve Bunting, Susan Meddaugh (Pre-K–Grade 3)
- Daddy-Sitting by Eve Coy (Pre-K–Grade 3)
- Gator Dad by Brian Lies (Pre-K–Grade 3)
- Because Your Daddy Loves You by Andrew Clements, R. W. Alley (Pre-K–Grade 3)
- Weekends With Max and His Dad by Linda Urban, Katie Kath (Grades 1–4)
- Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse by Tamera Will Wissenger, Matthew Cordell (Grades 1–4)
3. “Memories of Dad” Paragraph/Essay Assignment
In the week(s) leading up to Father’s Day, you can assign your middle school students a specific prompt—or have them choose from a list of writing prompts—related to their father or caregiver. Some possibilities include:
- The Most Important Lessons I Learned From My Dad/Caregiver
- My Favorite Memory With My Dad/Caregiver
- The Best Advice My Father/Caregiver Ever Gave Me
This can be a great opportunity for students to practice writing properly formatted paragraphs and/or full-length essays, depending on the age group. Students can even compile a response to a different prompt each day over a few days, and the end result is a heartfelt, touching book to give to their dad or a special person in their lives. They could even include images to give the project more pizzazz!