When it comes to April Fools’ Day, teachers either love it or hate it! I liked to do some April Fools’ Day activities and jokes to help keep students engaged because I knew it was on their minds. I’ve turned all the tables backward and put broccoli on wrapped lollipop sticks as little pranks on my students. I also integrated literacy with my April Fools’ Day activities to make them purposeful and meaningful. I’ll share a few of my favorite things to do with kindergarten and first grade students!
Helpful Videos to Kick Off April Fools’ Day Activities
Many students may not even know what April Fools Day is, so starting with educational videos can help build background knowledge so they understand the history behind the first day of April.
April Fools Day for Kids is a short video that teaches kids all about April Fools’ Day and how it is celebrated. This is a great video to kick off your Aprils Fools’ Day activities.
History of April Fools Day is another video that gives some history behind April 1st.
Interactive read alouds are a great way to integrate April Fools’ Day activities without taking up time out of your day. You can easily teach and reinforce reading skills while bringing in a fun theme. This time also allows us to expose students to rich, engaging texts that they may not be able to read on their own, but they will still be age-appropriate. No matter what a student’s reading level, decoding ability, or reading skillset is, they will all be able to enjoy and learn during this time because it’s on their listening level.
April Fool! Watch Out at School! by Diane deGroat: It’s April Fools’ Day, and Gilbert is looking forward to playing tricks on his friends. Unfortunately, he’s the one getting tricked by everyone else, including Mrs. Byrd! But the worst prankster is Lewis the bully. Students will love seeing if Gilbert can outsmart Lewis.
Max and Zoe Too Many Tricks by Shelly Sateren: This is a great book to help students learn the difference between funny tricks and hurtful tricks. Max plays too many Aprils Fools’ tricks on his friend Zoe and hurts her feelings. By the end, he learns the difference between funny tricks and mean tricks.
Ellie May on April Fools’ Day by Hillary Homzie: Ellie May’s class gets to celebrate April Fools’ Day as long as it’s in good fun. Ellie May practices different jokes and pranks, but they don’t go as planned on her intended target. Students will get to see Ellie May learn that the best trick is to make friends laugh at no one else’s expense.
Silly Story Shared Writing
One of my friend’s favorite Aprils Fools’ Day activities in the classroom was Silly Story Time. First, during interactive writing time, they would create an anchor chart to remind students of important story elements to include in writing. Then during shared writing time, they would work together to compose a silly story.
Depending on the writing levels of your students, you could do a simple story with a beginning, middle, and end or a more complicated story with a problem and solution. Invite students to think-pair-share to brainstorm ideas for the story. You can also have different students choose the next sentence in the story so you never know where it’s going. Finally, students can go write their own silly stories during writer’s workshop!
Free April Fools’ Day Writing Activity
After some shared writing and books about April Fools’ Day, your students will feel inspired to do some fun writing. Use this writing paper freebie as one of your April Fools’ Day activities to let students express some creativity and incorporate the silly day into learning.
You can use this as a writing literacy center, during writer’s workshop, or even as morning work. After writing, students can share their writing pieces with a partner for fun!
Even if you don’t like to do any pranks on your students, all of these activities will still bring some fun into your students’ day while keeping the peace and routine of your day. Get your freebie today and have fun!