Mother’s Day Classroom Activities for Your May Lessons
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Mother’s Day Classroom Activities for Your May Lessons

Newsela Editorial
Apr 29, 2024

Mother’s Day became an official holiday in the United States in 1914. Since then, on the second Sunday in May, we take time to remember, celebrate, and thank the mothers and mother figures in our lives for the things they do for us all year long. If you plan to add Mother’s Day classroom activities for May, you can use our lesson plan ideas, curated text sets full of articles, activities, and assessments to keep your students engaged and save you planning time:


Mother’s Day ELA classroom activities

Get students thinking about the roles of mothers and mother figures in their lives with content and activities in the ELA classroom:

Stories about real mothers making a difference

Introduce your students to strong women trailblazers who are also mothers with relevant, real-world texts. With Newsela ELA, you can share stories about:

  • Basketball star Kevin Durant’s relationship with his mother, and how she helped him become successful at the sport and in life.

  • Olympic gymnast Simone Biles’ experience being adopted by her biological grandparents, Nellie and Ron.

  • Mother of two, Major Lisa Jaster, the third woman to earn the Ranger tab from the U.S. Army after completing six months of intense training at Fort Benning’s Ranger School.

Amy Tan’s take on mother-daughter relationships

Explore the nuances of mother-daughter relationships with texts from author Amy Tan. With Newsela ELA, you can use this text set to:

  • Build background knowledge about Tan and her work for students.

  • Share the original, full-text versions of Tan’s works “Mother Tongue” and “Fish Cheeks” with students.

  • Use a T-Chart worksheet to have students compare feelings discussed in the pieces with quotes and other evidence in the text that supports their observations.

Mother’s Day novel studies

Mother figures may look different in every family. Use these novel studies to explore some types of mother-child relationships:

Lessons for multilingual learners with “A Chair for My Mother”

Make your Mother’s Day lessons more accessible for multilingual learners using the story “A Chair for My Mother” by Vera B. Williams. With Newsela ELA, you can scaffold different aspects of reading and activities with supports like:

  • Six relevant, real-world texts available in both English and Spanish to help students build background knowledge about story themes in two languages.

  • Language cues to help students respond to the texts, such as elaborating on a topic or challenging a claim, and stretch their language use.

  • Additional teacher resources for scaffolding all parts of a lesson, like reading, responding to the text, and interpreting and constructing meaning from texts.

Mother’s Day and thank you writing

Have students acknowledge the mother figures in their lives and practice their writing skills at the same time. Use this lesson from Newsela to:

  • Share an interactive video with students about how family dynamics are similar and different around the world.

  • Teach students how to write a thank you note and why writing them improves interpersonal relationships and communication.

  • Encourage students to write a thank you note to a mother figure in their lives that they can use as a sentimental present for Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day science classroom activities

Get crafty with STEAM and learn about the mothers of the animal kingdom with Mother’s Day-themed science activities:

Seasonal STEAM: Mother’s Day bath fizzer

Help students create some of their Mother’s Day gifts in science class! With a seasonal STEAM activity, students can:

  • Learn what a chemical reaction is and what its outcomes are, like creating a chemical change.

  • Discover what a chemical change is, how to recognize one, and the three types of chemical changes that occur.

  • Use the information they learned to make bath fizzers for the moms and mom figures in their lives that they can give as Mother’s Day gifts.

Mother’s ALL: Celebrating females for conservation and species survival

Moms and other strong female leaders exist in the animal kingdom too! With Newsela Science, it’s easy to help students explore female roles in other species:

  • See how lion prides are considered matrilineal societies because the females keep the core group together.

  • Learn about a great white shark named “Nukumi” that lives off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, that scientists have called “the queen of the ocean.”

  • Discover how sequencing the genome of seahorses helped scientists discover more about their makeup, and what role the females of the species play if the males carry the babies.

What holiday will you teach about next?

Mother’s Day is just one of many holidays you can explore with your students throughout the school year. With Newsela's subject products, you have access to over 15,000 pieces of relevant, real-world content to pair with any seasonal lesson you can plan. Not a Newsela customer yet? You can sign up for Newsela Lite for free to get four rolling, curated articles per week and a preview of our premium assessments and data tools. Plus, Newsela Lite subscribers can sign up for a trial of Newsela’s premium products to try them in your classroom for free!

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