November  2004 Homeschool Views Logo

Curriculum Cornucopia – 30 Days of FREE Resources Straight From Your Calendar!

What if you were to plan your entire homeschool lessons around the November Calendar? Sounds silly? Well, November doesn’t only boast Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving, but also the Mexican Day of the Dead and National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day. You could study everything from Native American Heritage Month to the assassination of JFK on the 22nd; you could search the night sky on the 9th while celebrating the birthday of famous astronomer Carl Sagan. So, throw out your notebook and pencil and Stop worrying about November's lesson plans, because we've got it covered for you, complete with ideas, FREE resources, and great educational web sites!

     Click here for a Printer Friendly PDF version of our November calendar.

Month-Long November Lessons

  • November is Native American Heritage Month. This is a great chance for you to incorporate Native American studies into your lessons. Your older children could read contemporary American Indian literature (like Louise Erdrich's Love Medicine or Sherman Alexie's Reservation Blues) or younger kids could read (and maybe even draw) traditional tales about animals and tricksters. You could learn about traditional Native American cultures and even find out about tribes that may live in your area – this could be a great opportunity to visit a nearby reservation or participate in a Pow Wow and learn about your Native neighbors. If you don’t have any tribal lands nearby, you almost definitely live in an area with a rich Native history. Here are some wonderful sites to help you get started:

  • November is also Child Safety and Protection Month. When's the last time you went through childproofing your house? Maybe now's the time. This could also be a good time to discuss safety with your kids: check out Kristi's article How Safe are Your Kids?. America's Promise is a great site that can help you discuss these issues with your kids.

  • Ready for some fun music lessons? November is also International Drum Month, so get out the pots and wooden spoons and let's make some noise! Below is the coolest web site you'll ever find where your kids can play with beats, percussions, and rhythms. In fact, it's so much fun, you might find it hard to hand over the computer to your kids: Dub City Rockers. And if you're just looking for some fun music, check out Our Favorite Children's Music Blog.

November Day-by-Day

  • Nov 1: Mexican Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos). This is a three-day (Oct 31 – Nov 2) Mexican Holiday honoring and celebrating relatives who have died. You could study Mexican Culture and learn about the traditions of the Day of the Dead. Cook traditional Mexican Cuisine for dinner and listen to traditional Mexican music.

  • Nov 2: Election Day. Today's the day to let your voice be heard! Take your kids along to the polls and let them see first hand what democracy is all about. This could be a good time to teach your kids about the U.S. electoral system, about the U.S. constitution, about current events, and to get them excited about their country. If your kids are older, you could get them interested in their community and involve them in charity or political events. Check out Gollopade International for tons of free worksheets and fact sheets that you can print up and use to explain to your kids how elections work, what the constitution is, and other important topics. Teach-Nology also has some cool lesson plans for teaching about elections and government.

  • Nov 3: Since North Dakota "ranks 1st in the nation in the production of dry edible beans," the Governor of North Dakota has declared November 3rd Bean Day. If you're teaching your little ones to count, try counting beans! Here's a cute site with fun interactive animations that teach your kids to count, add, multiply, or they can even play with graphs or fractions: Math Lessons that are Fun.

  • Nov 4: What do you – or your kids – know about the South Pacific? Well, today could be your chance to learn because today is both Tonga’s Constitution Day and Micronesia’s National Day. You could explore the history of the small South Pacific nation of Tonga or learn about the many different islands that compose the Federated States of Micronesia.

  • Nov 5: Have you ever heard of Guy Fawkes Day? If you were British, you would have. In 1605, Guy Fawkes conspired to blow up the houses of parliament in what is now called The Gunpowder Plot. Guy Fawkes was captured and executed for this plot, but these days, the Brits still celebrate the day with Bonfires and Special Meals. Here's your chance to teach your kids about some British history and have some fun with fire at night!

  • Nov 6: Learn about maps, directions, and using the stars to navigate on Marooned Without a Compass Day. Maps are fun to look at but sometimes we need a bit of training to learn how to use them properly…visit USGS for some great map-reading lesson plans. Learn how ancient travelers used stars to navigate their boats.

  • Nov 7: This is National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day. This might not be very educational, but it sure is sweet! Visit Candy USA for candy recipes and other special candy holidays. Have your kids help you in the kitchen while you make your confectionary creations. Measuring ½ cups and ¼ tablespoons can be a sweet way to introduce your kids to fractions. Learn more about Kitchen Math or Sweet Math Lessons.

  • Nov 8: Today is Pun Day, so sharpen your pencil (and your wit) and get right to the point - punning! A pun is a phrase where a word or two may have two different meanings so that the sentence can be read different ways. Puns are usually humorous and fun to read, but they can be hard to create. Play with words today and see how many puns your kids can devise themselves. This is a great creative writing exercise. Visit Pun of the Day for ideas and definitions.

  • Nov 9: Astronomy Day. This is a great day to study astronomy because today is the birthday of the deceased American astronomer Carl Sagan. Visit Sagan's Home Page to learn more about his life and his interest in the SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) project. NASA's Site is also a lot of fun – and don’t forget to check out our other astronomy resources in our Select Resource Guide.

  • Nov 10: The Night of Power. Muslims observe The Night of Power during the last ten days of Ramadan. On this night, Muslims stay up all night, celebrate their religion, and ask for forgiveness for all of their sins as well as forgive others who have sinned against them. Taking place during Ramadan, the holiest month in Islam, The Night of Power is very important to Muslims. Today is a great day to learn about the second largest religion in the world as well as to participate in the Night of Power with your own family.

  • Nov 11: Since today is Veteran's Day, it's a good time for you and your kids to remember our troops serving in Iraq and across the globe. Check out Soldier's Angels and get involved in their Operation Holiday Spirit campaign. Teach your kids about current events while you also teach them to care for others.

  • Nov 12: So you've celebrated the Mexican Day of the Dead and Guy Fawkes Day, why not give the Indian celebration Diwali a chance today? Learn about the Festival and Indian culture and indulge in sumptuous Indian Foods. Join in this festival of lights in your own home by lighting a small oil lamp (called a diya).

  • Nov 13: On this day, the U.S. Virgin islands celebrate The Harvest Festival. Similar to our Thanksgiving, Harvest Festivals celebrate the fall bounty, give thanks, and prepare for the long winter. Today you could study about Harvest Festivals throughout history or find out more about the U.S. Virgin Islands.

  • Nov 14: Today is the first day of American Education Week. Sure, this is primarily a Public School event, but you can still find some interesting resources for parents and educators at the National Education Association’s web site. Also, lots of bookstores and office supply stores have special Teacher Appreciation Sales during American Education Week…and guess what? Homeschoolers qualify for all of those discounts, too!

  • Nov 15: November 15th is the beginning of National Children's Book Week so polish up your library card and let's get reading! Your local library will most likely have some great events going on this week (like their annual book poster competition) so be sure to check them out. Crayola's Site also has some fun reading-related activities. You do need to register, but it's free and worth it.

  • Nov 16: Button Day. If you’re like me, you have a huge jar full of buttons; big and small, fancy and plain, buttons make fun math resources. If you’re teaching math to a little one, have them sort buttons by color, size, shape, or number of holes. You can even have them draw their favorite button. Check out this fun game online, Guess My Button.

  • Nov 17: Today is Take a Hike Day. This can be a fun time to get outside and enjoy nature before winter sets in. If you live in an area with fall foliage, why not take a trip to your Local Park and collect autumn leaves? Pick up sticks and pretty stones and create fun Nature Crafts at home.

  • Nov 18: Mickey Mouse Day. Today is Mickey Mouse’s Birthday. Maybe watch a Mickey Mouse video and then teach your kids the basics of animation. See if your kids can make their own cartoons, either with a homemade flip book or fun software.

  • Nov 19: Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address on this day in 1863. Take time today to learn about Lincoln’s Presidency and the Civil War. Check out these great Historical Fiction books for kids about the Civil War.

  • Nov 20: World Children’s Day. This is a day when people throughout the world unite to help children in need. The Ronald McDonald House usually holds events and fundraisers around the globe. This is a great day to work in your own community by volunteering at your local Salvation Army or other charity.

  • Nov 21: This is the beginning of National Game and Puzzle Week. Have fun playing games and sharpening your brain with puzzles. Visit Crayola's Site for great free printables, activities, and lesson plans. You do have to register, but it's free and very much worth it!

  • Nov 22: On November 22, 1963, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. JFK's presidency may have been cut short, but it certainly wasn't uneventful. Today you could teach your kids about the 35th president of the United States: His campaign against Nixon, his memorable inaugural address, his dealings with Cuba and Russia, and his untimely death. Visit The White House and The JFK Library.

  • Nov 23: November 23rd is Kinro Kansha-no-hi in Japan. This holiday, also known as Labor Thanksgiving Day in English, is more of a Labor Day celebration than a Thanksgiving. Sorry, the Japanese don’t eat turkey on this day, but they do give thanks to friends and family for hard work done throughout the year. Take this time to learn about Japanese Culture and maybe make some Japanese Foods for dinner.

  • Nov 24: Thanksgiving Prep Day. Today will most likely be spent getting ready for tomorrow’s big feast. Check out our Clever Homeschooler for fun Thanksgiving crafts and recipes that will involve your kids in the holiday festivities.

  • Nov 25: Nov 25: It's Thanksgiving, so let's take a break from the curriculum and have fun with our families! Happy Turkey Day.

  • Nov 26: Loy Krathong. In Thailand, this is the day that people make beautiful floating flower boats, light candles on them, and set them afloat at night. These boats are supposed to grant wishes and take bad luck away with them. Why not make your own pretty glowing Krathong Boat and set it to float on a nearby river or lake (or in your bathtub)?

  • Nov 27: Even though it’s one of the biggest shopping days of the year in the U.S., the Brits celebrate Buy Nothing Day on November 27th. Check out the official Buy Nothing web site and think about how you too can incorporate Frugal Living into your life. As a homeschooler, money can sometimes be tight, so get your kids involved in the budgeting. Turn it into a lesson by having them prepare a family dinner for under $10.

  • Nov 28: Make Your Own Head Day. In the mood for a craft day? Why not mold your kids’ faces with Paper Mache and then let them paint a pretty mask of their favorite animal? If you’re looking for something simpler, print up these silly Facial Expressions, cut them out, and create a new face.

  • Nov 29: Since today is Square Dance Day, let’s celebrate the square! Check out these Geometry Lesson Plans or teach your little ones the different shapes by cutting large shapes out of construction paper. Or maybe just go outside, draw some squares on the driveway, and play a good old-fashioned game of hopscotch.

  • Nov 30: Today is Computer Security Day, so back up your files and check out the Computer Security web site for more information on how to protect your information from outside hackers. Also, stock up on cool Educational Software so that your kids can get the most out of your computer.

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