We’re heading into the third month of winter, a time of year when many people I know are starting to feel tired of the cold and the snow and are ready for warmer weather to arrive. On the cold, gray days, it can be harder to feel super motivated about planning. However, February is also home to many different and important days of observance, and we can use these days to inspire conversation and activities in the classroom. February is so much more than Valentine’s Day!
Here are just a few of February’s days of observance:
1. February 1st – World Hijab Day
World Hijab Day is dedicated to centering, affirming, and celebrating Muslim identities and working to dismantle prejudice and discrimination against those who wear the hijab.
The official website for this day (https://worldhijabday.com/) has several blogs that can be used to foster discussion in the classroom.
2. February 11th – International Day of Women and Girls n Science
The UN recognizes this day as a moment to recognize women’s contributions to science and work to dismantle discrimination against women in science.
The UN Women website (https://www.unwomen.org/en/news-stories/in-focus/2022/02/in-focus-international-day-of-women-and-girls-in-science) has several articles on this topic that, again, can be used as a springboard for discussion in the classroom.
3. February 14th – Have a Heart Day
While this day is more directed at children and youth audiences, Have a Heart Day provides a good opportunity to explore issues currently affecting First Nations youth. The organization, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, encourages observers to get involved by writing a letter to the federal government.
Here is the official website for this day: https://fncaringsociety.com/events/have-heart-day
4. February 21st – International Mother Language Day
International Mother Language Day offers an opportunity to center and celebrate the various languages spoken by people around the world. In the classroom, this day is an opportunity to bring the other languages that our students speak into the activities we do.
Here is the UN’s website for this day: https://www.un.org/en/observances/mother-language-day
5. February 22nd – Pink Shirt Day
Pink Shirt Day is a day to celebrate kindness, empathy, and understanding and discuss how everyone can work to end bullying. In the classroom, we can discuss how the day came to be and cultural understandings of what a bully is.
Here is the official website for Pink Shirt Day: https://www.pinkshirtday.ca/
Have you based any activities around these days in your classroom? If so, what did you do?