Lesson Plan for Celebrating April Fools' Day With Preschoolers

By Heather Marie Kosur

The following themed preschool lesson plan suggests books, discussion questions, activities, and crafts for celebrating April Fools' Day and learning the history and traditions of the holiday with preschool students at the end of March.

April Fools' Day

April Fools' Day is a holiday of unknown origins that is celebrated by many cultures around the world. Celebrated annually on April 1, April Fool by Saine on sxchu April Fools' Day is thought to stem either from the adoption of a new calendar or from the change in seasons from winter to spring.

Whatever the origin, April Fools' Day is a lighthearted holiday that is currently celebrated with harmless jokes and pranks such as sending friends on a fool's errand or trying to get other people to believe something ridiculous. This preschool lesson for April Fools' Day outlines books and activities to introduce preschoolers to the contemporary version of the holiday.

Discussion and Prior Knowledge

The preschool teacher can introduce April Fools' Day to the preschoolers by asking the following questions:

  1. What is a holiday?
  2. What is April Fools' Day?
  3. When is April Fools' Day?
  4. How might one celebrate April Fools' Day?

All preschoolers should be able to answer the first question with an answer along the lines of "a holiday is a time of celebration." The students, however, may not be familiar with the specific holiday of April Fools' Day. If the children cannot answer the first question, then the teacher should review the concept of a holiday. The class will then learn the answers to the other questions during this holiday lesson.

Reading

After an introduction to April Fools' Day, the preschool teacher can read one or more of the following holiday books aloud to the class Arthur's April Fool during circle time:

  • Arthur's April Fool by Marc Brown (1985)
  • Look Out, It's April Fools' Day by Frank Modell (1985)
  • Michael Le Souffle and the Paris Fool by Peter Welling (2003)
  • April Foolishness by Teresa Bateman (2007)
  • April Fool! Watch Out at School by Diane De Groat (2009)

After reading the books, discuss the stories. Ask questions such as "What did you like about the story?" and "What did you learn about April Fools' Day?"

Activities and Crafts

After reading and discussing a book about April Fools' Day, use the following activity and food craft to extend the lesson.

http://www.clipart.com/en/close-up?o=3977220&memlevel=A&a=a&q=knock&k_mode=all&s=50&e=98&show=&c=&cid=&findincat=&g=&cc=&page=2&k_exc=&pubid= Knock Knock Jokes

Telling knock knock jokes is a fun way to celebrate April Fools' Day without hurting anyone's feelings. Preschoolers will love these silly jokes:

  • Knock, knock.
  • Who's there?
  • Woo.
  • Woo who?
  • Please don't get so excited. It's just a knock knock joke.

  • Knock, knock.
  • Who's there?
  • Boo.
  • Boo who?
  • Please don't cry. It's just a knock knock joke.

  • Knock, knock.
  • Who's there?
  • Banana.
  • Banana who?
  • Knock, knock.
  • Who's there?
  • Banana.
  • Banana who?
  • Knock, knock.
  • Who's there?
  • Orange.
  • Orange who?
  • Orange you glad I didn't say banana?

  • Knock, knock.
  • Who's there?
  • Police.
  • Police who?
  • Police stop telling these silly knock knock jokes!

http://www.clipart.com/en/close-up?o=5259351&memlevel=A&a=a&q=dirt%20cup&k_mode=all&s=1&e=1&show=&c=&cid=&findincat=&g=&cc=&page=&k_exc=&pubid= Dirt Cups

Dirt cups are a favorite snack of young children and a delicious but lighthearted trick to serve to friends.

  • Ingredients: instant chocolate pudding, milk, Oreos, gummy worms, clear plastic cups, plastic spoons, large mixing bowl, whisk, plastic bag
  • Instructions: Prepare the pudding in the large mixing bowl. Place the Oreos in the plastic bag and crush into small pieces. Layer the pudding and crushed cookies in the plastic cups. Add gummy worms for decoration. Serve and enjoy!

Assessment

At the end of the April Fools' Day lesson, the preschool teacher should review what the students learned about the holiday by asking the following questions:

  1. What is April Fools' Day?
  2. When is April Fools' Day celebrated?
  3. How is April Fools' Day celebrated?

The preschoolers should be able to answer all three questions correctly after reading one or more books about April Fools' Day, talking about the holiday, and doing one or more April Fools' Day activity or craft. Preschool aged students will love celebrating April Fools' Day and will learn about the traditions and celebrations of the holiday in the process.

Sources

April Fools' Day: Origin and History: http://www.infoplease.com/spot/aprilfools1.html