Celebrating Grandparents Day in the Classroom

As the educational year gets started, teachers may be looking for ways to celebrate Grandparents Day in school. There are plenty activities, crafts and games for Grandparents Day, which will take place on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017. Some of these could include inviting grandparents to school, tracing a family tree or even learning a new language.

For students who may not have grandparents in their lives, suggest they choose another older relative or family friend to participate with. Many of the activities are about learning new skills and bridging the generation gap, and can be done with someone outside the family as well



Here are some of best Grandparents Day celebration ideas:


–       Grandma goes to school

Some schools have the ability to have a special event for grandparents. Students can invite their grandparents to snack time, recess or another activity. You can invite students to introduce their grandparent or guest to the class by giving a unique fact about their elder or telling a favorite memory.


–       Do an interview

This can be done during a special grandparent event, or at home as a type of homework. Instruct student to talk with their grandparent, either in person or via the phone, about some generational differences. The goal is to get conversation flowing and get students interested in new time periods. During class, have students brainstorm a list of questions they could ask an elder.

Questions could include:

What was your favorite class in school?

What was your favorite thing to do with your free time?

What things were in your bedroom?

What were some of your toys?

How do you think my life is different from you? How is it the same?


Have student report back and have a discussion as a group or class about differences. Students may be shocked to learn that grandma didn’t have a television, or that grandpa didn’t have a cell phone until he was in his 50s!


–       Trace the tree

To help students learn about their heritage, have students work with their grandparents to trace their family tree. They can keep it simple and just map immediate family, or test grandma and grandpa’s memory to see how far back they can go!


–       Translate and map

After learning about their family tree, continue to branch out by helping students learn new languages. Look up different ways to say “grandma” and “grandpa” from around the world and teach them to students. Here are a few examples:

“Oba-chan” and “Oji-chan” — Japan

“Ya-ya” and “Pa-pu” — Greece

“Nonna” and “Nonno” — Italy

“Abuelita” and “Abuelito” — Cuba

“Abuela” and “Abuelo” — Mexico

“Grand-mere” and “Grand-pere” — France

You can turn this into a game for Grandparents Day by pointing to a country on a map and having students say “grandma” or “grandpa” in that language. This will help students learn new cultures, as well as reading maps.


–       Mail a greeting

For younger students, or for a class that doesn’t have local grandparents, have students draw pictures or write letters to grandparents. Mail these, and have students bring responses to class to discuss their interaction.


–       Use your words

Getting creative with words? In an English or grammar class, have students write poetry or a short story about their grandparents. You could have children imagine what life was like when their grandparents were children, or create a fictional world about grandparents with superpowers. While students are writing, have them discuss the definition of a grandparent and whether you have to be related to a person to be a grandchild.


–       Make a gift

There are lots of crafts that are easy to complete in school in honor of Grandparents Day. With the official holiday falling on a Sunday shortly after the school year starts, it’s a good time for students to get to know one another. Try creating picture frames, decorating flower pots or other arts and crafts that can be given as a gift.


How are you planning to celebrate Grandparents Day this year?



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