March is a transitional time when signs of spring begin to bust forth, and more holidays appear on the classroom calendar. So what should you be prioritizing, and which March awareness month and history month celebrations are worth incorporating into your lessons?
Welcome to the March edition of your Teach Starter month guide! Our team of teachers — they’re experts from around the country who create the curriculum-aligned resources on the Teach Starter site — have created a list for every month to help save your precious planning time and still keep you on top of every important event! Here’s what you need to know in the month of March.
March Awareness Months
Music in our Schools Month
Music in our Schools Month (or MIOSM) is a March awareness month focused on raising awareness of the importance of music education for all children. Started in New York State in the 1970s with just a day set aside for the celebration, it was extended to a month and been marked around the US since 1985. This year’s theme is “Music is All of Us,” reminding everyone that whether you listen to, play, teach, or perform music, everyone is included.
Not a music teacher? Not to worry! There are many ways you can promote a love for music, or inspire students to learn more. Here are some ideas including recommendations from the National Assocation for Music Education:
- Have students design their own musical instruments using everyday objects.
- Use a morning meeting session to talk about music with prompts such as “Do you play an instrument? What instrument would you like to learn? What is your favorite song?”
- Introduce wind, string, and percussion instruments with this video.
- Ask students to cut out pictures of music and musicians from magazines to create a wall collage or bulletin board.
- Collaborate with your school’s music teacher (if you have one) for ideas on introductory music activities.
- Take a field trip to hear a local community chorus or orchestra and/or talk to your school’s admin about hosting a group to perform for the entire school.
- Show this video to students to learn all the sections of a symphony orchestra, plus see both illustrated and real-life footage of the instruments.
- Have students listen to Peter and the Wolf narrated by David Bowie. Bowie introduces which instruments represent different characters in the story such as an oboe for the duck and French horns for the wolf. While students are listening to the story and the music, have them draw the story’s different characters.
- After an activity like analyzing Peter and the Wolf, view Disney’s Fantasia, and talk about any musical themes they noticed and what instruments represent different characters (there is no dialogue). This is a perfect activity for a Friday or sharing the viewing time with a neighboring classroom!
Teach Starter Teacher Tip: Get in on the conversation! Share how your school is celebrating MIOSM on social media with the hashtags #MIOSM and #AllMusicAllPeople
March Into Literacy Month
March Into Literacy Month is a March awareness month with historic roots. It all started in 1642 when a Massachusetts law required everyone to learn reading, even servants. Fast forward to the early 2000s, immigrant children in the US were falling behind in reading, and the US ranked the third-highest country with the lowest skill literacy level in Adult Literacy. Needless to say, literacy is a skill everyone should be able to have in the modern world.
As teachers, we constantly strive to improve literacy in and outside the classroom. If you’re looking for fresh ideas, consider:
- Building an effective classroom library to improve literacy
- Showing students an animated kids’ book with subtitles
- Handing out bookmarks to spark enthusiasm to pair them with a book
- Collecting these books to motivate readers who “hate to read”
Teach Starter Teacher Tip: Read Across America Week falls in the early part of March Into Literacy Month which can help you encourage a love for reading! Check out more Read Across America ideas and activities here.
National Nutrition Month
Hungry for more March awareness months to celebrate? The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is celebrating National Nutrition Month’s 50th anniversary this year. Founded in 1973, National Nutrition Month was created to help people make informed food choices and develop healthy habits through good food and exercise.
National Nutrition Month’s theme this year is “Fuel for the Future” which ties in eating healthfully while also eating sustainably to help protect the environment. Unfortunately, not every student has access to healthy food, and more than 13.1 million children in the United States are food insecur. It’s something you might already be seeing in your classroom and acting on — we know many teachers who keep a few granola bars in their desk drawer for kids who need them.
March is a good time to look around the classroom and see what else you might be able to do. Are you noticing kids hoarding snacks from the cafeteria to take home, just in case? This is a sign that they could use additional resources. Are there kids who show up without anything to eat whose families you can help get signed up for the Free and Reduced Lunch Program? You can also talk to your school’s admin about starting a food drive and creating an in-school pantry for parents to grab non-perishables at pick-up. If you send out parent newsletters, include this national food pantry finder when describing what your class has been learning for National Nutrition Month.
Other ideas for National Nutrition Month:
- Analyze food product labels from empty boxes or containers brought from home
- Develop a lesson plan that explains the science behind the ingredients needed for baking
- Focus a science lesson around how plant foods grow — from seed to harvest
- Take a field trip to a farm or host a farmer as a guest speaker to talk about what they do
- Watch this 3-minute bean time-lapse video and plant your own seeds as a class using egg cartons
- Use this “Move Your Body!” video as a brain break to get students’ blood flowing
Dolphin Awareness Month
Get ready to march into the sea to celebrate Dolphin Awareness Month. For 20 years, this month has been observed around the world, but dolphins are still exploited by humans on a daily basis. You can use March as a time to talk about wildlife conservation with your students, and discuss the importance of dolphins and their role in the ecological balance.
How can you observe Dolphin Awareness Month? Try some of these ideas:
- Watch an informative video by Nat Geo for Kids about the bottlenose dolphin
- Hand out these Marine Animal Profile worksheets for homework or a class activity focused on a dolphin
- Discuss dolphins during your morning meeting with prompts such as “What can humans do to protect the oceans? Why is it important to save dolphins? Have you ever seen a dolphin in real life?”
Teach Starter Teacher Tip: March 3 is World Wildlife Day, a perfect time to discuss the dependence of different organisms in an ecosystems — including dolphins!
National Crafting Month
Pull out your art supplies because March is also a creative-focused awareness month: National Crafting Month. Founded by the Craft and Hobby Association (Association for Creative Industries), this March awareness month originated in 1994 to help people discover a creative outlet whether it be through painting, embroidery, origami, or any number of artistic means.
Crafting has a number of benefits for children including developing their:
- hand-eye coordination
- attention to detail
- fine motor skills
- artistic expression
March includes St. Patrick’s Day making this Mosaic Clover activity a fun activity to kick off National Crafting Month. You can also check out these clever craft ideas with household items for inspiration:
Browse all our printable crafts to save precious planning time!
What Is the March History Month?
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention there’s an official history month in March as well as the awareness months!
Women’s History Month
Perhaps the most well-known March celebration is Women’s History Month. The achievements and contributions women have made around the world throughout history are celebrated and highlighted during this time. Women’s History Month was made official after Congress passed a law in 1987, but it originated as Women’s History Week. Thanks to organizations like the National Women’s History Alliance, the recognition of women’s achievements continues to grow.
International Women’s Day is March 8th, also included in Women’s History Month. The list of women you can highlight and introduce to your students is limitless, but here are a few we can help you get started for your lessons:
- Malala Yousafzai — a Pakistani education rights activist and the world’s youngest Nobel Prize Laureate
- Amelia Earhart — the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean
- Queen Lili’uokalani — Hawaii’s first woman ruler
- Katherine Johnson — a mathematician for NASA which helped launch John Glenn into orbit
- Ada Lovelace — came up with the idea for a computer language
- Clara Barton — a Civil War nurse who founded the American Red Cross