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APRIL FOOLS' DAY! April Fools' Day is coming. I remember when I was young eager to tell my father that his shoes were untied so he'd look down and I could say,"April Fools' Day". I remember kids calling the local zoo and asking for Mr. Peacock(or other resident of the zoo). Whispering to someone that they had a rip in their pants was also a popular thing to say to someone. Gluing a coin to the floor and seeing someone bend down to pick it up was another prank done on April Fools' Day. April Fools' Day is an opportunity to show kids that history is all around us, even holidays such as April Fools' Day have a history! It is also a great opportunity to discuss bullying and the difference of doing silly pranks as opposed to mean-spirited or hurtful ones. It's a day I encouraged students to do an act of kindness for someone else.
APRIL FOOLS' DAY
All Fools' Day as April 1st was once called, is a custom that came to the American colonies from the French and British.Although the actually start of April Fools' Day is not certain, many say the day of doing pranks dates back to the 16th century France. At this time, the new year was celebrated on April 1st and not January 1st. When a new calendar, called the Gregorian Calendar, was introduced,the new year fell on January 1st.Without television, radio, internet, etc., and with many people not being able to read,some people didn't get the news of the new day for ringing in the new year for a couple of years! Other people just refused to change their celebration day for the new year.These people became the joke of others for whom tricks were played. Things done included sending these people on foolish errands, or to try and tell them things which weren't true.
The idea of Aprils' Fools Day soon spread to other countries. In England, pranks are only done in the morning and it's considered bad luck to attempt a April Fools' trick on someone after noon time. And, if you are the victim of someone's joke, you are called a noodle! In India, in addition to pranks, people put colors on each other to celebrate the start of spring.If you go to the country of Portugal, watch for flying flour, which is what people like to throw on April Fools' Day! In France, people call each other Poisson d'Avril which means "April Fish" instead of April Fools! Why a fish? That's because a young fish is thought to be easily caught, not knowing better. A common activity on this day in France is to put a paper fish on someone's back.
Keep alert on April 1.Try doing an act of kindness on April Fools' Day!
A famous April Fools' activity occurred in 1998 when Burger King said they had a new "left-handed Whopper" which had the ketchup, pickles and other condiments on the left side of the bun to help left handed eaters. Many came in to order "left"Whoppers on that day!
In 1957, a news show aired a video on a spaghetti harvest in the country of Switzerland. People were pulling strands of spaghetti dangling down from trees. People actually called the news show asking how they could purchase a spaghetti tree!
Check out my April Fools' Day Resource. Lots of famous pranks, a Test your April Fools' Day IQ, comprehensionquestions and extension activities.
Note:Illustration from: pixabay.com