May Day is Lei Day

May 1st is a special day in Hawaii - May Day! On May Day, we celebrate our aloha spirit for our friends and family and give leis to each other! 

To teach my students about Lei Day, we learned about each island's official color and flower.  Here is our classroom bulletin board map with the islands colored the correct colors.
#luckyilivehi is a popular hashtag in the islands

Then we did crayon/watercolor resist to color the flowers.  We added student-written labels for the islands and the flower names.

After we learned about the flowers, we made paper leis to wear during our school-wide performance.  We used real lei needles and strung the paper flowers and straw pieces onto yarn.

For our performance, the entire 2nd grade sang and performed a hula to the song Plumeria Lei.  We got the song from this CD and the hula from this DVD.  The songwriter is a Montessori teacher on Maui and was kind enough to send me the ukulele music for the song.  Our school's music teacher was able to play the ukulele while we sang.  It was so nice!

Here is my class and one of the other 2nd grades right before the performance (I only have permission to show faces from my class ;)

 Here is the kindergarten performing their song and dance with pupu shells.  The students all faced our Royal May Day Court: one prince and princess for each island and a Queen and King.  Think of it like a Prom Court.

Here is the 2nd grade performing our song and hula.  I lead the kids up front.

One more of the 2nd graders.  They all did so well! 

If you have some time this month and want to squeeze in a few lessons about Hawaiian culture, so pick up my May Day unit! You can read an informational article about the holiday, answer text-dependent questions, learn about the island flowers, and make your own paper lei!

You can pick it up in my TpT store!

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