One of my new favorite things to do in the classroom is to plan a theme day. What is a theme day you might ask? Theme days are days of instruction planned around a central theme. They are designed to be super engaging and fun but also to include meaningful learning activities.
Theme days can be as big or as simple as you want. Go all out and decorate your classroom. Include special snacks or party favors for the day. Short on planning time (or energy)? Skip the decorations and hoopla.Your students will have fun and learn regardless. The beauty of a theme day is you can make it what you want to fit the needs of your classroom.
Ready to jump aboard the theme day craze and plan one for yourself? Today I am sharing my tips for how to plan your own classroom theme day.
Planning your own Classroom Theme Day
Choose a Theme
I begin with choosing a theme. There are so many great theme ideas out there, so just go with one you think your students would love. You really can’t go wrong here. I have listed some popular ones below.
- Area 51/ aliens
- at the farm
- Fear Factor
Choose Learning Standards
The next step after settling on a theme is to look at your standards. Do you want your theme day to be strictly review of what you have learned? Will you introduce new content? I find it best to choose standards that students will be able to work through with little support.
Something else to decide on is if your theme day will be covering all the subject areas. You could make your theme day mostly subject-based or plan our activities for all the subjects. I prefer for my theme days to cover all the subjects, mostly because I find it easier to plan a full day this way.
It’s time to choose your learning standards.
Create Engaging Activities
Once you have learning standards established, it’s time to plan those activities. I find that some themed-ideas come to me quickly. Read your standards while thinking about your theme. With a carnival theme, for example, I think of games. Is there a game I can incorporate to tie into my math standard? What about letting students create their own carnival game. This could be a STEM activity.
Theme days are meant to be engaging and fun, so think outside the box for ways to cover each selected standard. Come up with activities/ lessons for each subject area or enough to cover an entire day’s worth of lessons. I personally like to come up with ideas using minimal supplies to lower my prep work.
Now that you have the hard part out of the way, its time to gather those supplies! What do you need for each activity? Hopefully you have most of the supplies on hand already, but if not, enlist some parent volunteers to pick up what you need. I find that many parents are willing to send in supplies for fun learning activities! Are there copies to be made? Things to be cut out? Take care of all the prep work before the big day.
Set Up for the Big Day
I like to send home an invitation to the big theme day before the actually day. This gets the kids excited and geared up for what’s ahead! Request that your students dress to fit the theme. (If it’s a theme like glow day for example, ask the students to wear neon or black.) After school or the morning before is time to set everything up. Now is the time to post center signs, set up tables, set out copies, organize materials, etc. Decorate the room if that is part of your plan.
The Day of
The day is finally here! Let the fun AND learning begin! Use this time to walk around and monitor activities or help where needed. Watch the wonder and excitement on your students’ faces. You worked hard to plan something great for your students. You are an amazing teacher!!
So are you ready to plan your own theme day now? I would love to hear about it! Leave me a comment below telling me about your epic day in the classroom.
Love the idea of incorporating theme days in your classroom, but all of this planning sounds like more than you can handle right now? Don’t stress! I have several theme day units all planned out for you! Each includes more than enough standards-based activities for all the subject areas. You can check them out below!