Day in History: April 1-8

Free online resources for each of these topics:

April Fool’s Day, White House Easter Egg Roll, Pony Express, Maya Angelou, Helen Keller, Sacajawea, History of the Internet, Buddhism

April 1–April Fool’s Day

A day of practical jokes and pranks is held every April 1.

Looking for April fools’ Pranks for kids? Check out 41 Genius April fools’ Day Pranks Your Kids Will Totally Fall For.

April 2–White House Easter Egg Roll

The first Easter Egg Roll was held on the White House lawn on April 2, 1877.

Images from the White House Easter Egg Roll may be found here. The site also includes a brief overview of the tradition.

April 3–Pony Express

The Pony Express begins service from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California, in 1860.

National Geographic site has Pony Express information that may be helpful for your students. This includes a map showing the route of he 80 riders who carried the mail. It also includes links to the Pony Express National Museum which has an extensive Pony Express Historical Timeline and nformation about the riders.

April 4–Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou was born April 4, 1828.

If you have access to Netflix or another source, the Maya Angelou movie And Still I Rise uses images and video to show her life. The video is 1 hour 53+ minutes and I recommend selecting excerpts for your class. The video will give your students a good understanding of Maya and her contributions to our society and literature.

April 5–Helen Keller

Helen Keller was taught the word “water” as spelled out in the manual alphabet on April 5, 1887.

The website Helen Keller Birthplace ‘Ivy Green’ gives a biographical sketch of Helen Keller. There are pictures and floor plans of the house, a mmap of the grounds, and a kids section focusing on braille. Another good resource is the Helen Keller Archive which is a digital collection from the American Foundation for the Blind. It includes images, letters, speeches, news clippings, video, and drawings.

April 6–Sacajawea

The exact birthdate of Sacajawea is unknown but it is reported by some to be April 6, 1788.

A lesson from the

A lesson from the US MINT has students look at the life of Sacagawea (chosen to appear on the Dollar) and do research culminating in journal entries.

April 7–History of the Internet

The symbolic birthday of the internet is considered to be April 7, 1969.

This lesson is based on the laws in Canada, but the essential questions concerning private information and access would be applicable for anywhere. There are engaging discussion questions and a scenario to set the stage. Students divide into groups and consider questions related to cell phones, facebook and cyberbullying, searching a laptop, and facebook privacy. The topics/questions are designed for grades 9-12.

April 8–Buddha

Guatama Buddha, founder of Buddhism, was believed to have been born April 8, 563 BC. has a website with multiple resources for history. The section on Buddhism and Buddha gives background information, links to other resources, includes games and activities and provides lesson plans on the topic. Check out the powerpoint which is well-designed to share basic background information with your students.

Looking for additional resources on these ideas? Check out my store Reading Specialty on TPT.  Click on the list below the covers to be directed to the resources on TPT.

Click on the topic below to see details of the resources.