Lesson Plan Title : How a Day Becomes a National Holiday

Age Range: Grade 9 through grade 12 (High School)

Overview and Purpose: Americans look forward to our holidays with great anticipation, but how does a day become a national holiday? In this lesson, students will compare how different holidays were brought into existence.

Objective: The student will be able to compare the ways the different US holidays started.


Internet access for each student

Teacher created worksheet


Ask students to name the major US holidays. They should be able to do that pretty easily. Now ask them to tell you how they started. (Not the reason we have the holiday, but how that day became the day we celebrate the event or person and who was responsible for making it that day.) Some may know a few of the answers, but many of them will not.

Have the students research the holidays and complete the worksheet. Come back together and discuss any interesting facts they found in their research.

Sample table for the worksheet:

Name of the Holiday
When was it made a national holiday?
Who made it a national holiday?
Why was it made a national holiday?

Wrap Up:

Students can use the information they learned to make up their own holiday and explain what they would do to have it proclaimed a national holiday.