April Fool’s Day lessons

Note taking from a video, research a theory, writing and a donut prank are included in April Fool's Day activities!

Donut with icing and sprinkles.

In modern times, people have gone to great lengths to create elaborate April Fools Day hoaxes. Newspapers, radio and TV stations, and websites have participated in the April 1st tradition of reporting outrageous fictional claims that have fooled their audiences. For example, in 1957, the BBC reported that Swiss farmers were experiencing a record spaghetti crop and showed footage of people harvesting noodles from trees.  

History of April Fool’s Day

Watch the video

What is the real history behind April Fool’s Day? In the video below, the BBC Newshound newscaster gives three reasons for April Fool’s Day. Which reason do you think is true and why?

Teaching hint: This is a great video for students to practice note taking. Provide the prompt that there are three theories. Students should be prepared to take notes by first writing the name of the video and then create a three point outline. Watch the video as a class or share the video URL with students to watch individually. If watching individually, encourage students to pause the video as necessary or to watch the video more than once.

Why Do We Celebrate April Fool’s Day? video:

Why Do We Celebrate April Fool’s Day video transcript.


Research the history

After choosing one of the three theories and writing why you think that theory is correct, research that theory. Is there any truth behind that option? Write at least one paragraph with more details about the chosen theory – be sure to include a citation and at least one quote.

Discuss as a class the three theories. Which one is correct? Are there additional theories about where April Fool’s Day originated?

Hint: While there are many theories about the origin of April’s Fool’s Day, the origin is not known!

April Fool’s Day Donut Prank

Want to play a fun prank on younger students?



Tell your students that they are gong to plant magical Cheerios and watch them grow. Have them each place a Cheerio in a paper cup and add water. Explain that magic is needed to make them grow. What magic words should be used? Let the kids decide on a magic word or phrase. One option is “Abracadabra”. Does a special hand movement or dance need to be done too?

While the students are out of the room for lunch or another class, remove the water and Cheerios from the cup and balance a donut on each cup.

Be ready with a camera to capture their facial expressions when they discover the donuts and you call out, “April Fool’s!”

(The April Fool’s Day donut prank was original shared by My

Research April Fool’s Day pranks for kids

Have your students research April Fool’s Day pranks for kids. Can you come up with a simple and fun prank to do on another class or an unsuspecting teacher or administrator?

By Diane Brauner

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