Harmony Day: T-Shirt Activity

Tomorrow is Harmony Day. Are you prepared? I hope so! If not, I thought I would share this activity my students I had on Friday did.

Only two students were finished but it gives you an idea for tomorrow...and if you were one of the lucky ones to download my worksheets for free before midnight last Friday - you get these templates for FREE again - just redownload from TPT! If you missed the free download - don't worry...the activity templates only cost loose change.

Now, onto the activity!

I based this activity on the one to the left. I mentioned in my last post. I liked the idea but wanted to see where I could take it.

Firstly, I knew I did not have enough cardboard to allow a large version like this - so I did a template up on good ol' A4 paper - and it was the perfect size!

I had a grade 5/6 class on Friday and the day started in the computer room (which is great because it meant we could do the first part of the lesson!). I'll guide you through it step-by-step.

Materials needed
  • pipe cleaners (30cm in length)
  • sticky-tape
  • T-shirt template (see my worksheet pack)
  • Arms template (see my worksheet pack)

    Step 1: Find a quote
    I instructed each student to go online and find a quote that they thought was relevant to Harmony Day. I placed no restrictions on it - just let them loose. A lot ended up on quote websites and a few on Pinterest.  

    Step 2: The t-shirt
    Back in the classroom, armed with their quotes, I gave each student a copy of the t-shirt. My only instructions were these...
    • state what the t-shirt is about (for most this ended up as "What Harmony Day means.../means to me"
    • include your quote
    • show what Harmony Day means to you 
    That was it. I provided some magazines that could be cut up - though most preferred to either write or draw their thoughts. No minimum of words/sentences or pictures.

    Step 3: Arms
    I gave one instruction...
    • the arms should reflect your identity 
    I said nothing about colour and for good reason. How students perceive themselves may be very different from their actual physical appearance...and as I noted in my last post about Harmony Day you need to allow for the expression of students and not stereotype how things "should look" - for example even if they were African they did not have to colour the arms in brown. The choice was theirs to make.

    A few observations I made while walking around the room include that some students chose to have no colour at all (some said it was because they said colour wasn't important but what was inside that counted), a few did intricate designs, I saw henna patterns on another...a great deal of diversity...which is of course the point of the activity.

    Step 4: Glue on the arms
    Make sure they only put glue where it says "GLUE" and that it goes under the arm. Hopefully by this grade they all know which arm is which - but do a scarecrow pose just to emphasise the placement. Also, make sure they don't glue the hands part to the t-shirt otherwise you can't "link" them.

    Step 5: Coat hanger
    I have included a guide sheet of coat hangers the size they approximately need to be. I found this class didn't use them but if you have younger students it might be of benefit. They each chose a pipe cleaner - I had a variety pack which included red, blue, green, orange, white and yellow. Most bent it into a triangle and curled the loose end around a few times to secure and then fashioned the hook. I let them experiment until they were happy with the shape.

    It was easiest to sticky-tape the coat hanger on the back. Some only needed one piece - a few needed two.

    Step 6: Display
    We didn't quite get to this point - only two students were fully finished. Check out how they look below with the arms linked. I personally think it looked cool and the students enjoyed making them.


    1. These activities are fantastic. I can't wait to use them in my classroom later this week! Thank you so much for your time making these.

    2. Hi do you still have the harmony day T-shirt activity on your TPT i can't seem to access it.

      1. Hi, yes it is still there but the title might have changed slightly if you purchased it a while ago as I added some additional activities. If you're still having issues send me a message either here on my TPT Q&A page.