For the past 4 years, we have had an annual Backwards Week at Knock Knock English. During Backwards Week, we wear our clothes backwards, we greet the students at the door with a hearty, "Good-bye! See you!", we walk backwards, we start class with a good-bye song and reverse the usual order of activities (story time first!), we sing the ABC song backwards, and we say "Hello!" when the students leave.
Aside from being a lot of silly fun for the students (and it is a LOT of fun), it adds some variety to classes and helps the students to really think about what we say and do at school on a regular basis. For example, we usually start our classes with a Hello song. The students understand what they are singing for the most part, but after being in class for a long time, there is a danger of students just "going through the motions"...singing or communicating with the teacher and fellow students, but not really thinking about what they are singing or saying.
On Backwards Day, children pay close attention to everything! Once they grasp the concept that today we are doing things backwards, they begin to look very closely for differences. When we sing See You Later to start class, the children get a huge kick out of the absurdity of every lyric in the song. "It's time to go? We just got here!!!"
Backwards Day is also a lot of fun to do at home. Say, "Good night!" in the morning and "Good Morning!" at bedtime. Read a story in bed in the morning. Eat dinner foods for breakfast and breakfast foods for dinner. Have dessert first. And for more school ideas for Backwards Day, have a look at Education World.
Be ready to discuss things with your kids...Backwards Day will bring a lot of questions about why we do things the way we do. We all go about our days with a lot of preconceptions about how things are supposed to be. We tend not to step back and take a look at how we are doing things until something goes wrong. Mixing things up with something like Backwards Day is a good way for teachers, parents, and kids alike to reevaluate the way we do things in a positive, fun way. Give it a try!