Mardi Gras is upon us, and you want to share the experience with your students.
Well, you’ve come to the right place because these Mardi Gras activities for the classroom will serve the purpose well.
Mardi Gras is a major celebration in the city of New Orleans, and the amazing way that the city celebrates the occasion doesn’t compare to how it’s done in another.
If students are in New Orleans to see first-hand the festivities of Mardi Gras, bring the celebration to them using Mardi Gras activities for the classroom.
Using these activities, students will learn some of the history and origin of Mardi Gras plus grow an appreciation for the culture that celebrates it.
These engaging activities include games, crafts, and activities that delight no matter the grade or age.
What’s more, a good number of these Mardi Gras activities for the classroom reinforce academic skills in the areas of reading, writing, and social studies.
As you can see, these activities can be easily integrated into your regular classroom instruction.
So go ahead, and pencil a few of these meaningful activities into your schedule this week.
Mardi Gras Activities For the Classroom
Learning about Mardi Gras will be a blast using these fun classroom activities.
1. Make a Mardi Gras Word Search.
Encourage students to explore Mardi Gras vocabulary words by having them create a Mardi Gras word search.
First, as a class, brainstorm all the words possible related to Mardi Gras. Write the words on chart paper or on the board.
Then distribute a word search template to each student. Each child will choose 15 words to place in the word bank area of the template.
After selecting and noting their words, students will hide the words in the template.
They will place some horizontally, vertically, and diagonally. Leftover squares are then filled with random letters.
Now, students will exchange their word searches with a classmate and solve.
2. Learn French Words.
Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday in French, and there are lots of other French words connected with Mardi Gras because of Louisiana’s history.
Provide students with an opportunity to learn some of the French vocabulary words closely associated with Mardi Gras.
Here is a list of words to get you started…
- Gold – or
- Parade – un défilé
- Green – vert
- Purple – violetla
- Costume – un costume
- Bead – une perle
- Trinket – une babiole
- Crowd – la foule
- Queen – la reine
- Crown – une couronne
- Feather – une plume
- Float – un char
- Dancing – la danse
- Mask – le masque
- Necklace – un collier
- Music – la musique
- Disguise – un déguisement
- King – le roi
Ideas for practicing French vocabulary include making a mini bilingual dictionary, sketching words and then labeling them with French/English captions, using an online voice app to hear and repeat standard pronunciations, and playing bingo using French terms.
3. Respond to Mardi Gras Writing Prompts.
One of the Mardi Gras activities for the classroom that requires the least amount of preparation is writing prompts.
Not only do writing prompts strengthen writing skills, but they spark the imagination, allow students to express their thoughts, and provide insightful feedback to teachers about students’ knowledge of a topic.
See this collection of Mardi Gras writing prompts.
4. Make Mardi Gras Crowns.
Mardi Gras is known for its krewes, clubs made up of individuals who host parades. Krewes may designate a king or queen.
Bring this tradition to your classroom.
Distribute to each student a blank, 24-inch, white sentence strip.
Using colored pencils, crayons, or markers, have students decorate their strips with the colors of Mardi Gras: gold, purple, and green.
They may want to add beads, feathers, glitter, or any other festive adornments.
After they are done decorating, place and staple the “crown” around each student’s head.
You now have a krewe of Mardi Gras kings and queens for the day!
5. Complete Mardi Gras Reading Comprehension Worksheets.
Reinforce literacy skills using Mardi Gras reading comprehension worksheets.
Though worksheets get a bad reputation nowadays, there is still a time and place for them.
Use them as early finisher activities, homework, bell work, or for reviewing literacy skills such as questioning and finding the main idea.
6. Decorate a King Cake.
If you have the time and desire, consider making mini king cakes at home, leaving out the steps of adding the icing and colored sugar.
Make as many mini king cakes as the number of students in your class.
Get ahold of some icing, sugar, and food coloring in Mardi Gras colors (gold, purple, green).
After transporting the king cakes to school, put students into groups of 3 or 4. Provide each group with icing, sugar, and food coloring.
Note: Either the students will mix the food coloring and sugar with their groups, or you can do so beforehand. It’s a matter of preference.
Now distribute one mini king cake to each child.
Students will decorate the mini king cake, placing icing and colored sugar on top. Afterward, they eat it!
While working, you may want to casually discuss the history of the king cake such as…
- What do the colors represent?
- Why is there usually a baby inside?
- Why is it shaped like a ring?
7. Play Mardi Gras Bingo.
If you’re seeking student-friendly Mardi Gras games, try bingo.
As a class, brainstorm as many words as possible related to Mardi Gras. Students will then choose some of the words to place on their Mardi Gras bingo template.
Now they are ready to play a few rounds of bingo. Consider giving a small Mardi Gras-themed prize or reward to winners.
8. Host a Mardi Gras Feast.
If you’re seeking Mardi Gras activities for the classroom that include food, try this idea.
Louisiana is known for its fabulous cuisine, so why not share some delicious Mardi Gras food with students?
Assign each student a dish.
On the designated day, students will bring their dishes to the classroom and share them with classmates. It will be one big, joyous feast!
Mardi Gras food ideas include gumbo, red beans and rice, king cake, beignets, po’boys, bread pudding, and jambalaya.
9. Design Mardi Gras Masks.
Prompt students to tap into their creativity by doing Mardi Gras crafts such as masks.
Students will enjoy celebrating Fat Tuesday by designing a cool Masquerade-style mask.
For “elaborate” masks, see these Mardi Gras mask instructions.
If you’d like a version that requires less preparation, simple Mardi Gras mask templates are the way to go. Students choose one to decorate.
They may use a straw, pencil, or wooden popsicle stick to hold up the mask.
This is arguably one of the most popular Mardi Gras activities for the classroom.
10. Have a King Cake Party.
Celebrate Mardi Gras by having a king cake party.
Bring two king cakes to school: one for the boys and one for the girls.
Before biting into their piece of king cake, students will first gently pull it apart to discover if they have the plastic baby. This is done for safety reasons.
Whoever finds the baby is crowned king and queen.
All the students enjoy the rest of the party eating king cake and drinking their favorite beverages.
Mix in one of the most popular Mardi Gras songs, and you will have a great party indeed!
11. Create Mardi Gras Shoebox Floats.
This is one of the most exciting, hands-on Mardi Gras activities for the classroom. Students really love this arts and crafts project idea.
Request that students bring an old shoebox from home.
They will make their shoebox into a Mardi Gras float using construction paper, beads, glitter, feathers, crayons, markers, and any other decorative items they like.
Afterward, students will parade around the school showcasing their cool creations.
See the complete instructions for how to make a shoebox float.
12. Do a Book Project On a Mardi Gras Book.
To reinforce literacy skills, have students do a book report on one of their favorite Mardi Gras books.
Book project ideas include Foldables, mobiles, and dioramas.
For more great options, see this list of reading project ideas. (coming soon)
13. Construct a Paper Plate Tambourine.
Mardi Gras is full of music and dancing.
One way that students can share in the experience is by constructing a paper plate tambourine.
This is such a fun arts/crafts activity that doubles as a keepsake that students can take home and continue using.
14. Conduct Research About Mardi Gras.
If you’re looking for more academic-focused Mardi Gras activities for the classroom, this one is a good fit, especially for older students.
Working in pairs, students will research the history of Mardi Gras or Carnival.
Afterward, ask a few volunteers to share their research findings with the class. Students may want to compare notes.
Final Thoughts On Mardi Gras Activities For the Classroom
If your students cannot go to a Mardi Gras parade or event, then bring Mardi Gras to them.
Using these engaging Mardi Gras activities for the classroom, students will grow an appreciation for the history and culture of Mardi Gras.
What’s more, they will expand their schema about different cultures and traditions.
Cheers to letting the good times roll!