Keep Calm and Derby On!

I live in the Derby City, and the Kentucky Derby is a HUGE deal here.  Most people who live outside the area don't really understand the significance of the Derby, unless they happen to be horse racing fans.  Growing up an hour and a half away from the Derby, I knew NOTHING about it.  But now that I live here, I love everything Derby!

And just so I can put it into perspective how big of a deal it is here vs. other places:

I was at a Teacher/Blogger Meetup in Nashville a week ago, when American Pharoah won the Belmont Stakes and became the first Triple Crown champ since 1978 when Affirmed won the Triple Crown.  That's a huge deal, right?  I had 23 people post on Facebook about it- and those are just the posts I saw!  Some of the other girls were checking their Facebook pages, and they had- you guessed it- NONE!  So yeah, you can say we pay attention around here.  :-)

Anyway, I just simply can't ignore the Derby, so we always have some Derby fun each year in the 4 days leading up to the Derby.  We only have 4 days during that week because Friday is Oaks Day, and we have to have it off!

We used this book during the week.  There are very few Derby books out there, but I like this one.  I don't usually read all of the words, because it can be kind of wordy, but it has good pictures and a lot of good information.

We made these adorable jockeys.  I love their cute little faces.  They turned out so cute!  

We also voted for the Derby horse we thought would win the Derby.  Several of my students voted for "Far Right", and I even had 2 choose the Derby winner, American Pharoah!  They got a rose from me when we got back to school on Monday for choosing the Derby winner.

We also designed and made our own silks like the jockeys make.  I pulled up images from the internet of different jockeys and their silks, and we talked about the purpose of the colors and patterns on the silks.

Then they got to make and wear their own silks out of poster paper.   

Aren't they cute? 

Once we finished making our silks, we had a silk contest.  We chose 4 of the best silks, one from each table.  I brought each of these students a rose for winning.

Then we watched our pre-school classes in their parade!  One of the Kentucky Derby festival events is the Derby Festival parade, so usually the pre-school does one every year. 

If you are looking for more fun Derby activities, I have another post here and here with several more activities and ideas!  I also have a fun Derby freebie that you can find at this post!