National Pencil Day – A reason to sharpen our knowledge

National Pencil Day is celebrated, not really for pencils themselves, but to honor an IMPROVEMENT to the pencil. So, when is national pencil day celebrated? It is not during the back to school time as many would believe. The yellow pencil is one of the most recognized school supplies of all time, and one of our earliest writing tools. This fun holiday of the day is March 30th. Here’s a look at why we celebrate National Pencil Day. In1858 a patent was granted for attaching an eraser to the end of the pencil. What an amazing update to an already incredible invention!

Pencil Day Facts

It isn’t clear who first scribbled Pencil Day onto their calendar and invented a reason to celebrate, but we think it’s a great one! In 1858 a patent was granted to Hyman Lipman for embedding an eraser into the end of the pencil. This version of the pencil with an eraser on it’s end was unique in that both the pencil AND the eraser were meant to be sharpened! The eraser was glued into the top end of the pencil with enough “extra” so that it could be refreshed by sharpening as needed.

image for decorative purposes to show calendar - Happy Pencil Day , March 30th is circled with a do not forget post it note

Soon after the patent was granted, Mr. Lipman sold his patent for $100,000.00. That was quite a sum of money in those days. Selling it turned out to be a smart decision, because in 1875 the United States Supreme Court ironically “erased” the patent, saying that simply combining two things that already exist isn’t enough to qualify for a patent.

The eraser was made from “India rubber” designed to be used as an eraser. Explore more in our post about National Rubber Eraser Day.

Image shows a desk with a laptop. The laptop is showing a close up of the end of a pencil with the metal band holding the eraser. The text reads: FUN FACT, the metal band that secures an eraser is called a pencil ferrule.

In the early 1900s, the metal band that we are now accustomed to seeing secure the eraser began to emerge. That metal piece is called a Pencil Ferrule. The ferrule has become an essential part of pencil construction.

How to Celebrate

The most obvious Pencil Day Activity is to use a pencil for all your work today! Another way to honor this tool would be to recognize that pencils are not only a tool for writing, but a tool for art.

The gradual change from light to dark is created by shading. You can create a unique piece of art of your own by creating light and dark areas with just a pencil. In honor of Pencil Day Download this FREE Pencil Value worksheet!

Image is of a value scale worksheet available to download. It provides areas for learners to practice using a pencil from light to dark by making a variety of different lines. Horizontal is completed as an example. Space provided to complete diagonal, cross hatch, mini spirals and dots.

TIP: This activity works best with a #2 pencil and not mechanical pencils.

To learn more about how pencils are made and create a pencil mini book this activity is available to our newsletter subscribers in the Members Only Area we call the Curriculum Club!

Image shows a pencil shape book. It is printed on cardstock and cut out. It is available for download to members of the Curriculum Club.

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Be sure to check out the other AWESOME Holidays by using our CALENDAR OF HOLIDAYS page! There is even a downloadable calendar for you with all available Homeschool Holiday Curriculum!


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