Learning to use a Calendar

Object Type: Video Clip
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Learning to use a Calendar

Before students recognize that holidays are celebrated on special days, they must first learn ways of using a calendar and recognize how a calendar is organized. Students learn about days, weeks, months, and years on a calendar. They also learn about the relationship between the calendar and the Earth's movement around the sun.

Recognize how a calendar can organize days, weeks, months and years and how it's related to the Earth's movement around the Sun.

  1. Students will understand that a day is a period of time from early morning to late at night.
  2. Students will understand the days of the week. A week is made up of seven days. The first day of a week is Sunday, followed by Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. There are two special days in each week, Saturday and Sunday; these days are called weekends. The other days in a week, Monday through Friday, are called weekdays.
  3. Students will recognize the names of the months, know the number of days in a month, and know the number of months in a year. There are twelve months in a year: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, and December. The months that contain thirty-one days are January, March, May, July, August, October, and December. The months that contain thirty days are April, June, September, and November. February consists of only twenty-eight days, or sometimes twenty-nine.
  4. Students will realize that important days, like birthdays and some holidays, always occur on the same date, but not always on the same day of the week. Christmas, for example, is always on the twenty-fifth of December, but it can occur on any day of the week.
  5. Students will understand that a year contains 365 days. This period of time is based on the time it takes for the Earth to orbit around the sun.
  6. Students will know that as the Earth circles around the sun, the seasons change. There are four seasons: winter, spring, summer, and fall. Winter occurs from December to March; spring is from March to April; summer is from June to September; autumn, or fall, occurs from September to December.
  7. Students will realize that calendars are used as measuring tools. By using a calendar, people can keep track of the days, weeks, and months in a year.
  8. Students will know how to use a calendar. For example, if a person wanted to know on which day of the week the twenty-sixth of July occurs, the person would find the month of July on the calendar, look for the number twenty-six, and see the day of the week listed above the date.

  1. Before viewing the video

    1. Anticipatory Set: Hold up a blank calendar with good pictures. Turn the pages, showing the pictures and the calendar pages. Ask the children what the object you are holding is called. Record responses. Tell them it is a calendar and that they are going to watch an instructional video on how it is used.
  2. After viewing the video

    1. Materials needed: Two sets of the days of the week and the word, "day," printed on tag board strips. Two sets of the months and the letters, "ary" and "ber" printed on tag board strips.
    2. Days of the Week: Have several children tell about their day at home and have others tell about their day at school. Count the days of the week on a calendar—how many are there? Do the following activities with the class: 1. Say the days of the week as you flash the cards. Do this several more times and have the class say the days with you. 2.Count the number of letters in each day of the week. Which are the shortest? Which are the longest? 3. Put the days of the week in a pocket chart before the class. Have a child, whose name begins with the first letter of a day (M, T, W, F, S), look for the day(s) that starts with the same letter as his/her first name. 4. Hold up the word "day" and find it in the name of each day of the week. 5. Say a day and see who can find it on the chart. 6. Let seven children each hold a card and pick a student to put the days of the week in proper order. Have the whole class read the names of the days. 7. Mix the second set of words with the first set and place them face down in the middle of a circle. A child turns two cards over to see if they match. If they do, then the child keeps the cards; if not, return the cards to the same place. Give each child a turn. First graders or older can read the words they pick.
    3. Months of the year: Follow the same procedure with the month cards as was done with the day cards (steps 1-7 above). Look for "ber" and "ary" at the end of the months, rather than looking for "day."

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