Lesson Plans Using Calendars

Use lessons about the history of calendars to teach time management skills.

By Kristen Kindoll


calendar lesson plans

The first of January has the distinction of being the first in line. It offers brand new possibilities. The day is also the beginning of a new calendar year.  Crisp day planners or wall calendars are ready to be filled with upcoming activities.  However, the new year not only brings with it the promise of new adventures, it also provides a reason to delve into the history and importance of the calendar. Calendars have a rich history , making them valuable to study. 

The Calendar Zone is a first stop in learning about our modern version. Links are divided into specific categories that touch on various aspects of the calendar system.  Announcing the Sky lists past and current calendar systems.  It is a great resource for learning about the different systems used around the world.

The purpose of the calendar was to organize time.  Ancient cultures were preoccupied with the advancement of days and cataloging the meaning. Stonehenge is a series of monoliths in concentric circles. Many theories abound about the significance of such a large scale creation.  Some scholars think it was a way to track the movement of the stars for important events. Your study of calendars could be supplemented by researching cultures that used advanced means to tell time throughout the year.

For younger children, the famous poem Thirty Days Hath September for memorizing the number of days in a month, is a fun kick-off to any calendar lesson. Blank calendars are another excellent way to reinforce the information. You can use blank calendar pages and holiday stickers to manually create a calendar for the school room or kitchen. This is a creative way to occupy your elementary school kids while the older children are learning more historically significant facts about calendars.

It is also beneficial for students to learn about solar and lunar calendars. The history and lore are fascinating.  Astronomy could also be incorporated into these lessons. In addition, you could study the phases of the moon and how the moon drives the tide waters.  There are also many interesting stories concerning the hypnotic effects of the moon, which can be a fun literature component. Most of all when learning about calendars, be sure to use your time wisely!

Lesson Plans on Calendars:

Sun Calendar and Crop Planting has students make observations and track them in a journal. Children map the sun’s progression and record the data to make educated assumptions on the best time to plant.

Wait a What has children practice time management skills.  They make a calendar to track when their activities occur.  Minutes, hours and seconds are studied as a part of this lesson.

Calendar Computation lists questions which use the calendar as reference for answers. There are three worksheets, including one about leap year.

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Kristen Kindoll