As the Calendar Turns

As the Calendar Turns lesson plan

Keep track of the season, month, day, and date with this colorful, changeable calendar.

  • 1.

    Students create a fun and functional changeable calendar. To create changeable circles, have students fold a piece of construction paper into four sections. With a Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencil and a compass, draw four circles large enough to fill each section. Cut out circles with Crayola Scissors.

  • 2.

    Students fold another piece of construction paper and divide it into four sections. To create windows, draw a rectangle in each section near an outer edge. Make three large openings (month, season, and day) and a fourth a little smaller (date). Cut out the openings.

  • 3.

    Students decorate the openings, edges, and sections with Crayola Slick Stix Crayons. Add pictures of seasonal activities or changes in nature for each of the four seasons. The bright, intense colors of Crayola Slick Stix Crayons blend easily with the tip of a finger or a paper towel.

  • 4.

    Students create moveable wheels by placing each circle behind a section so that a small portion sticks out slightly beyond the edge. Hold in place with paper fasteners.

  • 5.

    Students write January in one opening. Turn wheel so it can no longer be seen, then write February. Continue through the rest of the months. Use this same technique to fill in other three circles with the four seasons, the seven days of the week, and 31 days of the month.

Standards

  • LA: Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
  • LA: Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.
  • LA: Participate in shared research and writing projects.
  • LA: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • LA: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when spelling or writing.
  • MATH: Recognize and draw shapes having specified attributes.
  • SCI: Engage in a critical reading of primary literature of science, appropriate to grade level, and discuss hypotheses and conclusions.
  • SCI: Ask questions about the natural and human-built worlds.
  • SS: Describe and speculate about physical system changes, such as seasons, climate and weather, and the water cycle.
  • SS: Examine the interaction of human beings and their physical environment.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.
  • VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

Adaptations

  • For students who have difficulty using a compass, have circle templates available for tracing and/or templates for the face page of this project.
  • Once the calendar is constructed, students will return to it daily to talk about the date, season, etc. Once the class or small group discussion has been completed, students will write a sentence that represents today's discussion. For example, on Tuesday, April 26, a student might write:" Today is Tuesday, May 5, 2012, and the sun is shining on mommy's red tulips." - OR - "Mommy's red tulips began to bloom on this spring day in May, 2012. Student sentences can be posted daily in the classroom or sent home on a weekly basis for parents to review and discuss with their children.
  • What is the connection between the seasons and the sun? Have student pairs download The Seasons and the Sun by Jessica Fries-Gaither and read it orally to their partners. Students discuss what they have just read together and answer the question, "What does the Sun have to do with the seasons?" After discussion, students write 2-3 sentences that answer this question.
  • In small groups, students research each of the four seasons. What months would be included in each season? Student groups will create a calendar page for each of the months in their season and illustrate it with scenes from that season using Crayola Colored Pencils. The teacher can make colored copies of the completed twelve-month pages and create calendars for students to give to parents/guardians as gifts for the new year.
  • If possible, have upper elementary students visit the classroom to read to the student pairs or small groups. A follow-up discussion of the read should occur. Possible reads include: When the Wind Stops by Charlotte Zolotow; Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors by Joyce Sidman; Green Eyes by Ade Birnbaum; and/or A Tree for All Seasons by Robin Bernard. Primary students should use these reads as a springboard for creating their monthly calendars and writing 2-3 sentences about what they have learned. Students should read their sentences orally to the small group or class.