Math Background

Lesson: Using a Calendar
Developing the Concept

Review the concepts taught in Introducing the Concept. Explain to children that they will be using calendar pages to answer questions about dates, months, and days of the week.

Materials: two copies of real calendar pages for each month of the current year, or calendar pages prepared from Learning Tool 22; pencils or crayons

Preparation: Prepare copies of 12 calendar pages, two for each month. You may use Learning Tool 22 in the Learning Tools Folder. Divide one set of calendar pages into four separate piles, with each pile having three consecutive months of the year, beginning with the first quarter of the year. Mix up each pile so that the months are not in consecutive order. Divide the class into four small groups. Give each group one pile of calendar pages.

Prerequisite Skills and Concepts: Children should be familiar with the names of the months of the year. They should have experience in sequencing and in using a picture to find information. They should also be familiar with ordinal numbers from first to fifth.

  • Say: Each group has three pages of the calendar for a year. What do you notice about the pages your group has?
    Have members of each group describe what they notice about their pages. Children should mention that each page is one month of the year and the months are not in order.
  • Say: I have a set of calendar pages for a year. Help me put these months in order.
    Hold up the set of pages for children to see.
  • Ask: What is the first month of the year?
    Children should say “January.” If they don't, tell them. Post the January page at the top left of the chalkboard.
  • Ask: What month comes after January?
    Elicit “February.”
    Continue in this manner until you have posted the months in order across the chalkboard, from left to right. Then call children's attention to the calendar copies they have in their groups.
  • Say: Each group has the pages for three months. Let's put the pages for your group's months in order.
    Ask three members of each group to hold one of their group's pages. Then ask the members to make a line so that the group's months are in order. Check that each group has ordered their months correctly.
  • Say: Each group's months are in order. Now let's put the pages for all the months in order.
    Ask the three members of each group to hold their group's pages. Then ask the members to make a line so that all the months are in order, beginning with January. Have the entire class work together until the line of children is in the correct order by month.
  • Say: Notice how important the order is in using the calendar. It helps us keep the months straight. We can name each day of the week in order, the names of the months in order, and the numbers, or dates, of the month in order.
  • Point to the calendar for the current month.Ask: Who can tell me today's date? Have children tell today's date, including the day of the week, the date, and the month. Write the date on the chalkboard.
  • Ask: What day of the week was the first day of this month? What day of the week is the last day of this month?
    Encourage volunteers to name these days. Continue working with children to identify and name other days in the current month.

    You might also have children identify days and dates in other months in the current year, such as their birthdays or holidays. Each school day, continue to refer children to the calendar when discussing upcoming projects or events.

Wrap-Up and Assessment Hints
Children will need much practice in using the calendar. Take the opportunity each week to look at the calendar in class and write the dates of upcoming school or class events on the calendar. Make sure that the class calendar is accessible to children at all times. Encourage children to keep copies of the calendar for the current month and to write their own important dates on the calendar whenever they wish.


Houghton Mifflin Math Grade K