Saturday, September 22, 2012

Teaching days of the week and months

In this post, I am going to write about some ways of introducing, practicing and revising the days of the week and months.


When it comes to this topic, normally, kids already have at least an oral basis aquired in the kindergarten. So, the main challenge is to teach them to write both the days of the week and the months. There are two songs that I find very useful while introducing or revising these two concepts:

1. ''What day is it today?'' you can find it in Islands 2, by Pearson.
2. ''I know the months of the year'' in Sprint 2, by Richmond

Both songs are really catchy and you can also use them as warm-up/restore the discipline songs for later on. If you can't get the first song, you can do it as a chant. It goes like this:

What day is it today?
It's Monday, It's Monday
Clap your hands for Monday!

Then, for the remaining days the song is the same, but the last line changes. And so:
Tuesday: stamp your feet for Tuesday
Wednesday: jump up and down for Wednesday
Thursday: hop up and down for Thursday
Friday: Say ''hurrah'' for Friday

Or, you can introduce your own action verbs, for example, the ones you've been working on in class.
There are many ways to work around this song. When the kids learn to sing it, you can ask them what day corresponds to which action.E.g.:
T: Hop up and down for.....

Or simply mime the action and kids have to say/write the corresponding day.

The second song taken from Sprint is very easy to learn. Children master it amazingly quickly. It teaches a good pronunciation as all the months are pronunced very clearly. I start all my classes with this song until children can sing it perfectly well.


1.  Pass that ball!
Ss pass a ball to their classmates (I think it's best done sitting to avoid too much chaos) and saying the following months of the year:
S1: January   S2: February  S3: March....etc
If a student makes a mistake or drops the ball, he/she doesn't participate in the next round. The last remaining person wins. 
Variation: if you see it's too easy for your pupils, you can intervene and say Ss have to say the months backwards every time you say: BACKWARDS (e.g. S1: January S2: December S3: November) you can also introduce a time limit.
TIP: Ss who are elimnated are asked to stand up or cross their arms. The latter option is better if the group is rather fidgety.

2. Organise a day of the week/month of the week duel.
T asks two Ss to come in front of the class and starts with a month of his/her choice (e.g. March). S1 continues: April, S2: May until one of them makes a mistake and is eliminated. In order to make it more challenging, you can require the Ss to go faster and faster or say the months backwards or...spell them.


- unscramble days of the week/months (a follow-up activtiy: Ss prepare their own ''scrambled'' examples, my kids love doing that!)
- for more advanced groups: Ss prepare a table in their notebook and write down what they do each day. Depending on your ss' level, you can write down some actions, such as: go to school, do my homework, etc
- wordsearch
- spelling dictation

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