Saturday, April 13, 2024

# Teaching Ideas for Leap Day

0 comment
Ages: 5-11

Celebrate Leap Day (February 29th) with this enormous collection of ideas for your classroom!

You can download a free pack of Leap Day resources from our other site, Teaching Packs. Download them now.

## English:

• Encourage students to create imaginative stories about magical leaps, time travel, or leaping animals.
• Write leap year-themed poems using creative metaphors and rhymes.
• Design some leap year themed bookmarks or book covers.
• Write a diary entry about some unusual events that took place on Leap Day.
• Find and define words that start with “L-E-A-P.”
• Make a list of synonyms for the word ‘LEAP’. Can you write a sentence that includes each one?
• Read folktales or myths from different cultures about Leap Year or extra days.
• Write a story about a time machine that travels to February 29th in different years.
• Write a persuasive letter to the editor of a newspaper arguing for or against the existence of leap year.
• Research a famous person who was born on February 29th and give a presentation about their life.

## Maths:

• Explore the concept of leap years and how they affect our calendars. Calculate the number of days in a leap year. How many days are there in each month? Can you learn any special tricks or mnemonics to help you remember them? Here is a song that you can sing:

• Design a game in which players have to answer Maths questions to ‘leap’ forward on the game board.
• Calculate leap years (every four years except century years that aren’t divisible by 400). When is the next leap year? What are the next 20 leap years?
• Design a leap year calendar.
• Practice skip counting by 4s.
• Make up some Leap Day themed word problems (based around the numbers 4, 29 and 366) to test your friends (e.g., if you leap every 4 seconds, how many leaps in a minute?)
• Work out the total number of Leap Days a person has experienced based on their age.
• Calculate how many leap years there have been since the year 1.
• Figure out how many days you are older than someone who was born on the same day as you in a non-leap year.
• If the last two digits of a number are 00, OR they are a number that is a multiple of 4 (such as 12 or 24), the number is exactly divisible by 4. This is the divisibility of 4 rule. Use dice, cards or a number generator to generate some 3, 4 or 5-digit numbers. Use the rule to work out if they are divisible by 4, then check by dividing them by 4.

## Science:

• Investigate gravity and its impact on leaping. Measure how high different objects can leap (or bounce).
• Learn about frogs and their remarkable leaps. Create a life cycle diagram.
• Learn about the earth’s rotation and revolution and why we have leap years.
• Experiment with shadows throughout the day to observe the Earth’s rotation.
• Create a simple water cycle to explain how nature also follows cycles, similar to leap years.

## Computing:

• Create a presentation to teach others about leap years and leap days.
• Create a digital Leap Year quiz or trivia game.
• Use coding to make a simple animation explaining the Leap Year.
• Create an animation that illustrates the Earth’s orbit.
• Create a spreadsheet that uses a formula to check whether a year is (or was) a leap year or not.

## Design Technology:

• Build simple paper rockets and launch them to see how high they can ‘leap’.
• Use origami to make a leaping frog.
• Design personalised Leap Year calendars with fun illustrations.
• Make party hats, masks or costumes with a leap year theme.
• Build a model of the solar system to demonstrate how the Earth’s orbit affects the calendar.
• Design a device that could help you leap or jump higher.
• Design and build a time capsule to be opened on the next Leap Day.
• Create a model of a sundial or other device that can be used to track the passage of time.

## Art:

• Design frog or kangaroo masks to wear during the celebration.
• Design leap year party cards.
• Create a class mural showing the Earth’s orbit.
• Create Leap Day time capsules with drawings and letters to open on the next Leap Day.
• Design and craft leap year greeting cards.
• Design a poster or banner to celebrate Leap Day.
• Make a comic strip or storyboard about a character who experiences a leap year birthday.
• Build a sculpture or model that incorporates the number 4 (leap years occur every 4 years).
• Look at the work of sculptor Augusta Savage, who was born on 29th February 1892.

## Music:

• Write a catchy Leap Day song together. Sing and perform it.
• Sing songs about months, days and years. Here is one example:

• Learn and perform songs that involve jumping or leaping.
• Create four beat rhythms by using body percussion or percussion instruments. Record your rhythm on a grid or musical stave.
• Listen to some famous music that uses 4 beats to a bar (4/4 time), and encourage the children to clap along with the rhythm. This page has lots of ideas for music you could use.

## Geography:

• Explore different countries and cultures that celebrate Leap Day. Mark them on a world map.
• Discuss time zones and how Leap Day affects timekeeping globally.
• Design a flag or symbol to represent leap year.
• Find out which local calendars are in use in different parts of the world.

## History:

• Create a timeline of important events that have happened on February 29th.
• Write a biography of a famous person who was born on February 29th.
• Discover historical leap year traditions.
• Learn about Julius Caesar and the Julian calendar.
• Research how calendars have changed over time.

## Physical Education:

• Organise a relay race where students take giant leaps.
• Practice yoga poses inspired by leaping animals.
• Have a leap day Olympic games.
• Host a “leap” competition, seeing who can leap the farthest or highest.
• Organise a relay race with leapfrog as one of the challenges.
• Create a Leap Day dance routine focusing on leaping and jumping movements.
• Create a physical activity routine that incorporates the number 4 (leap years occur every 4 years).

## PSHE:

• Discuss acts of kindness and encourage students to perform small leaps of kindness throughout the day.
• Encourage students to set personal goals they wish to achieve by the next Leap Day.
• Discuss the concept of patience and waiting, relating it to the four-year wait for a Leap Day.
• Reflect on growth and changes in themselves since the last Leap Day and what changes they anticipate by the next one.
• Discuss the concept of fairness and equality in relation to leap year birthdays. If you are born on 29th February, when should you celebrate your birthday in non-leap years?
• Reflect on the importance of time and how we use it in our lives.