Mrs. Robinson is a 2nd grade teacher. She has a student named Jack who has only had two birthdays. How can that be?
Jack’s birthday is February 29. But wait, doesn’t February have 28 days? Yes it does, but Jack was born in 2008 and February had 29 days because it was a Leap Year. What is a leap year?
Every four years, a day is added to the calendar. It happens in a Leap Year. So every four years there is a year with 366 days instead of the usual 365. Why is that?
The idea of a Leap Year began so that our seasons were in line with the earth’s rotation around the sun. It takes 365 and ¼ days for the Earth to travel around the Sun in one year. We know that a typical year has 365 days in it—but as you can see from the number 365 ¼, a year is not exactly 365 days! So, in order to get “lined up”, every four years we have one extra day to account for the additional time the Earth takes to travel around the Sun.
Leap Years have 366 days so a day is added to the calendar in a Leap Year at the end of February. So February 29 is known as Leap Day!
And so begins the introduction to my Leap Day / Leap Year No Prep Literacy and Math Activity Packet!
I know this is a Leap Year because my father-in-law has his birthday on Feb. 29. He turns 68 this year, but it’s only the 17th time he has celebrated on his actual birthday. Four years ago was fun because it was his 16th – and we got him “Sweet 16” cards, banners and balloons – and a blown-up drivers license. It was a riot!
Since I have been putting together these activity packets, during Christmas break I started the Leap Day packet. After the intro (which I wrote two differentiated versions of), I did some research on the history of Leap Day and how it came about – pretty interesting stuff, so I’ve got a piece in the packet about that. I also added my favorite “30 Days Hath September” saying – I still use it to this day to remember which months have 31 days and which months have 30!
I put together some Leap Day writing prompts, a secret code, and then a Word Search. I ended the literacy section with an ABC Order activity, Words and Sentences, and a Leap Day Acrostic Poem.
For the math activities, I started with the years that are Leap Years, and played off the number four (my favorite number, by the way), and the rules about when there are actual leap years. I didn’t realize that it isn’t every four years after all, because we have to skip some of the years (like 1900 was not a leap year, even though it falls on the 4-year increments). The next time we skip a leap year on a 4th year is for the year 2100!
I also added some fun math problems around the leap year theme, and then some frog skip-counting sheets, some word problems, and some dot-to-dots, ending with a frog maze and KWL grid. It was a fun product to make – I hope you buy it and enjoy using it!
Here’s a direct link to the product in my Teachers Pay Teachers store:
Cheers, and Happy Leap Day!