Monday, 29 May 2017

A Calendar Puzzle

Here is a puzzle I made of the 2017 calendar.

It was something I had been thinking about for a while. I wasn't sure how it would go. So I put it together and left it for a relief teacher to use while I was away for the day.

It looks like this:

Each shape is a month. They are not in order. You need to cut them out and reassemble them in a long strip as the 2017 calendar. The colours are the seasons. I can probably send you a copy of the document if you are interested or you could make your own. 

My aim was to have a look at the way the months fit together and to show that time doesn't stop at the end of a month. In fact, these divisions and structures we place on time, like weeks and months, are pretty arbitrary. Even the seasons, which are observable in nature, do not necessarily conform to the months that we allocate to them. 

So when I got back to school, I sat down with the kids and asked them about the calendar. They showed me what they had done.

Nice work:

- found the months - tick
- recognised the seasons - tick
- completed the puzzle - tick

So what did they learn? I asked them to tell me what they saw:

Well, the month pieces fit so nicely together because there is no gap between the end of one and the start of the other.

All the months can't start on a Sunday for example because they are all different lengths.

Some months start on the same day of the week or finish on the same day as other months. March and November start on Wednesday.

Next year will start on a Monday.

Every day of the week gets to be the first day of at least one month.

The seasons were different colours. Summer starts in December so that is why it is red and so is January and February but they are not together.

And what questions did they have?

Will all years look like this?

Will there be a pattern of the days every year?

Are some years the same as other years?

How many different ways can you make a calendar?

Who invented the calendar?

Now we have some questions, I wonder who will take action?



  1. I would love a copy of this to do with my G1 class next August/September. Thank you for the idea.

  2. Absolutely love this idea. Brilliant way to develop reasoning skills and wonderful questions to explore. Am so happy you are back in the classroom and sharing your amazing ideas again Bruce :)

  3. Absolutely love this idea, Bruce. I am hoping to use this in week 9 this term. Thank you!

  4. I absolutely love this idea, Bruce and am looking forward to using it this term.


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