Grade Levels: K-3

These classroom activities are designed to complement the Calendar and Dates topic on BrainPOP Jr.

What’s In a Name?

To help children remember the days of the week, discuss the origins of each name. It may be helpful for children who are familiar with a Romance language, such as Spanish, German, Italian, or French, to link the day names together. Sunday comes from the Latin dies solis, “sun’s day,” which is the name of a pagan Roman holiday. It is also called Dominica, and the words for Sunday across Romance languages, such as domingo (Spanish), sonntag (German), and dimanche (French) share the same origin. Monday comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for “moon’s day,” monandaeg. Tuesday was named after the Norse god Tyr. The Spanish word for Tuesday is martes, which was named after the Roman god of war, Mars. Wednesday was named after the Norse god, Wodan or Odin. The ancient Romans named it after the god Mercury, as in miércoles in Spanish. Thursday was named after the Norse god Thor. The ancient Romans named it after Jove or Jupiter, as in jueves in Spanish. Friday was named after the Norse goddess Frigg. The ancient Romans named it after the goddess Venus, as in viernes in Spanish. Saturday was named after the Roman god Saturn, as in sábado in Spanish.

Have students make fact cards for each day of the week. They can decorate their cards and write a description of the origins of the day’s name on the other side, or even write the name in different languages. Then they can use these fact cards to make their own calendars.

Class Calendar

Create a class wall-calendar together. Each month should have the name of the month and days, as well as the numbers. Also add the number of the month in the corner so students get accustomed to associating a number with the month without having to count off on their fingers. One easy way for children to figure out if a month has 30 or 31 days is by using their hands. Have children make two fists, with the fingers facing down. Bring the fists together so that the top knuckles align. Each knuckle represents 31 days and each divot between the knuckles represents 30 days. January represents the leftmost knuckle, which stands for 31 days. Students will have to remember that February follows its own rules. You will see that the right knuckle of the left hand and the left knuckle of the right hand are right next to each other. These knuckles represent July and August respectively, which each has 31 days.

Maintain the class calendar together, adding notes for important dates, such as quizzes, exams, assignments, and holidays. Children may also want to add their birthdays, and schedule a party for the summer birthdays.


Some languages share cognates with English. Cognates are words that have the same origin. For example, the Spanish word for calendar is calendario. Encourage students to research names for the days of the week and months in different languages. Have students who are bilingual share their words with the class. Then discuss how the words are alike and different from their English counterparts. If possible, write the words on the board so students can visualize how the words are similar.

Personal Calendar

Have students create their own calendars. Print out blank calendars from the BrainPOP Jr.’s activity page and have students fill in the month, names of the days, and the numbers. Students can decorate each page of the calendar with a scene that is related to the month. For example, a student may want to draw a snowman for the month of December or draw their own birthday party for the month that contains their birthday. Discuss different school holidays, such as spring break and winter vacation and add them to the calendar. Students can present their calendars to their families as gifts.