Learning the names of the days of the week is a basic skill that all young children should learn. Since the most effective teaching methods incorporate fun, play and social interaction, involving the children in the learning process is a valuable learning strategy. Here are some practical, easily-implemented ideas for the day care, pre-kindergarten, or kindergarten classroom.
Place a large, colorful calendar for the current month on the bulletin board. Every morning a child will take a turn announcing the date to their classmates. “Today is Monday, June the first and it is sunny.” He may then make a crayon drawing of a sun (or other appropriate symbol) on the specific space. This familiarizes the children with the names of the days of the week and their natural order.
There are nursery rhymes which can be taught as choral speaking to teach the names of the days of the weeks. For instance: “Sneezing” or “Solomon Grundy”.
If you sneeze on Monday, you sneeze for danger;
Sneeze on a Tuesday, kiss a stranger;
Sneeze on a Wednesday, sneeze for a letter;
Sneeze on a Thursday, something better.
Sneeze on a Friday, sneeze for sorrow;
Sneeze on a Saturday, joy to-morrow.
Born on a Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday.
This is the end
Of Solomon Grundy.
These rhymes could also be used for skipping jingles, bouncing ball or hand-clapping activities.
Divide the class into five groups (by rows, or tables, or randomly). Each group gets to do a special activity on their day. For example, Group One has “Show and Tell” every Monday, Group Two every Tuesday, etc. Rotate the groups at the beginning of each month. The children soon learn which is their “special” day. Saturday and Sunday, which are holidays, are absorbed even more quickly.
Make up two sets of flashcards with the names of the days of the week printed on them. Select two teams of seven children each. Arrange the teams so that they are facing each other. Give each child on each team a flashcard containing the name of a weekday. Whichever team can arrange itself in the proper order first, wins the game. Continue until everyone has had a turn to be on a team.
Incidental references to the calendar throughout the school year can do much to consolidate the names of the weekdays in the children’s minds. “How many Mondays until Christmas?” or “How many Fridays until the summer holidays?” are questions everyone will be anxious to answer.
With a little forethought and planning on the part of the teacher or early-childhood worker, every child will easily learn the names of the days of the week. Together with discussions and activities that occur naturally at home, the youngsters will soon master this skill, and be ready to progress to more complicated educational concepts.