Conducting the Activity
Take what follows as a suggestion. Feel free to modify it in any way
you think appropriate given the group with which you work.
- Do the warm-up for this activity with the first event on your
- List all of the events from your list on the board.
- Ask students to take out a sheet of paper.
- Tell them to imagine that a yearly calendar represents whatever time span you have
specified for this activity.
- That being the case, ask them to try to figure out on which days the events on the board
would fall. Urge them to concentrate on the process for determining the days. Give
them 5 minutes to do so; and to write out the days they've decided on, and how they
determined them. Ask them to keep these papers (which reflect their initial
thoughts) for use at the end of the activity.
- Break the class into groups no larger than 5 each.
- Instruct each group to try to reach a consensus on the days, and the process for
determining them. Give the groups 15 minutes to complete their work.
- At the end of the 15 minute period, form one class group again.
- Have a representative from each group report the group's results.
- Lead a discussion where the class attempts to form a consensus on where the events would
- Do the warm-up with the second event from your list.
- Recap the group consensus arrived at on Day 1.
- Announce that you are going to work with the first event on the list.
- Show students the first 5 steps of the process I've provided
for determining placements on the 365 day calendar.
- If students did not discern it on Day 1, identify how long ago the event you are working
- As a group, work through the steps to find the "correct" day of the year for
the event you chose.
- Give each student a copy of the 365 day calendar you copied for this activity.
- Assign a one character symbol for the event with which you've been working.
- Have students write it in the appropriate box on their calendar.
- Ask students to keep the calendar handy, as they will be using it again.
- Assignment: Using the event from today's warm up, apply the 5 steps they've gone over to
calculate the "date" on which this event would appear.
- Do the warm-up with an event from your list that you have not
- Go over the assignment from Day 2. When finished, have your students place the 1
character symbol you've decided on for its event on their
365 day calendars.
- If you want students to calculate the time of day that events occurred, show them steps
VI-IX of the process. Apply them to the two events
students now have on their calendars.
- Present the remaining events on your list. Unless you want your students to
research them, be sure they have the # of years ago each occurred.
- Assignment: Using the remaining events on your list, have students calculate the days
each would appear on the calendar. If you showed them how to calculate the time of
day, have them calculate that too.
- Review the assignment from Day 3.
- Assign 1 character symbols for each of the events students worked with on it.
- Have students place the symbols in the appropriate spots on their calendars.
- Ask students to take out the original papers on which they noted their first thoughts on
these events (Day 1, # 5).
- how the final calendar differs from students' "guesses" on Day 1
- what this activity tells us about our perception of the relative location of events in
- how much time an average person's life span in the U.S. (75.7 years in 1994) would fill
on the calendar
- any questions students have after participating in this activity
- whatever you feel necessary to make the points you want to make with this activity
return to the Putting Time In Perspective page
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classroomtools.com. All Rights Reserved.
original web posting: Wednesday, September 9, 1998
Tuesday, March 16, 2004