Diary of a Worm

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This is an activity based on the picture book Diary of a Worm

Achievement Objectives
GM2-1: Create and use appropriate units and devices to measure length, area, volume and capacity, weight (mass), turn (angle), temperature, and time.
GM2-2: Partition and/or combine like measures and communicate them, using numbers and units.
Specific Learning Outcomes
  • Students will be able to use the vocabulary associated with calendars to accurately talk about the duration and time between events.
  • Students will be able to read a calendar and express the time in standard units (day, week, month, year).
Description of Mathematics

Time can be expressed in a number of different units based on the day (1 revolution of the planet). Calendars are a device used to measure the year, dividing it into days, weeks and months. Calendars also are used to record events in the natural world such tides, lunar cycles and seasons.

Required Resource Materials
  • Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
  • Old calendars or copies of calendar templates
  • Felts of different colours

As Time Goes By
This activity is based on the picture book: Diary of a Worm

Author: Doreen Cronin
Illustrator: Harry Bliss
Publisher: Harper Collins (2003)
ISBN: 0-06-000150-X

A young worm records his observations and experiences in a diary over several months. His observations about his life and he expresses his thoughts about events that happen during the course of his life at school and at home with his family. It is a humorous worm’s eye view of the world.

Lesson Sequence:

  1. Prior to reading, explore your students’ understanding of time in the big units. Do they know the days of the week and the terms fortnight, month and season? Do they know the names of the months and how many days are in these units of month and week? What is a day? Is it always the same? Show a calendar and discuss how it is organised.
  2. Share the book with your students. As you read the story refer to the calendar shown earlier and ask:
    How many days have gone by since worm’s last entry in his diary? Include the vocabulary of yesterday, tomorrow, week, month.
  3. After reading, hand out calendars (these can be purchased at discount stores or be from previous years, or printed and copied from templates in Word) to small groups. Go back over the story calling out the dates in order and asking the group to find and circle each Worm Diary date in one colour.
    Ask students to take the calendars apart and staple them together end to end in order forming a long line from January to December. Discuss what they observe about the length of time the Worm’s Diary was kept? How many months, what fraction of the year?
  4. Ask students to get 4 different coloured felts and circle the date for the beginning and ending of each term in one colour. Then use this colour to run a line through the weeks of each term. Look at the year and make some observations.
    About how long is a term?
    Where is half way through the year?
    How many weeks are holidays?
    About how many weeks are in a year? How many days? 
    The calendars can then be folded up like accordions and can be brought out to discuss the fractions related to year.
  5. Calendar timelines can be used to explore the statistics of birthdates within the class or across the school as different colours are used for ages or genders.
    Can you find any trends about birthdates?
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Level Two