It’s About Time: Lessons for a Leap Year
By Bill Bliss and Steve Molinsky

It's a leap year, and it's about time! Have you ever wondered what the calendar and time-keeping would be like without February's quadrennial bonus day? How about the origins of February 29? And what happened in 1582 when many countries decided there were too many leap years?

Reading Practice with the Word by Word Lifeskills Workbooks

Your students can find the answers in readings contained in the Lifeskills Workbooks that accompany the Word by Word Picture Dictionary Program. These workbooks offer reading passages and comprehension exercises for all Picture Dictionary units. The reading activities reinforce vocabulary learning while preparing students for the types of reading assessments they will encounter in standardized tests.

Here’s a preview of the intermediate-level reading (PDF) about February 29 from the forthcoming Intermediate Lifeskills Workbook.

And here’s the beginning-level reading (PDF) on the same topic from the widely used Beginning Lifeskills Workbook.

As you can see, the same subject matter is presented in varying degrees of depth and language complexity at the two different levels. Designed for maximum flexibility, the workbooks can be used in separate homogeneous classes, or they can be used together in multi-level classes in which students at beginning and intermediate levels share combined language learning time with the Picture Dictionary and then branch off by level for classroom or at-home work with the workbook best suited for their language skills.

A February 29 Internet Search

As a fun enrichment activity on this theme, you might consider having your students use an Internet search engine to find answers to questions such as:

  • How and when do people who were born on February 29 celebrate their birthdays?

  • What are the different words used to describe a person who was born on February 29?

  • What famous people were born on February 29?

We hope your students enjoy using these reading activities, searching for information, and learning more about February 29.

Happy Leap Day!

(Publisher’s Note: The Word by Word Picture Dictionary Program offers a unique choice of workbooks at Beginning and Intermediate levels to meet students’ needs. The Lifeskills Workbooks featured in this article are standards-based and offer practice tied to national, state, and local curriculum frameworks. Vocabulary Workbooks feature motivating vocabulary, grammar, and listening practice. A Literacy Workbook is also available for students at pre-beginning levels.)