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When is Easter This Year? Teach Children How to Calculate the Date
Children know the date of Halloween. There is no doubt for children as to when Christmas falls each year. Then there are holidays like Thanksgiving. It’s a little trickier being the fourth Thursday of every November. Even adults are perplexed when they have to choose between the fourth Thursday or the last Thursday in November. And Memorial Day is always the first Monday in September. But why does the date of Easter change every year and who decides the date?
This is an interesting question to ask children. Honestly, it’s been really hard to even find adults who know the answer to this question. Many will admit that they never even wondered why the date changed. Making a list of reasons for the date of Easter is a great activity to introduce the topic and understand any misconceptions children have about the concept. It is important to save this list so that it can be referenced at the end of the lesson.
A children’s book explains this mystery. (“The Easter Chick” by Geraldine Elschner) A little chick is determined to be born on Easter. This rallies the farm animals to determine when Easter will be. Of course, it’s the wise old owl who knows that Easter is always the first Sunday, after the first full moon, which follows the first day of spring.
This leads children to explore the cycles of the full moon for all the years to come. Given websites and specific years to study, kids can create a chart showing when Easter will be for the next ten years.
After finding these dates, bring the children together to brainstorm the initial list of reasons for determining the date of Easter.
Sending kids home to teach a concept to their parents always gets kids excited. Give them the answer to give when they are asked “What did you learn in school today?” will make every child proud. And, in this case, they will really be sharing something that most adults don’t already know!
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