Leap Year Lessons: Activities For Leap Day

Share:
My Leapin' Animal Book

I was surfing the net for Lessons on Leap Day and they were really hard to find if not pretty non-existent!

So I felt it was really worth my time to make a unit for this day.  I’ll be finishing it up this weekend and posting it.

What I thought would be fun would be for teachers to talk within their grade level, each choose a different activity to last a certain amount of time, and have students LEAP to a different class to do that activity.

To help get the wiggles out, they hop silently like bunnies, frogs, kangaroos etc. down the hall into the next kindergarten/first grade etc. classroom, to do another Leap Day activity.

I started doing research on animals that leaped, as I thought this would be really interesting for kids.

Wow! Did I learn a lot!

Most sources agreed that the highest leaper is the puma or mountain lion that can leap 5-6 times their height in a single bound, but when you compare the “contestants” in terms of their actual height that they can jump, relative to their body size, the tiny flea wins the gold medal!

For example, kangaroos are about 6 feet tall; they can jump 2 times their height, but fleas, can leap more than 130 times theirs!

This means if we would scale up a flea to our size, that would be like us jumping  halfway up the Empire State Building in New York!

How’s that for a Leap Day leap?

I tried to use words from the Dolch word list.

Students cut and glue the matching numbered pictures to the pages.

I also included a math extension where students tell which leaping animal was their favorite.  Teachers can graph the results.

The Leaping Animal Booklet and graph are fun activities to plug into your Leap Day.

I also wanted to find some YouTube videos for your little ones to watch to see all this leaping going on! Know that for everyone I find that's "Way Cool!" I view about 10 not so hot...

Here's the best of the best!

A University of Berkely study shot some high-speed video footage of leaping lizards, which supports a 40-year-old hypothesis about how theropod dinosaurs, like the velociraptors of Jurassic Park fame, adjusted the angle of their tails to stay stable when jumping.  Click on the link to view this awesome clip. Leaping Lizards clip for Leap Day Activity.

I'd never seen real kangaroo's jumping with their babies in their pouch.  Nice nature clip.  Click on the link to view Leaping Roo's   for Leap Day Activity.

No Leap Day would be complete without allowing students to play a little Leap Frog.  Why not let them get the wiggles out jumping over each other and then catch this cute clip of real frogs competing in the very serious frog jumping contest in Calaveras County. Too funny, and boy are those frogs huge!

Click on the link to view Leaping Frogs in the Frog Jumping Contest of Calaveras County.  Perfect for your Leap Day activities.

Finally, see a snake leap! I never heard of a leaping snake, but a video of a huge green one literally flying through the air as it leaps from one tree to the next in the jungle made a believer out of me.  Also shows a winged lizard leaping! Click on the link to view a leaping snake and lizard for your Leap Day lessons!

I hope you enjoy these Leap Day suggestions.  I know I found it interesting leaping around the internet discovering new "stuff" about critters that hop, jump and leap through out their day!

Be sure and pop in tomorrow for a Leap To .29 Cents Coin Game.