Leap Year 2024 Activities and Ideas for Upper Elementary

5 Leap Year Activities and ideas for Upper Elementary 2024

Here we are in 2024, and it is a Leap Year!

Leap Year 2024 is so exciting for the kids to learn about, especially our upper elementary students! They are old enough to understand that an extra day in February breaks the calendar rules that they thought they knew! They are also old enough to understand the science behind this special day that occurs only once every four years...with exceptions!

Since you have one chance this year to celebrate and bring learning about Leap Year into your classroom, try these ideas and grab the free resource, too! They will instantly engage your students and have them critically thinking about this unique global event.

1. Build Background Knowledge!

free leap year videos for upper elementary

Leap Year is a tricky concept! 

Kick off your Leap Year learning by watching one of these kid-friendly videos to build background knowledge for your students. Of course, watching one video is not enough for students to truly understand why we have Leap Years, but it is a great starting point and easy to sneak in during snack or after recess! Have your students take notes about the video to hold them accountable and to help them easily compare different videos. Grab the free Leap Year notetaking pages HERE.

Try one of these:

*As with any video that you show your students, please preview these videos to ensure they are appropriate for your cohort of students!

2. Dive into the History and Science!

leap year reading passages for upper elementary

Put your students' reading comprehension skills to work with reading about Leap Year. These reading passages tie together all of the important reading comprehension skills that students need with the history and science of this special day that occurs every four years!

Included in this set are three passages about Leap Year. Try this! Break your students up into three groups. Have each group read one of the passages, take notes, and create a quick presentation for the class. Engage them by giving them a piece of chart paper and markers to create a visual aid for their presentation. When students are all done, have each group present to the class. Now, each student will learn the information from each passage through their peers!

3. Get Creative!

leap year coloring pages for upper elementary

Lately, the kids are loving creative, art-inspired activities over tech-focused tasks...and I am loving it! Lean into their art and creative interests with activities designed to get them thinking critically!


Try this...

  • Have your students think about four years into the future! How old will they be? What grade will they be in? What interests will they still have? What types of shows would they like?
  • Have your students think about four years ago! How old were they? What grade were they in? What interests did they have? What was their favorite show? 
  • Have your students take these ideas and create illustrations and short paragraphs about their Leap Year past and future! They come out adorable and are perfect to display on a Leap Year bulletin board.

You can also use Leap Year themed color-by-number pages, doodle thinkers, and open-ended posters to celebrate Leap Year all week! 

4. Get Up and Move!

free leap year math activity upper elementary

This activity is a fun one! 

Grab some measuring sticks or tape and have your students start leaping to see who can leap the furthest in your class! It is easy to do. 

Here is how I have done this activity...

  • Mark a starting line for students to jump from. If you are outside, you can use chalk; if you are inside, you can use blue painter's tape.
  • Enlist the help of the students to mark off different foot increments. Again, use chalk or blue tape. We have marked up to five feet. So after every foot, leave a mark.
  • Have students predict how far they think they will jump before they jump.
  • Have students work in pairs, taking turns being the jumper and the recorder.
  • If space allows, you can have each pair of students create their own leaping area to reinforce measuring skills. If not, you can have students rotate through the one leaping area you create.
  • You can use the recording sheet I use HERE, or just have your students create grids in their notebooks.

Grab the free Leap Year math leaping page HERE.

5. Make a Time Capsule!

No fancy paper needed for this one! Grab some lined paper and plain white paper and have your students get writing their their future self. I love keeping this one simple so that students use their own handwriting and their own ideas to create illustrations. When students write their letters, I allow them to include what they want. These will be private letters just for them to open during the next Leap Year. 

If you want to give your students some ideas or prompts, use these ideas...

  • what is going on in your life right now...grade, teacher, friends, hobbies
  • one of your favorite memories
  • something important to you right now
  • advice you would give yourself 

No matter how you celebrate, your upper elementary students will love learning about Leap Year!

The science and history of this rule-breaking day will surely be a true highlight of their learning for 2024. Build background knowledge, get reading, allow creativity, leap down the hall during math, and have your students write that time capsule letter to themselves for 2028. With all of these activities and resources, Leap Year becomes more than just a rare occurrence - it becomes a memorable educational journey for our upper elementary students that sparks curiosity and critical thinking!

Happy 2024 Leap Year!

You will also love to read:

Grab the No Prep Leap Year Pack HERE.


leap year activities 3rd 4th 5th graders

Love these ideas? Pin to save!

leap year 2024 fun for 3rd 4th 5th graders

*affiliate links: “Think Grow Giggle is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.” (source: Section 5)


No comments

Back to Top