Learning the Order of Months

Learning the Order of Months

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A month is a collection of approximately 30 days.

There are 12 months in a year.

order of the months

  • A month is a collection of approximately 30 days
  • The names of the 12 months of the year in order are:

  1. January – 31 days
  2. February – 28 days (29 days on a leap year)
  3. March – 31 days
  4. April – 30 days
  5. May – 31 days
  6. June – 30 days
  7. July – 31 days
  8. August – 31 days
  9. September – 30 days
  10. October – 31 days
  11. November – 30 days
  12. December – 31 days

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The names of the 12 months in order are January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December.

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Order of the Months Flashcards

Which month is missing? Click on the question flashcard to reveal the answer.

Click on the answer to generate a new question.

Learning the Order of the Months

Teaching and learning the order of the first 6 months of the year by finding the missing month. The missing month is may.

  • To learn the order of the months of the year, learn 6 months at a time.
  • These 6 months are the first half of the year.
  • Which month is missing, after April and before June?
  • It is May, the fifth month of the year.

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Printable Months of the Year Cards

Learning the Order of the 12 Months of the Year

What is a Month?

A month is a collection of approximately 30 days. Months were originally chosen from the period of time it takes for the moon to orbit the earth. There are 12 months in a year.

The moon takes about 29.5 days to fully orbit the earth. Therefore each month is chosen to last approximately 30 days.

The 4 months of April, June, September and November all have 30 days.

The 7 months of January, March, May, July, August, October and December all have 31 days.

February is the only month that has 28 days. It has 29 days on a leap year (every 4 years). Every year that is a multiple of 4 contains an extra day: February 29th.

A month is approximately 4 and a half weeks long. We can see this in the image below.

a month is 30 days long

List of the Months in Order

The names of the 12 months in order are:

  1. January – 31 days
  2. February – 28 days (29 days on a leap year)
  3. March – 31 days
  4. April – 30 days
  5. May – 31 days
  6. June – 30 days
  7. July – 31 days
  8. August – 31 days
  9. September – 30 days
  10. October – 31 days
  11. November – 30 days
  12. December – 31 days

January is the first month of the year and January 1st is known as new year’s day.

December the final month of the year and December 31st is known as new year’s eve.

At midnight on December 31st the year ends and a new year begins with January 1st.

The animation below shows the months in order.

List showing the order of the 12 months of the year

How to Remember the Months of the Year

To remember the months of the year, use the the rhyme ’30 Days Hath September’ or use the knuckle trick. It also helps to use posters and to ask questions such as, “Which month comes next?” or, “Which month is missing?” from a list. It also helps to remember which months are associated with memorable holidays and birthdays.

Rhyme to Remember the Order of the Months

30 days hath September, April, June and November. All the rest have 31, except February alone. That has 28 days clear and 29 in each leap year.

rhyme to remember the number of days in each month

This rhyme helps us to memorise how many days are in each month. Quickly say the rhyme to find how many days there are in a particular month.

Firstly decide if the month you need is either September, April, July or November. If it is then it has 31 days.

If the month is February, then it has 28 days or 29 days on a leap year.

If the month is none of these months so far, it has 30 days.

The Knuckle Trick For Learning the Months

Place your closed fists forward knuckle side up. Each knuckle represents a month with 31 days and each gap between the knuckles is a month with 30 days (28/29 days for February). Start with the little finger knuckle of the left fist as January and move right through the months, continuing on from July at the end of the left fist to August on the left knuckle of the right fist.

the knuckle trick for learning the months

Use our free downloadable and printable set of cards above, with the names of the 12 months on.

When teaching the months of the year, it is important to be familiar with the names before considering the order in too much detail.

Having the names printed out can allow you to move them around as you follow through the video lesson above and you can talk through the order of the months with your child.

Two copies of the months cards can be printed off and you can play snap with the cards to memorise the order of the months.

Generally having the months on display is useful and it is worth referring to a calendar and asking things such as, “What month is it?”, “What month were you born in?” to familiarise your child with the names.

However, to memorise the order of the months more quickly, it can be useful to test your child on small chunks of the year. Splitting the year into two halves or 4 quarters can help to chunk this memorisation up.

We will look at the 6 months in each half of the year, starting with the first 6 months from January to June.

What month is missing below?

January is the first month of the year It is January, the first month of the year.

Can you think of anything that happens in January?

New Year’s Day is in January.

It is helpful to link events, holidays or birthdays to each month to help remember them.

Which month is missing below?

May is the fifth month of the year

It is May.

Here are some examples from the second half of the year, starting in July and ending in December.

Which is the month missing below?

December is the last month of the year

It is December, the last month of the year.

Christmas is in December.

Which month is missing below?

September is the 9th month of the year

It is September, the ninth month of the year.

Months that have 30 Days

The 4 months that contain exactly 30 days are September, April, June and November.

Months that have 31 days

The 7 months that contain exactly 31 days are January, March, May, July, August, October and December.

What is a Leap Year?

A leap year contains 366 days compared to a normal year which contains 365 days. Leap years occur every 4 years. On these years, an extra day is added on February 29th.

A year is a leap year if the number made from its last two digits is divisible by 4. If the last two digits are 00, then it is only a leap year if the number made by the first two digits is divisible by 4.

For example:

The year 2020 has a final two digits of 20. 20 is divisible by 4 and so, 2020 is a leap year.

The year 1988 has a final two digits of 88. 88 is divisible by 4 and so, 1988 is a leap year.

The year 2014 has a final two digits of 14. 14 is not divisible by 4 and so, 2014 is not a leap year.

The year 2002 has a final two digits of 02. 2 is not divisible by 4 and so, 2002 is not a leap year. The year 1900 has a final two digits of 00. In this case, we look at the first two digits of 19. 19 is not divisible by 4 and so, 1900 is not a leap year.

Learning Each Month

order of the months

January

January is the first month of the year. It is named after the Roman god of beginnings, Janus. It contains 31 days, with the 1st of January called New Year’s Day.

Australia day is celebrated on the 26th January.

Chinese New Year sometimes falls in January.

January is the second month of winter in the northern hemisphere.

February

February is the second month of the year. It is named after the Roman purification festival of Februa. February contains 28 days but this increases to 29 days on a leap year. This extra day on the 29th February is called a leap day.

14th February is Valentine’s day.

Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday often take place in February.

Chinese New Year sometimes falls in February.

February is the final month of winter in the northern hemisphere.

March

March is the third month of the year. It is named after the Roman god of war, Mars. March contains 31 days.

Easter is sometimes takes place in March. Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday may also take place in March.

March is the first month of spring in the northern hemisphere.

April

April is the fourth month of the year. This month is named after the Roman month Aprilis. April contains 30 days.

The first of April is April Fool’s day. Easter is often celebrated in April.

April is the second month of spring in the northern hemisphere.

May

May is the fifth month of the year. It is named after the Roman god of fertility, Maia. May contains 31 days.

The first of May is May day. The last Monday in May is Memorial day.

May is the final month of spring in the northern hemisphere.

June

June is the sixth month of the year. It is named after the Roman god of women, Juno. June contains 30 days.

June is the first month of summer in the northern hemisphere.

July

July is the seventh month of the year. It is named after the Roman leader, Julius Caesar. July contains 31 days. The first of July is Canada day and the 4th July is American Independence Day.

July is the second month of summer in the northern hemisphere.

August

August is the eighth month of the year. It is named after the Roman Emperor, Augustus. August contains 31 days.

August is the final month of summer in the northern hemisphere.

September

September is the ninth month of the year. It is called September because sept means seven in Latin and this month was originally the seventh month in the Roman calendar. September contains 30 days.

Children in England return to school in September.

The first Monday in September is Labor day in the USA.

September is the first month of autumn in the northern hemisphere.

October

October is the tenth month of the year. It is called October because oct means eight in Latin and this month was originally the eighth month in the Roman calendar. October contains 31 days, with October 31st being Halloween. The festival of Diwali sometimes falls in October.

October is the second month of autumn in the northern hemisphere.

November

November is the eleventh month of the year. It is called November because nove means nine in Latin and this month was originally the ninth month in the Roman calendar. November contains 30 days.

The first of November is called All Saint’s Day.

The fifth of November is Bonfire Night in England.

The festival of Diwali sometimes falls in November.

American elections take place in November. The fourth Thursday of November is Thanksgiving in the USA.

November is the final month of autumn in the northern hemisphere.

December

December is the twelfth month of the year. It is called December because dec is Latin for ten and this month was originally the tenth month in the Roman calendar. December contains 31 days.

The 24th December is Christmas Eve, the 25th December is Christmas day and the 26th December is Boxing day.

The 31st December is New Year’s Eve.

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Now try our lesson on Telling Time: Reading Hours (o’clock) on an Analogue Clock where we learn how to tell the time to the nearest hour.