A Complete Lesson Plan on Understanding and Differentiating Historical Dates

Here is a complete lesson plan on understanding and differentiating historical dates which I have actually previously posted on Mark’s Text Terminal. While this is a social studies lesson on understanding how we use numbers to count and describe historical time, it has an ulterior literacy motive in that it seeks to help students, particularly the many English language learner I have served over the years.

We use two types of numbers when we talk about historical dates, ordinal and cardinal. Ordinal numbers are adjectives that, as their name indicates, place things in order. So, when we use terms like fourteenth century, fifteenth century, and so on, we are using ordinal numbers. Similarly, when we say, respectively, the 1300s, the 1400s, and so on, we are using cardinal numbers, which are nouns and which we use to count things. These two types of numbers are different in English just as they are different in other languages. Because I didn’t initially understand the difference between these kinds of numbers, I struggled to understand the numbering system in Russian when I studied that language.

For that reason, I wrote this context clues worksheet on the adjective ordinal and this on the noun phrase cardinal number. These worksheets aim to help students understand the difference between these two types of numbers and their use in English prose. This is knowledge that transfers across the curriculum–to foreign languages, English language arts, mathematics itself, and, yes, social studies.

Finally, here is the combined learning support and worksheet that is the gravamen of this lesson.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

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