Science and Stories: Measuring

By Awnali Mills

Today was Science and Stories: Measuring.  We had stories about measuring, and size. The books I used were Actual Size by Steve Jenkins, Up, Tall and High by Ethan Long, and Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni.

In my magic bag I had a ruler.  The kids had absolutely no trouble telling me what a ruler was for, but were less than enthusiastic when I told them that we were going to be doing measuring science.  Juuust wait, little kiddies!

Our first book was Actual Size.  This was far and away the most popular book of the morning.  I started by asking which was bigger, a moth or a fish?  They assured me that fish are Most Definitely bigger.  Then, I showed them the first pictures in the book and all bets were off!  One child got to compare his head to a brown bear’s, another her teeth to a shark’s teeth, and yet another her foot to an elephant’s foot.  They were absolutely engaged the entire time.

Then I did Little Mouse, Little Mouse, emphasizing “little mouse” and “big house.”  Little Mouse is always a crowd pleaser.

We then read Up, Tall and High.  They enjoyed the book and liked predicting what would happen.

Next was the flannel story Herman the Worm.  The more Herman eats, the bigger he gets until BURP!  Then he’s little again!

We some big, little and wide stretches to loosen us up, then into Inch by Inch.  I thought this would be a good intro into the measuring segment.  If I had to do it again, though, I might try switching Actual Size and Inch by Inch in the line-up.

I had five stations for the children to explore:

Kids took strips of ROY G BIV colored construction paper and then cut them to size:

Red = 11”, Orange = 10”, Yellow = 9”, Green = 8”, Blue = 7”, Indigo = 6”, and Violet = 5”

Then stack all of the strips of paper together in ROY G BIV order with red on top.  Next, align and staple the aligned end together.  Bend and align the other end and staple to form a rainbow!  Rulers were available for measuring the paper.  Don’t be like me and forget the scissors. 🙂

1. Things Around You

Suggestions for measuring were tables, chairs, the room, a book, and a stool (basically, stuff in the library.)  Regular rulers, yardsticks, and two surveyor’s tape measures were at this station.

1. Triceratops

I taped a printout of a triceratops footprint to the floor so that kids could measure it and compare it to their own feet.  There were regular rulers here.

4.  Measuring Height

At this station, suggestions were: “How big are you?” “How big is your adult?” “Who is bigger?” “What if you combined your height with your brother or sister’s?  Would that be the same size as your adult?”  Yardsticks and regular rulers were here.

1. Comparing Parts