One of our co-ops is starting a new theme on measurement. We often do very little to go along with our co-op themes. We might check out a few books from the library and we talk about what we’re learning about in the co-op, but otherwise, I haven’t been connecting it with other aspects of our schooling. However, this time around, I thought it might be a good chance to take a break (mostly) from our math curriculum and do a unit on measurement at home too. I bought the Math Mammoth blue series book on measurement. Here are the kids measuring their new books with paperclips and crayons. BalletBoy insisted that they all needed to be green crayons for some reason. Some of the content is a little too sophisticated for my first graders, but much of it will be a good little text for us to do as we explore the topic.
We also checked out an absurd pile of books on measurement from the library. Here are some highlights.
Measuring Penny by Loreen Leedy
As always, Loreen Leedy’s clever book leads the pack for measurement. This is a classic one. A girl measures her dog in every way she can imagine for a school project. It’s an inspiring sort of book in that it’s easy to use it as a jumping off point for measuring more things.
Room for Ripley and Super Sand Castle Saturday by Stuart J. Murphy
We found these two titles from Stuart J. Murphy’s MathStart series. They’re both good. In the first, volume is explored in simple terms as a boy fills up a bowl for a new fish. In the second, many kinds of measurements are explored as kids build sand castles.
How Tall How Short How Far Away by David A. Adler
This cheerfully drawn book gives a quick introduction to the history of measuring length, showing little pictures of Egyptians measuring with their arms to make cubits. After talking about what measurements we use today for length, it invites the reader to think about which ones are right for which tasks.
If Dogs Were Dinosaurs by David Schwartz
This book, along with its companion, If You Hopped Like a Frog, use excellent illustrations to show a comparison of sizes and lengths. This is a creative little book that’s short enough to be enjoyed by younger kids, but interesting enough to be enjoyed by adults. There’s no story, but each page is a thought provoking little summary.
How Fast Is It? by Ben Hillman
This book, with glossy photoshopped images, was full of fun facts comparing the speeds of different things. Each page had a different topic. It highlighted not only some of the fastest things, but also just compared some unexpected things like the speeds of swimming birds and flying fish.
Science Factory: Units and Measurements by Jon Richards
We checked out several measurement activity books, but all of them quickly went back to the library except this one. Almost all the projects in this book involve making your own measuring devices, such as an hourglass with two bottles and a balance out of a coat hanger. I want the kids to make a measuring wheel and measure the distance around our block.