Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Actual Size

Did you know that the atlas moth is so large that it is often mistaken for a bird?
Did you know that the eye of a giant squid is the size of a basketball?
Did you know that the Goliath frog is big enough to catch and eat birds and rats?
Neither did I until I read Actual Size by Steve Jenkins.

A nonfiction choice for young children, this book does not get bogged down in lengthy descriptions or boring text. The eye-popping cut paper collage work is enough to get any reader interested in the amazing animals showcased. Brief statistics are mentioned for each one (height, weight, length, etc.) on the double page spreads. In the back of the book, additional information is listed for the cast of characters, sure to inspire more investigation.

Math Extension Idea:
Measuring is a math skill. Let your child or group of children experiment with different types of measuring devices.
Materials: measuring tape, ruler, string with knots tied at 12" intervals, bathroom scales, paper, and pencil
Procedure: Choose some items around the house/classroom and write their name/draw a picture on the paper. Let your child use the different measuring devices to see how "big" the item is. Use the terms; height, weight, length, inches, feet, and pounds to introduce new vocabulary and record your measurements.
You can talk about what items are "bigger" than your child, and which items are "smaller". Older children can organize the items by size (largest to smallest, lightest to heaviest). They can convert number of feet to number of inches for more math practice.

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