Monday, February 28, 2011

Millions To Measure Measuring Fun

This month, for math, the boys and I are tackling a wide range of measurement fun. Today we read through this really fun book, Millions To Measure. It's a really fun book that covers the topic of measurement from "prehistoric" time to present.

The book covers the problem with the original forms of measurement, which my guys found really funny. I'm sure the funny voices (slightly cold/congestion induced on my part) helped. It works it's way up from using one's foot to using a standard foot size, and moved up to how the metric system  became.

I love that this book spent half it's time discussing the imperial system and the other half discussing the metric system. We use both forms of measurement in our home so none of these words & terms were foreign to my children.

The idea, for us, is to focus in on the metric system for now. So I whipped up a few notebooking pages Morgan to record what we read about. The blank line on the above notebooking page is for a quick timeline based on the history of measurement. Not because it's super important to me that he knows this, but the book covered this topic loosely and he couldn't stop chattering about it!

More room for recording the fun and important stuff that we learned. Again, it's not super important to me that he knows who's credited with starting it but since we covered it he'll want to record it. He loves gathering up all sorts of tiny tidbits of information.

The book didn't just cover things like inches and centimetres, it also covered quarts, pints, litres, and millilitres.  So this opened up a perfect opportunity to tackle those measurements as well. Mind you, my boys help me shop and cook so they do know a good deal about navigating these waters. In fact, I sent them off to measure some grapes in the grocery and found them trying to measure a helium filled balloon, much to the delight of several customers who were watching the boys many theories on how they could hold it down on the scale and still get an accurate weight. The lesson that followed, on gasses, was completely lost in a load of boyish laughter.

The idea here is for them to cover how much of each item is in the bigger. Did that make any sense at all? Hopefully it did to someone!  And no, we don't always do all these notebooking pages at one time. We fill them in as we go to help cement the lesson as we move along.

A few additional activities we might do based off this book would include using their own feet to measure the same things. While I think they all ready understand why it was a poor idea, I think it will help them also see the humour in it a bit more.  There was also a reference to stones for measurement in the book (another term my children are reasonably familiar in hearing because their grandparent with English heritage still uses the term from time to time) where two people used the same amount of stones but measured completely different things. (Hog & Hippo) I think it would be an interesting experiment because rocks vary so much in size. I'm just not sure I'm willing to drag the kitchen or bathroom scale down to the beach, the nearest rocky area to us!

We have a lot more really fun measurement activities ahead. The boys are dying to know why I pulled a copy of Jack & The Bean Stalk and told them not to run off with it because it's for math.. Yep. Really.

If your'e after the notebooking pages you can find them here. You can find a more imperial version here courtesy of Scholastic.

1 comment:

Diana said...

I remember reading this book to Bug a year or so ago. I bet it would make a bigger impact now. I'll have to check it out again the next time we hit some type of measurement in his math curriculum. It is fun to change it up a bit!