Friday, December 3, 2010

Big, Bigger, Biggest

I don't know about you, but my own kids have had trouble with size comparisons. Or at least they did early on. They've got it down by now. Seems easy: "A is bigger than B, therefore B is smaller than A". "This jacket is too big for me, but too small for mama." But inevitably they'd say the jacket was too small for me and too big for them, or get it mixed up somehow. So I decided to do a storytime on that. I brought a number of items from my house, each in 3 sizes. I brought spoons (teaspoon, soup spoon, serving spoon), whisks (small, medium, large), jeans (infant, child, and daddy's), and a few other things. The pants were the biggest hit, of course. But for each we figure out which was the biggest, which the smallest, and which in the middle.

I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry
The story of a giant squid (not an octopus, a squid) that goes around stating how he's bigger than this fish, he's bigger than that jellyfish, and then of course an enormous whale swallows him. But then he finds he's the biggest thing inside the whale... It's a good book and funny for the kids, I just wish they wouldn't just use "I'm bigger than..." all the time. An occasional "This ____ is smaller than me" would have been nice, since that's what I was working on with the kids this week.

Big, Bigger, Biggest by Nancy Coffelt
I read this book two different ways depending on the age of the kids. For the older ones, I read it how it was written - there are 3 animals in each set and each says a word and 3 synonyms to describe itself (The hippo is big, large, huge, jumbo; the orca is bigger, gigantic, immense, enormous; the dinosaur is biggest, mammoth, humongous, colossal.). For the younger ones, I just read the hippo as "big", the orca as "bigger" and the dinosaur as "biggest". And so on.

What Size? by Debbie MacKinnon
Each page in this book has a number of pictures and a question - "Which is the smallest car?", "What color is the narrowest line?". Nice to see different adjectives - instead of just big and small, they have wide and narrow, tall and short, thick and thin.

I'm the Best by Lucy Cousins
A dog finds that he's the best because he's bigger than Ladybug, swims better than Donkey, faster than Mole, and a better digger than Goose. But then his friends discover that actually, Mole is the best digger, Goose the best swimmer, Donkey is the biggest. But at the end, Dog has fluffy ears, so he's still the best. Good book about comparisons and also about bragging.

I couldn't come up with a great craft to go with this, so I put together a worksheet with different sizes of pictures (balls, stars, etc) and had the kids color them, then circle which item in each group was the biggest. Can't do something complex every week.

This theme was used the week of November 30, 2010.
Next week we'll be doing airplanes!

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