Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Elapsed Time with Scaredy Squirrel

Have you read about poor Scaredy Squirrel? He never leaves his nut tree. He's too scared of the unknown. So his daily schedule consists of:

"Wake up. Eat a nut. Look at view. Eat a nut. Look at view. Eat a nut. Look at view. Go to sleep."

Not a whole lot of excitement for that furry critter.

Then one day, in the most hilarious way, Scaredy Squirrel is forced into the unknown. He makes some changes in his life:

"Wake up. Eat a nut. Look at view. Jump into the unknown. Play dead. Return home. Eat a nut. Look at view. Eat a nut. Look at view. Go to sleep."

My 6 & 9yo kids have read this book with me over and over and over. We all LOVE IT. It's one of those books that tickles the adult funny bone just as much (or more) than it tickles the kids'.

I've always thought this book would make a great tool for considering elapsed time. Today I asked my 9yo to figure out how much time Scaredy Squirrel used for each daily activity on the old and new schedule. He then did a little comparison of how time was spent in each chart. We noticed that some of the time Scaredy Squirrel spent observing the world in schedule #1 was now spent experiencing the world in schedule #2.

I wouldn't hesitate to use this with any age, but it's especially valuable for 3rd & 4th graders who are exploring the Common Core State Standards involving time:

3.MD.1. Tell and write time to the nearest minute and measure time intervals in minutes. Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of time intervals in minutes, e.g., by representing the problem on a number line diagram.
4.MD.2. Use the four operations to solve word problems involving distances, intervals of time, liquid volumes, masses of objects, and money, including problems involving simple fractions or decimals, and problems that require expressing measurements given in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit. Represent measurement quantities using diagrams such as number line diagrams that feature a measurement scale.

Calculating elapsed time isn't scary. Try it!

Disclosure: If you purchase books through my Amazon links, all commissions go toward foster care through Grace and Hope at no additional cost to you. I do not keep any money myself; I am hoping to be able to sponsor an additional child in foster care through commissions on this site. Thank you!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Sue! I think your son would love doing this! :)

    2. I just added it to my book order (at Better World Books, you might be able to do something through them too). I'll let you know what he thinks.

  2. This is an awesome idea! I love Scaredy Squirrel and I hate teaching elapsed time, so this will totally help!! Pinned!

    The Teaching Thief

  3. Love Scaredy Squirrel. Thanks for the ideas.


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