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!
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