Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How Big is a Giant's Foot?

Following our lesson on "How Big is a Foot?" we decided to consider slightly BIGGER feet...

We began by reading Jim and the Beanstalk, a slightly different version of the traditional Jack tale. Both boys enjoyed hearing about how Jim helped the giant by measuring him for new glasses, new teeth (!) and a new wig. We then continued with a little giant measuring of our own.

Using Math Learning Center's free lesson, "Measuring Length in Giant Feet," I constructed a giant foot and asked my son to compare the length of my foot from yesterday's lesson to the new giant foot. He determined that about 3 of my feet equaled one giant foot and told me that the giant foot was then about a yard long. (To access the free lesson, including blackline pdfs, go here and download "D2 Measurement: Length in U.S. Customary Units.") He lay a yardstick on the giant foot to confirm. He estimated, then measured, various things around our house (including his brothers!) in giant feet and recorded it on the record sheet (included in the lessons). Before I set him loose to measure, I asked him, "What kinds of things would be hard to measure with the giant's foot?" He replied, "Anything very small." So he looked for large things to measure.

As big brother was measuring with the giant foot, little brother (4) pulled out paper, traced his flip-flop, cut it out, and began doing measurements of his own. All his idea! So they measured a few things with the small feet as well, considering how different the results could be with different sized feet.

We ended with a reading of a 2-sided book with two points-of-view, Jack and the Beanstalk and the Beanstalk Incident. One side tells the story from the goose's p.o.v. (favoring the giant!) while the other side tells Jack's story in the traditional way.