Thursday, November 20, 2008

Literacy Thursdays

Todays pick is Inch by Inch written by Leo Lionni. You may know another one of his books, Swimmy, but Inch by Inch caught my attention today. This author/illustrator reminds me of Eric Carle but most of Leo's have a better story line.

This tale begins with a hungry robin who sees the inch worm and wants to gobble him up. But the inch worm claims usefulness and pleads his case showing him that the robin's tail is 5 inches long. The robin then takes him to other birds who would like to be measured--the flamingo's neck, the toucan's beak, the heron's legs, the pheasant's tail and the whole hummingbird. Finally, the inch worm meets the nightingale who would like her song measured. The inch worm says he will "try" but actually sneaks off. The musician in me would like to change the story and have the inch worm actually measure the measures of the nightengale's song, but I guess that is easier said than done in a picture book.

Cavett and I re-read this story a couple of nights ago as a bed time story. Now that he is getting older, I am finding new ways to discuss the events. He is really into the measuring tape. Some days he goes around the house and just "pretends" to measure everything. (He's 38 1/2" right now by the way.) So, the other night we actually took his fingers and measured the inch worm and used that distance and measured each of the birds parts for ourselves. Cavett then compared each of the measurements to see where on the spectrum of length each bird belonged. It's a great math lesson.

I also found a really cool website featuring other works for Lionni and sample lessons in all subjects for each book. Maybe next week when Cavett is out of school we will try the Earthworm Terrarium! There are also some interesting facts on the site about earthworms. For instance, did you know that there are over a million earthworms in just one acre of soil. Together, these worms can eat 10 tons of leaves, stems, and dead roots a year, and turn over 40 tons of soil. And, the largest earthworm ever found in the world measured in at 22 feet from its nose to the tip of its tail, and it was found in South Africa!

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