Monday, September 17, 2012

Inchworm and a Half

I thought Inchworm and A Halfwas an interesting introduction to the English Measuring system. While the Metric system is based on ten, which is tied in to the counting we teach children in the early grades, the English system can be more challenging for children to understand.

Elinor J. Pinczes takes on the challenge by introducing the whole unit of an inch with an inchworm and then the fractional parts with the inchworm’s fellow worm friends. The inchworm starts out being thrilled with his ability to measure things that are whole inches because his body measures one whole inch. Then he hits a snag. A cucumber has a fractional piece left over and he is puzzled by the challenge of measuring it. It is then that he meets a half-inch worm and they head off to enjoy life, measuring things that are composed of whole and half inches.

Of course, they eventually have challenges that require a third and a quarter inch and as they do, they find worms who can help them meet those measuring challenges.

I have seen parents and teachers use yarn and paper to help children understand the various lengths in measurement, so worms seem like another creative way to engage children in thinking about the concept. This book would be a useful tool in engaging young readers in thinking about the English system of measurement.

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