FC: Measuring the Seasons by Keiko Shari
1: This book is an introductory book about Measurement for kids from 3rd to 5th grade through the experience of social studies. Emily and Tina lived on the equator where the weather was hot and sticky all year around. When they reached 3rd grade, in math class--they learned about perimeter, area and volume. In order to better understand the concept of these three measurements, during class, their teacher from Canada asked them to imagine what the ground would look like in the fall when covered by leaves or in the winter when covered with piles of snow. Emily and Tina had never seen falling leaves or snow in their life. One day, their Dad announced that the family would be moving to New York where there were four seasons. Will Emily and Tina get to see falling leaves and snow when they move? Will they be able to relate the idea of Measurement to their real life experience? Let's turn the page and find out what happens!
2: Emily and Tina are originally from Singapore. Singapore is on the equator, which means that they lived on the border between the northern and southern hemispheres. Everyday it was hot and humid. The sun always went up at 7:00am and went down at 7:00pm.
3: There was no spring, fall or winter. The only season Emily and Tina were familiar with was summer. In August, it rained every day in the afternoon. In January, some days were a little bit cooler. When they went to see the sea around this small island, there were many trees with green leaves, but the leaves did not change color or fall from the branches. All year round, they were under high heat and felt sticky.
4: Emily and Tina could not stay outside for too long to play in the playground during the day because it was too hot! Fortunately, there were many swimming pools everywhere on the island to cool off from the hot weather.
5: When they became 3rd graders, they learned about three measurements that were called perimeter, area and volume. Emily and Tina understood the idea of perimeter when their teacher took them to a swimming pool on a field trip. She asked them to measure the swimming pool's outline using their feet and then to compare the results with other students. Finally, they learned how to measure distance around the outside of a shape with a variety of units. | l+l+w+w
6: When their teacher explained volume by observing the water in the swimming pool, Emily and Tina understood how to measure volume, which was by multiplying the depth times the width, times the length of the swimming pool.
7: Their teacher was from Canada, where there are fall and winter. She talked about what area was by giving an example of leaves that had fallen to take up space on the ground. She also pointed out by picking up a leaf and putting it on a grid, that a single leaf has its own area.
8: When you see the snow falling and landing on the ground, the area will be covered with lots of snow, she said.
9: If you do not know about the snow or the falling leaves, you can use any material to measure the surface occupied by an object. With this in mind, the teacher gave Emily and Tina a grid so that they could find the area where their hands laid.
10: After they came home, Tina and Emily asked their mom what the snow and falling leaves were. Their mother took out books and read about the four seasons, which taught them about the blooming flowers after winter, the hot summer, the changing colors of the leaves and the snow that falls on the ground and covers up the space of the yard. After that, Tina and Emily were happy to know what the four seasons looked like, but they still dreamed to touch colorful leaves and snow in their real lives.
11: One day in October, their daddy said to Tina and Emily, “We are moving to New York!” They were surprised to hear the news, but were soon excited to think about leaves and snow when their daddy told them that New York has the four seasons!
12: When they moved, it was fall. The ground was covered with yellow, brown and red leaves. Emily and Tina were gazing at the colorful leaves with amazement. Then suddenly they remembered about the measurement that their teacher in Singapore explained! They took some of the leaves home and placed them on the grid that they brought from Singapore. The leaves covered up the small space of the grid. They counted and measured how many spaces the red leaves occupied, how many spaces the yellow leaves occupied, and how many spaces the curled up leaves occupied.
14: The winter was just around the corner. Emily and Tina were waiting for the snow to fall from the gray sky. Yes, today was the day that they might see the snow for the first time! At last it started to snow in the evening! As soon as they saw the snow coming from the sky, they took the grid outside to catch the snow! Did the snow cover the area? The next day, when they woke up in the morning, the snow was up to the entrance of their home. They packed the snow into a rectangular container and measured the volume of the snow.
16: Emily and Tina were so happy to feel and touch the snow in real life!
17: Extension Activity for perimeter, area and volume 1. First, children can estimate the measurement of any object they choose. Then, by using a non-standard measurement, they can compare their results with friends and discuss. For example, children could measure the area of desks at school with toothpicks. Who used the most toothpicks to measure their desk? Who used least? 2. After exploring the non-standard measurement, children can use standard measurement to find out the exact measurement. Children can use rulers/tape measures, which contain cm/ inches. 3. Children can extend their measuring activities by using geoboards and geomodel solids to find out about perimeter, area and volume. 4. Children also extend their knowledge by thinking about the different characteristics of shapes.
18: NCTM math standards (measurement standard) - apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements. In grades 3-5 all students should - develop strategies for estimating the perimeters, areas, and volumes of irregular shapes; - select and apply appropriate standard units and tools to measure length, area, volume, weight, time, temperature, and the size of angles; - select and use benchmarks to estimate measurements; - develop, understand, and use formulas to find the area of rectangles and related triangles and parallelograms; - develop strategies to determine the surface areas and volumes of rectangular solids.
19: Social Studies Standards Geography can be divided into six essential elements which can be used to analyze important historic, geographic, economic, and environmental questions and issues. These six elements include: the world in spatial terms, places and regions, physical settings (including natural resources), human systems, environment and society, and the use of geography. (Adapted from The National Geography Standards, 1994: Geography for Life) Elementary - study about how people live, work, and utilize natural resources - draw maps and diagrams that serve as representations of places, physical features, and objects - locate places within the local community, State, and nation; - locate the Earth’s continents in relation to each other and to principal parallels and meridians (Adapted from National Geography Standards, 1994) - identify and compare the physical, human, and cultural characteristics of different regions and people (Adapted from National Geography Standards, 1994) - investigate how people depend on and modify the physical environment
20: About the Author The author lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children. She was born in Japan and lived in Canada, Indonesia and Singapore. Her experience living in the different parts of world led her to write this story.