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Use this storybook guide with the book “Marta! Big & Small.”
Many public libraries have this book. This book is a Mathical Award honor book.
About the Story
Exploring the jungle, Marta meets a bug and an elephant. The bug sees her as very big, while to the elephant, Marta is very small. Then she meets more animals. Marta is both slower than a horse and faster than a turtle. She is quieter than a lion and noisier than a rabbit. After escaping a nasty snake, Marta manages to become the same size, speed, and loudness as the other animals. How does she do that? Marta is very clever! This bilingual book introduces both English and Spanish comparison words in an enjoyable way.
Words to Learn
niña (small girl), grande (big), pequeña (small), lenta (slow), rápida (fast), tranquila (quiet), ruidosa (loud)
About the Math
This book involves informal measurement (comparison) among several dimensions: size, speed, and loudness. Children can learn that:
- An object can be simultaneously more and less than other objects on the same dimension. For example, Marta is louder than a rabbit and at the same time quieter than a lion.
- An object can change its position on a dimension. For example, Marta can become as quiet as the rabbit or as loud as the lion (well maybe not quite as loud!).
Math Talk During Reading
- THE GOAL OF ALL THESE QUESTIONS IS TO HELP CHILDREN THINK ABOUT COMPARISONS ALONG DIFFERENT DIMENSIONS
- “In how many different ways is Marta bigger than the bug?” (She is taller, heavier, louder.)
- “In what way is Marta smaller than the elephant?” (Many ways!)
- “Which object—elephant, bug, or Marta—weighs the very least? Which is of medium weight? Which is the heaviest?”
- “Which is bigger than Marta: the horse or the turtle? Which is smaller?”
- “Marta is louder than the rabbit. Is the rabbit quieter than Marta? Is it quieter than the lion?”
Try to come up with some of your own questions and comments, too!
Activity After Reading
- HELP YOUR CHILD DRAW PICTURES SHOWING RELATIVE SIZE
Choose an object like a banana. Find another object at home that is shorter than the banana and a different object that is longer than the banana. Draw a picture of the three objects to show the size differences. Discuss how the banana is both shorter and longer at the same time.