Reading Together

Storybook Guide Based on Ruth Krauss’s “The Growing Story”

Explore math while reading and talking about this storybook.

Topic:

Activity Summary

Use this storybook guide with the book “The Growing Story.” Many public libraries have this book.

Reading guide

About the Story

A young boy watches the world around him change as the seasons go by. As he sees a puppy grow into a dog and a seed turn into a flower, the boy worries that he is not growing taller. But when winter comes along and his last year’s pants are too tight and his sleeves too short, he realizes that he must have grown, too!

A boy stands outside of his house near trees and chickens. Illustration from “Growing Story.”

Words to Learn

MATH WORDS
longer, shorter, short, too short, too tight, faster, slower, high, higher, as high as, big, little, taller, warm, warmer, colder

OTHER WORDS
buds, growing, seeds, blossoms, orchard trees, lilacs, bloom, chicks

About the Math

The Growing Story is about observing change over time. In this story, your child can learn:

  • Ways to describe growth, decline, and size using words such as longer, higher, shorter, and faster.
  • To notice how nature shows both growth, as when the chicks grow taller and the corn grows higher, and also decline, as when the pears fall off the tree and the days grow shorter.
  • Ways to notice and measure growth. For example, the boy finally realizes he’s growing because his winter clothes provided a way to measure growth—they no longer fit because they’re too small.
  • About the passage of time and the change in seasons. For example, the days become longer and the nights become shorter with the approach of summer.
Text excerpt from “Growing Story.”

Math Talk During Reading

  • CONSIDER WAYS TO MEASURE GROWTH:
    How did the boy know that the puppy and the chicks had grown? At the end, how did the boy know that he had grown?
  • CONNECT THE STORY TO YOUR CHILD’S LIFE:
    Are you taller now than you were last year? Do you think you’ll be taller next year? How can we find out how much taller you’ll be next year?
  • TALK ABOUT THE CHANGING SEASONS:
    What happens in the winter that is different from the summer? How do you know when the summer is over? How do you know when winter starts?

Try to come up with some of your own questions and comments, too!

Activity After Reading

  • THINK ABOUT A SCENE FROM NATURE TO DRAW WITH YOUR CHILD
    Draw four different pictures that show the same scene in the summer, fall, winter, and spring. Show how nature, like the trees and the flowers, grow or change throughout the seasons. Talk about how the pictures look different as the seasons change.
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