Teaching Process Skills with Children’s Literature: How Tall How Short How Faraway

How Tall How Short How Faraway

How Tall, How Short, How Faraway by David A. Adler is a children’s story designed to inform it’s readers about the different types of measurement and how they originated. How Tall, How Short, How Faraway displays units of measure by comparing the lengths to body parts such as fingers, arms, and feet. The illustrations in the book display different body parts that relate to the different measurements of both the customary and the metric systems.  Adler engages the students in hands- on activities throughout the book, asking the reader to “stand straight, with your back against the wall” and measure his or herself using units of measure of ancient Egypt.  Adler provides examples of everyday activities where measurement is used and accompanies these descriptions with bright, vibrant illustrations.

Curriculum Connections
This children’s story would be great as an anticipatory guide for a math or science lesson in measurement in order to provide the students with background knowledge of how systems of measurement were created as well as refreshing the knowledge they may already have of some of the units of measurement such as inches, centimeters, and feet.  How Tall How Short How Faraway emphasizes Virginia SOL 1.1 for the first grade in which students use tools to enhance observations, length is measured using standard and non- standard units, and simple experiments are used to answer questions.

Additional Resources

  • This lesson  forces the students to move around the classroom and measure a handful of items and then return to their seats and create a bar graph of all the items they measured.
  • These activities allow students to compare their personal foot length to that of the students around them which helps them to understand how the ancient civilizations used measurement. The students then go back back and measure exactly how long their foot is in inches and compares this measurement to that of a parnters.
  • This Teaching Today lesson plan provides students with a scavenger hunt around the classroom to find items that differ in length.  Afterwards, the students compare their items with those of their classmates.

Book: How Tall, How Short, How Faraway
Author: David A. Adler
Illustrator: Nancy Tobin
Publisher: Holiday House
Publication Date: June 2000
Pages: 28
Grade Range: 1-4
ISBN: 978-0-8234-1632-5