Teaching Process Skills with Children’s Literature: A Second is a Hiccup


A Second is a Hiccup

Author: Hazel Hutchins

Illustrator: Kady MacDonald Denton

This book is a good resource for helping young students learn how to measure time and understand different lengths of time.  The author uses fun ways of telling time in order to make learning how to measure it simple and exciting.  For example, as in the title, the author says that a second is like the length of a hiccup, or "The time it takes to kiss your mom/Or jump a rope/Or turn around (pgs. 2-3).   She goes on to explain measures of time for a minute, an hour, a week, a month, and finally, a year.  The author also makes the book interesting by incorporating rhyme into her explanations.  For example, to explain the length of a week, she explains that a week is "Seven wake-ups, seven sleeps/Close your eyes and do not peek/But you'd never/ Ever ever/Stay asleep for one whole week" (pgs. 12-13).

Curriculum Connections
This book is important in helping students with process skills because it relates to measurement, which is an important part of science. Knowing how to measure time is an important element of learning science concepts as well as how to conduct one's own science experiments.  For example, knowing how to measure time helps students to better understand things such as when the Earth came into existence and when certain species first appeared on Earth.

Additional Resources

  • This PDF file actually has activities to do with the book "A Second is a Hiccup" that will help students learn about the book's concepts.

This link provides elementary school teachers with ides on helping children understand concepts of time and how to estimate.

3. http://www.proteacher.com/090092.shtml

This is another resource that helps teachers with ideas for activities in order to teach students about measuring time.

Book: A Second is a Hiccup
Hazel Hutchins
Illustrator: Kady MacDonald Denton
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 32 pages
Grade Range: K-2
ISBN: 0-439-83106-7