Teaching Processes Skills with Children's Literature: Inchworm and A Half


Elinor J. Pinczes' book Inchworm and A Half takes the reader on a day in the life of an inchworm who loves to measure different objects in the garden.  Along the way, the inchworm realizes that every object in the garden is not an exact inch and he needs help.  The illustrations by Randall Enos are very lively and make it easy for the reader to visualize the inch, half-inch, third-inch, and quarter-inch in comparison to the objects being measured.

This book by Elinor Pinczes walks the reader through the daily activities of an inchworm loves to measure different objects.  He spends his days measuring fruit, vegetables, and leaves.  However, when the inchworm begins to measure a cucumber he realizes that the cucumber is a little more than two inches, but not quite three.  "My measurement's off just a bit. One, two, nearly three! How could this be?… (6)" The inchworm meets a smaller worm as he falls off the leaf that was attached to the cucumber.  After a few minutes of discussion, the smaller worm yelps, "I'm a fraction, that length should be easy for me (10)."  The smaller worm realizes that he is half the size of the inchworm and that he would fit perfectly on the end of the cucumber.  Every one loop the inchworm made, the half-inch worm made two and they continued through the garden (16).  However, the tandem came across another object- a carrot- that they were not able to measure.  Luckily, a smaller worm than the half-inch arrived and he announced that he was one-third of an inch.  The team received a new member and continued on their way, measuring everything they came across.  However, another object- this time being a tomato- that they were not able to fully measure appeared.  The three worms were astonished that something was smaller than one-third of an inch.  Yet again, the day was saved by another worm in the area who just happened to be one-fourth of an inch.  The four worms were ready to take on the world.

Curriculum Connections
This book can help students view objects in everyday life as measuring tools.  Instead of just using a ruler, yard stick, or meter stick, children may think to use a pencil, pen, or piece of paper to calculate the length of an object.  This book can create a new prospect for children and help them see more in an object than there appears to be.  This book will meet the requirements for the SOLs K.1f, 1.1e, and 2.1e.  The kindergarten and the first-grade SOLs require students to use non-standard object to measure objects.  The second-grade SOL requires students to learn the standard English units.

Additional Activities

Book: Inchworm and A Half
Elinor J. Pinczes
Randall Enos
Houghton Mifflin
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 32 pages
Grades: K-2nd
ISBN: 0618311017

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