Tuesday, 13 June 2017

The Queen's Bed

Lately there has been a lot of interest in measurement. Since lining up for our class photo in height order, the children have been enjoying  comparing themselves to each other. Today we explored the idea of standard versus nonstandard measurement. Level 1 Maths involves the children using a lot nonstandard measurement units like: How many plastic bears weigh the same a a book? How many hands long is the table? Today we engaged in a provocation that helped children to see that it is important to have a standard way of measuring.
We read the story of How Big is a Foot? 
Here is the story version and an animation of the story if the children want to read or watch it at again home: 

The story is about a King who wishes to invent a bed for his Queen (before beds were invented) He has the Queen lie down and then measures around her using his feet. He discovers the bed should be 3 feet wide and 6 feet long. He passes this information on to is young and extremely small apprentice to make. The apprentice, using his own feet, measures a bed that is 3 feet wide and 6 feet long. We stopped reading at this point and tried it out Here are my apprentices making their own feet to help them measure a bed for these queens :

The apprentices lined their feet up and we taped the size of the bed onto the floor: 

The Queens got in to bed ...

Oh dear. Too small!
We discussed why the bed might be too small. At this point nobody twigged to the real reason . They had suspicions that the Queen's crown might be this thing causing the problem. 
We read the rest of the story. I told them that I just so happened to have a copy of the King's foot at school. The apprentices then attempted to make the Queen's bed using the King's foot. 

The bed came out just the right size for a Queen (crown included) .
The children were able to explain that the apprentices feet were much smaller than the King's just like their feet were all smaller than the King's too. We linked this to the need to have a standard way of measuring things which is why we use rulers and tape measures today! 

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