Inch by Inch Lesson Plan
Leo Lionni's stories tend to be simple tales that students become engrossed in. I feature Inch by Inch as part of a Leo Lionni author study, but it stands alone as an introduction to measurement. Students like to experiment with the inchworms, discovering how many inches long the heron's legs are. They usually want to continue measuring when they are done with this activity.
Students will "measure and compare common objects using metric and English units of length measurement, e.g., centimeter, inch." --Massachusetts Mathematics Curriculum Framework
- Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni
- writing pencils, one per student
- glue sticks
- copies from the book
SET UP AND PREPARE
Turn to the page where the nightingale is telling the worm to measure its song. Use your copy machine to adjust the size of the inchworm to one inch. Make multiple copies of the inchworm. (You will need approximately 9 per student.) Cut the inchworms apart. (It's not necessary to cut around their edges, just cut the extra paper off from their heads and tails.) You might choose to have students do the cutting. Turn to the page featuring the heron's legs. Make one copy per student, plus an extra for the demonstration.
Post the heron picture in your meeting area. Have students estimate how many inchworms long the legs are. Using a glue stick, demonstrate how to glue the inchworms end to end, along the legs. Stop after gluing three. Use a pencil to label the inch worms, 1, 2, 3. Have students continue the activity at their desks, glue the inchworms along the entirety of the heron's legs. When students have finished, have them share their results.
SUPPORTING ALL LEARNERS
Remind students to spread the glue on the inchworm, not on the heron paper.
Copy other animals from the book, for students to measure.
Use the inchworms to measure real objects in the room.
Jeremy Brunaccioni is a kindergarten teacher in Massachusetts.