Mrs. Claus brought books to each of my boys on Christmas Eve Eve. My middle and youngest received Christmas stories that they happily listened to over and over. My oldest is a bit of a reluctant reader and it’s a challenge to engage him in stories.
Mrs. Claus surprised him a favourite story of his mom’s when she was in grade school. How To Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell was left on his breakfast plate, alongside his new pyjamas, with this inscription:
This was your mommy’s favourite book when she was in the third grade. I’m sure you will love it too! Ask your mommy to read it to you.
The three of us (middle son included) would cuddle up each night and read a few chapters. The story was an instant hit with the boys, and really what’s not to love? Gross squiggly wigglies, dirt bikes, bathroom humor and a gang of best friends.
After we finished the book, we did some extension activities.
Feel sorry for my boys – you can take the teacher out of the classroom . . .
Choose a month of the year and complete the blank calendar.
- Before we did this we reviewed the months of the year and the days of the week. Here is a catchy tune to help your child learn the months and the days.
Print the number of the days in the calendar squares.
- We discussed how some months have 30 days and others 31 days and that February only has 28 days. It’s tricky to learn how many days each month has but this poem/action has proven to be quite helpful.
Are there an odd or even number of days in the month of that you chose? How do you know?
- What does “even” mean? My middle son is Mr. Fairness and he was quick to explain that “even” means “fair”. That if there is an even number, nothing is left over (and no one gets an extra). The oldest said that you can always split the extra but then you’d be using fractions. The boys worked together to identify that even numbers end is 0,2,4,6,8 and odd numbers end in 1,3,5,7,9. Mr. Fairness also pointed out that this is pattern.
If Billy has to eat one worm every day for 15 days how many worms does he have to eat in total? Is 15 an odd or even number?
- The boys laid out their gummy worms on the calendar – one for each day. This provided them with a visual of just how many 15 worms Billy had to eat. I also asked the boys when they hear “in total” or “all together” what mathematical operation should they use?
If Billy has to double the number of days, but still eat one worm per day, how many days does he have to eat worms? How many worms will have to eat in total? Is that an odd or an even number?
- It amazed me how they worked together to solve this problem. The oldest wanted to show off his double-digit adding skills and taught his brother how to re-group. They showed the several ways to solve this problem with words, pictures and using the gummy worms!
The boys also drew a picture of their favourite character from the novel. Mr. Fairness chose the worm and his big brother was quick to follow suit!
We couldn’t leave those gummy worms on the calendar, so we made some worms in mud!*
And the next time we want to rent a movie, How To Eat Fried Worms it will be!
*Sorry, no photos from our kitchen creation. This one is via pinterest.