Just a Second: a different way to look at time

Posted by on May 24, 2012 in Art, Body Smart, Early Learning, Letter / Number Knowledge, Logic Smart, Math, Nature Smart, Non-Fiction, Range of Reading, Science, Self Smart | 0 comments

How many times do you think a hummingbird beats its wings in just one second? 10? 20? Steve Jenkins makes math irresistible¬† in Just a Second: a different way to look at time. In one second, a hummingbird beats its wings 50 times. In one minute, a grizzly bear can charge one half-mile.¬† Just a Second is full of information that fits well into units on time, measurement, and estimation, plus it’s visually captivating with Jenkins’ signature cut-paper art. His process in making the collages for his book is really cool, and you can see a video of how his books come together on his website: stevejenkinsbooks.com.

Before reading Just a Second, make some predictions with your students, like how many breaths do you think an adult takes in one hour? (900!) After reading the book and checking your predictions, make and test some new predictions about time. How many jumping jacks can you do in one minute? How long will it take you to flap your arms 50 times like a hummingbird? Can you sit perfectly still and quiet for a full minute? You can compare students’ results on charts or a graph. You can even make a pictograph of your classroom results, and let students make cool representations for themselves with cut-paper art. It may take a bit longer than “just a second”, but it will be time well spent.

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