Tuesday, December 18, 2012
How Many Times?
On a gray day like this day, first graders could relate to Leo Lionni's Frederick in multiple ways. They understood the frustration expressed by the other field mice as they gathered food in preparation for the winter, but they also appreciated how Frederick gathered the sun's rays, savored the colors, and absorbed words. When the mice ran out of their food, those three things sustained them.
What most intrigued my listeners, though, was the end papers. The same script with which the title Frederick is written on the cover is used repeatedly - sometimes overlapping - on the end papers. They estimate aloud just how many times the author wrote the mouse's name. Then they count the letters in FREDERICK and imagine how many of their names would fit on a page, given the number of letters. We might have to try this.