Super Sandcastle

by Stuart Murphy (Math Start)
illustrated by Julia Gorton

On a sunny beach day, three friends enter a sand castle contest to see who can build the deepest moat, the tallest tower, and the longest wall. During the competition, the friends try to see who is winning by measuring their castles with feet, shovels, and spoons.

They think they have figured out the winners, but then the lifeguard takes the final measurements and they realize they were all wrong!  Luckily, Larry is able to explain about using standard measurements and how using people's feet and shovels and spoons can all vary "but an inch is always an inch."   We think this simple Math Start title is great for very basic measurement lessons. :)

Reading Levels

Interest Level:  K-Gr. 1                  DRA Level:  18                 Lexile Measure: 410L
Grade Level Equiv:
  1.7               Guided Reading:  K

See Inside

Here's a peek inside the book---to show you the illustration style and give you an idea of the amount of text on a page. The first spread shows Larry the Lifeguard talking to the kids about the sand castle building contest. The page just below that shows one of the contestants trying to see if her sand castle is the biggest. At this point in the book, she and her friend do not realize that their measurements are off because their feet are different sizes. Later, Lifeguard Larry takes accurate measurements and explains why spoons and shovels and human feet aren't as reliable as our standard system of measurements. 

Lesson / Activity ideas

On his website, the author provides some suggestions for additional activities to help deepen the students' learning, such as:

-"Pick distances around the house or classroom and measure them using 'baby steps' and 'giant steps.' Is the hallway more baby steps or giant steps long? Are there more baby steps or giant steps between the couch and the computer? "

-"Have friends take turns lying down on the floor and measuring each other from head to toe using straws, and then a ruler. Make a chart that shows the length of each person in terms of different units of measurement."

To learn more about this book, click the link below.  Please note that if you purchase an item from Amazon, they give us a small referral fee. (This helps pay for site hosting costs, thus allowing us to keep everything free for site visitors!)

This book is one of the MathStart series books. We LOVE the MathStart series. The stories are funny and cute...and SO effective for teaching the specific math concept being targeted. You can learn more about this great series of books by clicking on the book covers below or the link above.

Or see other books on our page of best books for teaching measurement