mr archimedes’ bath

January 25, 2011

books for kids

I love doing interactive text reading with kids. This a fancy term from early literacy theory which among other things tunes children into text. I don’t have time to write about it at the moment but if you are interested, you can read the Text Talk article here. I will do a post soon.

I use the technique at playgroup at story time and the kids get so much more from the story. Before reading Mr Archimedes Bath, I asked the children what they noticed when they had a bath. There were the usual replies about getting cleaner and getting into trouble for splashing. I asked more specific questions about what they noticed about the water level in the bath when they got in and out of the water. No-one was sure, so we read the story to find out what happens.

Allen, P. (1980). Mr Archimedes’ Bath. Sydney: HarperCollins.

Mr Archimedes shares his bath with his animals, but he gets frustrated when the water pours out of the tub as each animal gets in. He conducts an experiment to find out who is the culprit.

Not being well educated in the maths and sciences I had no idea of the work of Archimedes until I found this book. He was a genius.

At the end of the story I told the kids about the man named Archimedes, who was a brilliant scientist. Parents told me that their children noticed what happened to the water level in the bath that evening.

With older children, you could go on to talk about the displacement of water and bouyancy and the like.

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About hakea

groupworker, parent educator, therapist, mother of three boys.

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3 Comments on “mr archimedes’ bath”

  1. kaet Says:

    I hope we can find this one someday…


  2. mamadandelion Says:

    I have to find that book now : )

    We basically do something like Text talk with the girls for both books and shows. I like to know that they understand what we’re reading (or watching), I also like to see if they can take the ideas, concepts and use them in other ways – or see them in action in real life. Sometimes the girls get it, sometimes they don’t. But then they’re 2.5 and 4, so there’s still a lot of learning for them to do.

    Over all I like that I can read them a chapter book, they’ll ask questions, they’ll predict what happens next, and I’ll know they’re paying attention and visualizing what we read.


    • hakea Says:

      thanks for visiting and commenting!

      yes, it’s teaching kids to be active with information instead of passive. and it’s also teaching them that we derive meaning from the text. it’s a wonderful technique and so flexible.

      best wishes for the birth of your baby.


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