What's Big? What's Little?

Math/Social Studies Activity

Children will reinforce their understanding of the concepts of bigger and smaller while having fun in a noncompetitive atmosphere.

WHAT YOU NEED

Space for two teams of children to sit in a line or circle

WHAT TO DO

1. Tell children that they are going to play a game that involves naming things that are big and little, but first they need to warm up. Begin by having the whole class brainstorm a list of big things, then a list of some little things.

2. Then divide the class into two teams, the big team and the little team. Have each team sit in a line or a circle. Explain that the goal of the game is to have each member of the team name something that is big (if you are on the big team) or little (if you are on the little team). The trick is that they must name things in order of size. Remind children that although two things may be big, they may not be the same size. For example an elephant and a jet plane are both big, but a jet plane is bigger. Likewise an ant and a golf ball are both small, but an ant is smaller. Explain that the first person on the big team must name something big, the next person must name something bigger, and so on. The little team must do the same, naming things that get increasingly smaller. Tell children that it is important not to name the biggest or smallest thing they can think of too early in the game.

3. Begin the game. Have teams take turns naming things. This will give individual children time to think of what they want to name next. If someone gets stuck, the other team may have another turn. If the child is still stuck, he or she may pass. The team that has the most players naming something in correct order of size wins. Switch teams, making the big team the little team and vice versa, and play another game.

TEACHING OPTIONS

• You may want to record children's suggestions during the warm up so children can refer to them during the game.

• To make the first game a little easier, you may want to allow each team some time to think of big and little things before you start the game.

• An alternative format would be for you to name an object and challenge the little team to think of something smaller and the big team to think of something bigger.