Mount Everest and Submarines (Age 6)

The Activities

  1. Topic: Addition: Book: Mission, Addition by L. Leedy.
  2. Topics: Tangrams, Geometry: We did six different easy tangram puzzles, download here.
  3. Topics: Numbers, Negative Numbers: I made a vertical number line from -10 to 10.  We played the number guessing game (higher/lower) with numbers in this range.  I had the secret number the first time, and then each kid took turns having a secret number.  Then I described several different places numbers are used — money, elevators, traveling on the Earth, and age.  For each one, I described what the positive numbers were, and then I asked what negative numbers would mean (for example, for money, it means you owe someone else money).

How Did It Go?

We had all five kids this week.

Mission, Addition

This book is slightly on the long side but we finished it.  The kids loved the last story, where the teacher gave them all bills for the food they ate but did the addition wrong (sometimes by a lot).


Everyone worked hard on the tangrams.  Some of them are pretty easy, and no one really had problems on them.  A few are harder, particularly the scarab beetle. Three of the kids finished all six pictures.  One of the kids (one of the two who didn’t finish all of them) liked to say how easy the problems were after they solved them but then asked for help more quickly than the other kids.

Negative Numbers

The guessing game went surprisingly well.  There were only a few times where someone went the wrong way for a negative number.  Having the vertical chart for them to look at helped a lot.

We had a pretty good discussion about the different scenarios.  We started with money, which they had discussed last week.  Of the things we discussed, I think they understood money the least well — except for our son, who has gone negative on his allowance before.  They figured out that elevators would go underground right away.  For traveling on the Earth, I described sea level and said how we were at about 50 feet above sea level and the nearby hills were a couple thousand feet above sea level.  One of the kids mentioned Mount Everest and I said it was 27K feet (I was wrong, it’s actually 29K).  Then I asked what negative was, and they said going underwater.  I asked how they would get there, they said submarine, and two of the kids had seen a movie about going deep underwater.   I asked how they would go negative where there wasn’t water, and they said dig.  For age, I asked them how old they were, and they said 5-6 years old.  Then I asked what -3 years old would mean.  Our son, who we’ve discussed this with, said you’d be an egg in your mommy.  I asked how old our son was when I was born, they enjoyed that.  I asked how old they were when the Universe was created.  A few kids got somewhat distracted by the end of the conversation, but overall they were very attentive and engaged.


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