In the second lesson, the students used one cube, made a mark, advanced the cube, and made another mark to determine the length. This mark and advance technique gives students hands on experience covering the distance between 0 and 1 on the ruler. A common error for students is to start at the number one instead of zero. By measuring this way they realize that each mark indicates the amount of space already covered. Students created their own tagboard centimeter rulers using the mark and advance technique. Making the ruler helped them internalize the size of a centimeter and estimate length in centimeters.
We read another tall tale from the American Frontier called “Casey Jones.” After the railways were built trains started moving people more quickly throughout the country. Casey Jones was a steam train engineer who prided himself on always being on time. Casey became a hero when he tried to stop the train from crashing. He lost his life, but saved the lives of everyone else on the train. As with “John Henry,” it is believed Casey Jones is based on a real-life person. The story grew into a tall tale through many years of retelling. All the tall tales we have been reading contain examples exaggeration and humor. Also, tall tale characters have unbelievable childhoods and do amazing deeds as adults.