Book of the Week: One Foot, Two Feet

One Foot, Two Feet
Authors: Peter Maloney & Alicia Zekauskas
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile, 2011
Hardcover, 48 pages

This book puts a spin on traditional counting books. I love that the book features the written number in addition to the visual depiction and number itself. In addition to reinforcing basic number concepts, this book lends itself well to teaching irregular plurals. Although this book is targeted at 3-5 year olds, I’ve used it with kids up to age 7 and haven’t had any complaints. Get your copy here

Book Design:
Each picture is featured over two pages. The first page is a bright solid color with the singular form (e.g., “one mouse”) and a cutout window displaying the part of the picture. The next page reveals the plural form and the entire picture (“two mice”). On the back of each page is a cumulative vignette of the previous pages (depicts the sequence thus far).

Uses in Therapy:
This book works well in therapy because of the fact that the plural form is hidden until the page is turned. This way, I can instruct the student to pause before turning the page and predict what the plural form will be. The kids think they are just reading a book, but we’re actually getting in some good practice! To increase the number of repetitions, I take advantage of the cumulative vignettes on the back of the pages. We review each of the previous forms before moving on to the next.

The book format allows the child to move through the book at his or her own pace, which I’ve found slows them down more than traditional flashcards (a good thing!). Another bonus is that the sequence is interrupted by the singular form each time (one foot, two feet, one mouse, two mice, one goose, two geese, etc.). This means that the kiddo has to hold on to his place in the sequence from one number to the next, which is good for strengthening working memory.

Extension Activities:
  • I love this idea from 5th GradeRocks, 5th Grade Rules. The teacher wrote the singular form on a sentence strip, then folded the end in and wrote the plural change. For example, the strip would say “mouse,” then the back of the sentence strip would fold in to the “m” and have “ice” written on it. I think the kids would love making these in therapy and quizzing each other. Check it out!
  • I’m always a fan of using real pictures for my stimulus cards. I’ve created some for irregular plurals – grab a copy here. I cut them out and pasted them on cardstock – singular on one side, plural on the reverse. You can have the kids flip through them on their own or introduce a game format for a small group. 
  • I started laminating all my worksheets a while ago. Not only do kids think that it is soooo much fun to write with wipe off markers (lol), but you can feel good about going green! Here is a copy of my irregular plurals worksheet (sentence level, no pictures).  

Resources for teaching irregular plurals:
I don’t like it when people tell kids that there are “no rules” for irregular plurals. While there are certainly exceptions, there are still some guidelines. Although I think teaching ALL of the rules can be overwhelming for most kids, it is a good idea to talk about some of the patterns going on. These sites are great for refreshing yourself of the rules:

If you do go the route of teaching irregular plurals in sets, check out these sites for some materials:

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