Today Brandon and I decided to finally eat dinner together at the table since we actually didn't have any plans to rush out for. In trying to figure out something to talk about, we started talking about stories we had heard and were sharing them. Then I suddenly remembered that we had a whole series of old books from when I was young that had Aesop's fables in them. So I rushed to the bookshelf and came back to the table and started reading them to him. Although they were put in words that were sometimes a little over his head, he seemed to get the idea of them.
Then we read "The Crow and The Pitcher". Although he smiled and nodded his head as if he enjoyed the story, I wasn't sure if he really understood how pebbles would help the crow get to the water. So we came up with a little experiment! And it was so super easy and fun, I thought I'd share it with you here.
Here is the story, retyped from Collier's Junior Classics "the Young Folks Shelf of Books" number 2: Once Upon A Time. (copyright 1962 by The Crowell-Collier Publishing Company)
THE CROW AND THE PITCHER
A Crow, half-dead with thirst, came upon a Pitcher which had once been full of water: but when the Crow put its beak into the mouth of the Pitcher he found that only very little water was left in it, and that he could not reach far enough down to get at it. He tried, and he tried, but at last had to give up in despair. Then a thought came to him, and he took a pebble and dropped it into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped it into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the Pitcher. At last, at last, he saw the water mount up near him; and after casting in a few more pebbles he was able to quench his thirst and save his life.
Little by little does the trick.
After reading this, I found a clear plastic cup, a mechanical pencil, and the marbles out of an old board game.
~Then I clipped the pencil to the side of the cup and said "Look, THIS is the crow." ~Then I filled the bottom of the cup with some water from the faucet, until it was about half an inch below the tip of the pencil. And I said "Look, this is the water at the bottom of the pitcher. We need to figure out a way to get the water up to the crow!"
~Then I smiled, and brought out the marbles and said "How many marbles do you think it will take to get the water up to the crow?"
~Then I had him drop them in one marble at a time, until the water touched the tip of the pencil, and we cheered "We did it! We got the water to the crow!!"... at which point he decided it was time to practice pouring water and marbles back and forth from cup to cup to see how long it took for all the water to spill all over the floor. LOL!
But he got the idea. And it was fun for him. And it was fun for me too. And it was pretty cool... if I do say so myself. ;-)