The following day we wrote out the key verse that labels the process. As J (whose picture is above, this one is Zoo Boy's) was writing out his verse, he suddenly gasped and said "Hey, I know what this has to do with math!! The two kids add up to one Grandfather!" I just love the discovery process!
The next day I pulled out a balance scale for our see-saw, and acted out the key part of the story, using a "10" cuisinaire rod as Grandfather, and a "7" cuisinaire rod as the little girl, and a "3" cuisinaire rod as the little boy. When the grandchildren sat down opposite the grandfather, the scale balanced, and I pulled out corresponding colored cards to build the equation "7 + 3 = 1o" in front of their locations on the scale. Then I stepped away from the scales and busied myself elsewhere as the kids, without any further explanation, dove in and created their own scenarios and equations with the cuisinaire rods and scale and cards. This photo shows one of their ideas.
This morning I woke up to hear J in the dining room reciting the "Addition Facts to 10" verse that we've been using this week to work on rote memorization. I snuck out to the room before he knew I was up to catch him creating his own fact families with the cuisinaire rods and writing equations on paper, both with numbers and with cuisinaire "trains" like on his worksheets.
Incidentally, I don't remember reading about using a balance scale with this particular story work, it just seemed like a natural to me, and I really like the way it brought the story to life for the kids and naturally worked in the number equation.
We've got a lot of games to explore in the next two weeks to solidify the fact family idea, and will start including subtraction in with the addition, but I think we're off to a great start with the groundwork laid this week!