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Small, big, huge and enormous vocabulary activities for “The Enormous Turnip”


Language Arts, Math  



Title – The Enormous Turnip
By – Vanessa Guerrero
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects – Math
Grade Level – K

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills:

111.12.b. Language Arts, Kindergarten:

(K.4) Listening/speaking/communication. The student communicates clearly by putting thoughts and feelings into spoken words. The student is expected to:

  • (A) Learn the vocabulary of school such as numbers, colors, directions, shapes, and categories (K-1).
  • (D) Retell a spoken message by summarizing or clarifying (K-3).

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify what enormous , huge , big , and small are.
  2. Classifying items into groups of different categories.
  3. Retell details in the book and what they liked about it.

List of Materials Needed:

  • The Enormous Turnip by Alexei Tolstoy (many versions are available on the internet)
  • carpet (seating area)
  • worksheets (from internet or teacher created)
  • journals
  • pencils
  • crayons
  • story character puppets (animals and people)
  • objects of different sizes (matching or not – at least four per child)

Pre-Activity Preparation:

  • Teacher finds appropriate worksheets on the internet (google “The Enormous Turnip worksheet” and you will find plenty) or makes worksheets to go with the story (fill in the story blanks, number the turnips in order by size, etc.) or arranges computer lab time (interactive The Enormous Turnip activities can be found here. )
  • Teacher selects or makes puppets to go with the story. (Option: scan and print character pictures from book, cut out, attach to popsicle sticks.)
  • Objects to be categorized by size (at least four sizes) should be gathered into a big box. (Balls, toy cars, measuring cups, nesting dolls, stacking blocks, pencils, even sheets of paper or anything that comes in many sizes. One grouping of similar objects per student works best, but groups of dissimilar objects can still be categorized by size.)


  • Move students to the carpet for Story Time, then move them back to their own seats or to the computer lab to do worksheet activities.
  • Move students from their seats or labs to the tables of objects for the sorting activity and then back to the carpet again for Puppet Time.


  • Bring out a large box with no holes in it, filled with objects of different sizes. Shake it around.
  • Ask students to figure out what they are going to do.
  • Then tell them that they will find out when we read the story, if they are quiet.

Learning Experiences/Presentation:

  1. Gain the attention of the kids and then move them to the carpet to sit.
  2. Show them the secret box to grab their attention.
  3. Sit down with them and show them the pictures in The Enormous Turnip , so they can predict what it is going to be about.
  4. Ask them questions about what they see and ask them if they know what the words “enormous, huge, big, and small” mean.
  5. Read the story and put puppets up while reading.
  6. Ask the students questions and ask them to tell you what is “enormous, huge, big, and small” in the story.
  7. Send them to their seats and tell them to take out their journals.
  8. Pass out worksheets that go with the story. When they have completed the worksheets, they can draw something enormous, huge, big, and small in their journal or draw a picture of the events in the book.
    Alternatively, you could take them to the computer lab for interactive “The Enormous Turnip” activities.
  9. Students do worksheets/interactive/journal activities while teacher sets up different-size objects from the box on different tables, one grouping per student.
  10. Teacher demonstrates how students should categorize or group the objects on the tables in order of size 1) small 2) big 3) huge 4) enormous.
  11. Take students to the tables, with each student having a pile of similar or dissimilar objects to sort by size.
  12. Or you could put all of the objects on one table, divide the class into three groups, and let the “enormous group” find four enormous objects, the “small group” find four small objects, and the “huge group” find four huge objects, with the “big things” left on the original table. Many other grouping activites could be done (color, function, hard/soft, what matches this and why, etc.)
  13. Take the class to the carpet.
  14. Review and Puppet Time.


  • Go over the words “enormous, huge, big and small” and what they learned. Ask:
    • What did you learn today?
    • What did you like about today?
    • Who can retell the story?
  • Call on volunteers to retell the story using puppets.
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