Childhood Memories Friday: Guinness World Records

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Childhood Memories Friday

Today, another post about memories not so much from my childhood as from my 20s, when I was teaching.

I always enjoyed starting the day with “calendar time.” The kids and I would all sit on the carpet near a large bulletin board. We’d look at the calendar and discuss what the date was, putting up a shape with the day’s number on it. Some months there were two different shapes, others 3, allowing us to discuss odd/even numbers, multiples of 3, etc. We’d talk about the weather and graph the number of sunny days that month. We’d learn a little German. We’d talk about the day to come. It was just a fun, bonding time.

And … we’d do fun little extras. One thing I always enjoyed was sharing a record from the Guinness World Records book that I kept nearby. The kids loved trying to guess the height of the tallest man, or the speed of the fastest animal. These records were often great learning opportunities: for instance, if we learned that the tallest man was 8 feet tall, we’d get out the yardstick and measure just how high he’d reach along our wall.

The Guinness Book was always one of the most popular books in my classroom library. Even kids who didn’t normally enjoy reading would like to see who had the biggest feet, or who had made the longest gum wrapper chain. The book was used every single day!

Of course, the book is updated each year. The Guinness World Records for 2016 is big and truly beautiful, full of colorful pictures that my students would have loved. It’s definitely a big improvement over the dogeared paperback the kids and I pored over two decades ago.

world's tallest shortest man Guinness

Here’s the title page, complete with a photo of that most popular of records — the world’s tallest and shortest men.

Guinness records

Here’s an example of the inside. I love that there are photos along with so many of the records. I can just imagine my students checking this book out frequently when they had free time. The longest fingernails was always a popular topic with the kids, and check out the guys with the most toes and fingers!

This is the type of book that I feel would make a great Christmas gift for a curious child or teen. It encourages reading and learning.


I’m not a gamer, but many young people are. If you know one of those, you might also be interested in the Guinness World Records 2016 Gamer’s Edition. It contains all kinds of gaming records that are probably wildly popular with those who feel about gaming the way kids 40 years ago felt about baseball statistics.

Do you have a copy of the Guinness Book in your house? Did you enjoy reading about the world records when you were a child (or even now)?

**Thanks to BHI for review copies of these books.

7 thoughts on “Childhood Memories Friday: Guinness World Records

  1. I do not own a Guinness Book. Nor do I want one BUT I know kids love them! They really get into perusing it!
    I can tell from this post you were a fantastic teacher but that comes as no surprise!

  2. My son’s favorite book! We get it from the library every year–in fact he’s already mentioned waiting for the new one. When I was in Middle School, the high school band did a Guiness Book record-breaking fund raiser: A Swing-a-thon. It was fun.

  3. This book looks amazing – I must pick one up for my boys!!!

  4. Many times I have seen or read or heard statistics mentioned in Guiness Book of Records, although I have never owned one. Often on various trips I have noticed museums with that name, but I have never walked into one of them. Passed it often when in Branson, MO. You were always a very creative teacher who found unique ways to hook the students into fun activities while learning at the same time. Kudos to you!

  5. Sounds as though you found ways to make learning so much fun. I’ve never owned a copy of the Guinness Book of Records but have looked at some and found them very interesting. The 2016 edition looks so special.

  6. I’ve never seen nor owned a Guinness Book of Records, but you’ve piqued my interest now. I agree with those who say you must have been a fun teacher.

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