thematic picture books-lschwemlein

          The availability of literature to use during math lessons is abundant and enhances the topic of the day.  Three books that will support a teacher’s lessons are Chicka, Chicka 1 2 3 (Bill Martin, Jr., Michael Sampson, Lois Ehlert), Corkscrew Counts (Donna Jo Napoli, Richard Token), and Greater Estimations (Bruce Gold stone). 

     Chicka, Chicka 1 2 3 allows the primary audience to become involved with the reading of the story with a repetitive rhyming text.  The use of brightly colored pages is attractive and appealing. The book works well with lessons related to number recognition and counting.   After several read alouds, some of the class could act out the story with assigned number parts and create large brightly colored number costumes while the remaining part of the class would be constructing an apple tree. Several retellings and the exchange of play parts can rotate from one child to the other.  The story could be extended for the more capable and incorporate the skill of skip counting instead of counting by ones.

     Corkscrew Counts is an adorable fantasy book about a pig and his birthday party and will entertain the children during a multiplication math class due to the fact children love the birthday party scene and animals.  The student’s would initially brainstorm about children’s birthday parties and what occurs and then we would change the guest of honor to a pig discussing events.  The class would then compare and contrast the two types of parties before we actually read the book aloud.  Before reading, post its would be covering the multiplication problems throughout the story so the class would not see the answers.  Children would have a dry erase board and manipulatives (beans, noodles, cubes) to figure out the answers as the book is read.  Additional multiplication situations could be modeled by the teacher and then students could write their own to be shared and solved.

     Greater Estimations would be an excellent book to incorporate during a math lesson on estimation.  The picture book would support the topic which is difficult for many to comprehend.  Students will be mesmerized by the illustrations as the number of items increase on the pages an optical illusion effect is perceived.  As reading aloud the book, clear containers of each increment could be shown in comparison to the pictures in the story.  After reading and discussing estimation vocabulary, stations would be around the classroom for the children to experience hands on estimation with popcorn, cereal, beans, noodles, and buttons.  Extension activities that could be also incorporated into the lesson depending on the capability of the students are estimating length, area, weight, and volume.               

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