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Learning Math Through Literature Unit

Learning Math Through Literature
prepared by Michelle Matias and Becky Senn

One Hundred Hungry Ants  by Elinor J. Pinczes


Math Activities

Teach your student to count to 100 by 1s, 5s, or 10s (depending on what he is ready for).
Count to 100 by 1s Chart
Count to 100 by 5s Chart
Count to 100 by 10s Chart

Exploring 100
Use the ant strips to form ant lines (just like the ones in the story).  Make two lines of fifty ants.  Make four lines of twenty-five ants.  Make five lines of twenty ants.  Make ten lines of ten ants.  You can also use this accordion book to divide the ants.

Print one copy of this Four Groups of 25 Ants is 100! Chart.  You will need four different color crayons.  Have your student count 25 squares and color the entire group of squares ONE color.  Do this FOUR times.  This represents four lines of twenty-five ants.  It will also help your student understand 100.    If you want, do it again with this Ten Groups of Ten Ants is 100! Chart.    

Paper Chain (100 Days!)
Using construction paper strips and glue, make a chain of one hundred pieces.  Let your student take one off each day.  Count them each day.

Hunt for One Hundred!
Scavenger around the house (or yard) for one hundred items.  Use a small box and try to find small items.  Keep count as you go and have fun!  This will give your student a visual picture of what 100 looks like. 

One Hundred Picnic
The ants missed out on the yummy food at the picnic, but you don't have to!   Prepare a picnic together that will consist of 100 things!  You can do this however you want (have 10 groups of 10 things or 5 groups of 20 things or even 100 different things!).   Some suggestions include small fruits (such as grapes), cheese cubes, toothpicks on the cheese cubes, small pretzels, mini-marshmallows, sunflower seeds, raisins, banana slices, peanuts, chocolate chips, etc.  

Extra Activities
~Try the Ant Lapbook at Homeschool Share
~Purchase some Scratch Art paper and create illustrations similar to the ones in the book
~Make lists of the rhyming words in the book and add more
~If you are learning letters, use H to learn Hundred. 
Extend H to the rest of your day with ham sandwiches, happy-face toast for breakfast, handshakes,  hopping around, and looking at pictures of different houses/homes.
~Don't forget to dance and sing to- "The Ants Go Marching" -- have fun!

Pigs Will Be Pigs  by Amy Axelrod


Math Activities

One Dollar
Review the different denominations of coins (penny = 1 cent, nickel = 5 cents, dime = 10 cents, quarter= 25 cents).   How many different ways can you make a dollar from different coins?  Use the change purse mini-book to play with this concept.

Money Math
Print out free money worksheets and practice counting different denominations.

Money Story Problems
This book can be one big story problem!  You'll find three questions on the last page.  Work through them with your student. 

Coin Hunt
Hide coins around your house and go on a money hunt.  Try not to make as big a mess as the Pigs did!  Sort it and count it when you are finished. 


Comparing Prices
Compare the
Terrific Taco menu prices to those found in the book (the Enchanted Enchilada prices).  Ask your student questions such as,

"Does it cost more to buy a Bean burrito plate at Terrific Taco or a Bean burrito plate at Enchanted Enchilada?"  Continue with similar questions. 

Addition and Subtraction
You can also use the menus for addition and subtraction problems.  Tailor the problems to match your student's ability.  Here are some samples:

Pick three food items to purchase from the Enchanted Enchilada.  How much money will you need?   If you give the cashier $10, how much money will you get back? 

Where would you eat if you only had $5?  What would you buy?

If you purchased two taco salads and two frozen delights at the Enchanted Enchilada, how much would it cost total?


Play Restaurant
Make your own restaurant (this can be real or pretend). Decide what kind of food you will serve and create a homemade menu.  An older student may want to consider price of ingredients and time it takes to make the food when determining prices.  If you have multiple students, different roles can be assigned from head chef to waiter to busboy to hostess to cashier!   Everyone should get turns doing different things, if possible. 


Bank Field Trip
Mrs. Pig says she has no money because she didnít go to the bank. Visit your bank as a field trip (you may want to call ahead and schedule a tour). Discuss the different jobs at the bank.  Show your student how you withdraw money. Examine the account balance before and after. When you get home, use this worksheet with an older student.


A Remainder of One  by Elinor J. Pinczes


Math Activities

Dividing 25
The main idea of the book is division. There are 25 insects that have to team up, without remainders, in order to march. Poor Joe gets left behind. Finally they figure out how to divide them up without remainders. Using 25 items (could be pennies, buttons, plastic bugs, etc.), figure out ways that they could be divided. This might be good to do as you read the story, and see if your child can predict what will happen. Use this worksheet to look closer at the number 25 and how it divides up. You can replay the story and use this Twenty-Five Ants Accordion Fold book, if desired to explore different ways to divide 25.   If you don't want to make a mini-book, try this worksheet instead.

More Division
Print the Hungry Bugs Math Mat.  Find 40 small food objects (jelly beans, small candy, dried fruit, nuts, etc.).   Start with 16 objects.  Tell your student to divide the food equally among the hungry bugs.  Repeat with quantities of 20, 24, 28, 32, 36, and 40.   You could cut the bugs apart and have your student only work with 2 or 3 of them to practice different division equations.

Dividing Food~ Make Your Own Snack Mix

Buy the various items needed to make a trail mix. For snack, put out a number of raisins and ask your child to divide them up so each person has an equal amount.  Do the same with nuts, cereal, chocolate chips, M&Ms, or other dried fruit.  If the child is capable, be sure to give him different quantities of each item.  After everything is divided equally, let your child mix the items to make each person a bag of snack mix.  

Insect Math:

Joe and the rest of the soldiers are insects. Insects have six legs, two antennae, one head, one thorax, one abdomen, and some have two or four wings. Solve these insect math problems:

There are 18 legs, how many insects?
There are 6 antennae, how many insects?
There are 25 thoraxes, how many insects?
How many legs do 10 insects have?
How many antennae do 25 insects have?
How many abdomens do 18 insects have?
Have your child make up his own word problems to challenge you with. 
More Insect Math:
There were 6 nests, with 3 ants in each nest. How many ants?
There were 20 insects in line, 4 ran out for a snack, how many insects left in the line?
There were 8 beetles, 5 bumblebees, and 7 lightening bugs, and 4 ants. How many bugs all together?
There were 8 pieces of pie, and there were 48 ants. How many ants had to share a piece of pie?
12 insects went into the line, then another 6, then another 15. How many insects went into the line?


Extra Activities

~Joe is persistent. Persistence is a character trait found in the Bible that you can discuss with your student (Timothy 1, James 1:9-12).

~Look at the quilt Joe uses. Find an interesting history of quilting online HERE. Make your own quilt. You can get instructions online, take a class, or just ask for help at a fabric store. Each family member could decorate one square w/ fabric paint and these can be sewn together. Or you could each make your own small (doll) quilt or use as a wall hanging. You could use old clothes your children have outgrown or purchase remnants you like. Be creative!
~It was 90 degrees in the story.  Is that hot?  Explore temperature with your student.
~Make lists of the rhyming words in the book and add more of your own

Amanda Beanís Amazing Dream by Cindy Neuschwander

Math Activities

Classifying and Sorting
Sort a bag of 15 bean soup (have your student determine how to sort--- by size or color or kind).

Play Bean Count
You need two pieces of paper, two writing utensils, a bag of beans, and one die.
The first player rolls the die and draws the coordinating number of circles on her paper.
The second player does the same.
The first player rolls the die and places the coordinating number of beans in EACH circle.
The second player does the same.

The players count or multiply to get their totals.  The player with the highest total wins.

Play another round!

Skip Counting
In this story, Amanda Bean loves to count!  Use the sheep strips to skip count and to introduce basic multiplication principles.
Count by 2s
Count by 3s
Count by 4s

Math Symbol Matching
Play a math memory game.  Match the math symbol to the word it represents.  

Multiplication Table
Show your student how the Multiplication Table works. Does he see the skip counting patterns?  Does she notice any other patterns?  If your student is ready, give her the Missing Numbers Chart to complete.

What is Multiplication?

Use this minit book to write out your own definition of multiplication.

Popcorn Multiplication
Pop a bowl of popcorn and let your student group it by 3s and (skip) count!   Repeat with groups of 4, 5, or 6!  When you are finished, have fun eating your math lesson!

Math Games
Play the games suggested on pages 31-32 in Amanda Bean's Amazing Dream.

Story Problems
Use this worksheet to solve some story problems relating to the book.

Extra Activities

~If your student is learning his letters, cut out a big ďBĒ from construction paper. Glue beans to the B.

~Read and discuss the Parable of the Lost Sheep found in Matthew 18:1-4.    
~Go for a bike ride!
~Try your hand at knitting.

~How many words can you make from the word MULTIPLY?

~A "bean counter" is sometimes used to refer to an accountant.  Discuss what an accountant is and what an accountant does.  Discuss other math related occupations.