I have always loved children's literature and compiled quite a collection of books during my pre-service years. But then when I got my first teaching job as a middle school math teacher I didn't use them much. As I've become a more well-rounded math teacher I have come to see all the great ways mathematics can be brought into a classroom through books. So every month I will share a favorite children's book and talk about ways to use it in your classroom.
This month I choose a pumpkin themed book. How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara and G. Brian Karas, leads you through an activity done in little Charlie's classroom. The kids make guesses about how many seeds are in a pumpkin. Most kids think the bigger pumpkin will have the most seeds but, as the kids in Charlie's class discover, the small pumpkins actually have the most.
Ways to use this book:
Check out this other wonderful post, Quick and Easy Pumpkin Math Activities, by Playdough to Plato.
- Use it as a lead into doing the seed counting activity in your own classroom - but watch out it is messy!!! Young kids can count the seeds one-by-one while older kids can organize their seeds into piles of 10.
- Label each pumpkin with a number and have groups of 2-3 kids pick up each pumpkin. Have them list the pumpkins from Heaviest to Lightest. Then after each group has made their list, weigh each pumpkin and line them up from Heaviest to Lightest.
- Different types of pumpkins have different numbers of "lines" on the outside. Have children count the lines on the outside and then compare to other pumpkins in the room. Or add up all the lines from all the pumpkins in the classroom.
- Pumpkins take 4 months to grow, what fraction of a year is that?
- One-half cup of cooked pumpkin seeds provides you with a day's supply of Vitamin A. If I have 4 cups of cooked pumpkin seeds, how many days worth of Vitamin A can I get?
- When planting pumpkins you should plan to give each vine at least a 3-foot diameter mound. If my garden has a 4ft x 5ft area that I want to plant pumpkins in, how many vines could I fit in my garden?
- Pumpkin vines typically grow 3 or 4 pumpkins each. If I have 5 vines what are all the possible amounts of pumpkins those vines can produce?
What are some of your favorite books to use in October? Any of them have an underlying math theme?
Labels: Math and Literacy