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Equal Shmequal Author: Virginia Kroll Illustrator: Philomena O'Neill Publisher: Charlesbridge Copyright: 2005 ISBN: 1570918929 Number of Pages: 32 Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades preK–1
A mouse sees some children playing tugofwar and sets about recruiting other animals of various sizes to have a tugofwar. In trying to play the game, the animals investigate what it means to be "equal." The animals experiment with various meanings of "equal": fair, same number, balance (equal weight), equal effort, and equal portions. The ideas of "even" and "half" are also entertained. The last page of the book explains what it means to be equal in mathematics, in art, in law, and in team sports.
Go to: How to Use This Book Highlights and Insights Related ORC Resources Ohio Standards


How to Use This Book

 The book could be used as the framework for a discussion on "what equal means."
 The book could be used as a introduction for individual writing/drawing assignments with the prompt, "Describe or draw equal groups and explain why they are equal."
 The book could lead into a discussion of even numbers and the idea of "half."
 This book could help in a discussion of why 1/2 of one thing does not necessarily equal 1/2 of another thing.
 The book could also be used before an activity in which students are to divide into equal groups for various purposes: equal numbers on teams, equal heights, etc.


Highlights and Insights

 This book clearly illustrates that, when we say two things are "equal," we must specify how they are equal. For example, two groups may be equal in number but not in weight.
 Too often we see "equal" as meaning "the same on both sides," as in an equation. This book makes us consider different circumstances, and therefore, different meanings of "equality."


Related ORC Resources

Resource Type: Lessons Discipline: Mathematics Grades: Grades PreK–Kindergarten Professional Commentary: The concepts of greater than, less than, and equal to are explored in this 2lesson unit. In the first lesson, students create piles of food on two islands, and their fish always swims toward the island with more food.... Resource Type: Lessons Discipline: Mathematics Grades: Kindergarten Professional Commentary: In this lesson, students are asked to describe, compare, and classify different plants of the same variety according to the number of leaves, height of the plant, and length of the leaves. This lesson is designed to help students understand different ways in which numbers are assigned to objects (by counting or measuring), as well as... Introduction to Fractions for Primary Students Resource Type: Lessons Discipline: Mathematics Grades: Grades K–2 Professional Commentary: This 4lesson unit introduces young children to fractions. Students learn to recognize equal parts of a whole and divide a whole into equal parts.... To Be (Half) or Not To Be (Half) Resource Type: Lessons Discipline: Mathematics Grades: Grades 1–2 Professional Commentary: Students demonstrate various ways to represent and verify a set of blocks separated into two, three, or four equal parts. Guiding questions, summary questions, assessment tasks, and extensions of the lesson are included.... Algebra in the Early Years? Yes! Resource Type: Professional Resources Discipline: Mathematics, Reading Grades: Grades PreK–2 Professional Commentary: This article, from Young Children, The Journal of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, explains the important place of algebraic thinking in early childhood education. This introduction to ageappropriate algebraic thinking examines topics and activities that help young children develop the mathematical understanding that is foundational to formal algebra....


Ohio Standards

Number, Number Sense and Operations StandardBenchmarks (K2) B. Recognize, classify, compare and order whole numbers. Grade Level Indicators (K) 7. Compare the number of objects in two or more sets when one set has one or two more, or one or two fewer objects. Grade Level Indicators (1) 15. Demonstrate that equal means the same as" using visual representations. Grade Level Indicators (preK) 6. Compare sets of equal, more, and fewer and use the language of comparison (i.e., equal, more and fewer). 

