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Equal Shmequal
Author: Virginia Kroll
Illustrator: Philomena O'Neill
Publisher: Charlesbridge
Copyright: 2005
ISBN: 1-57091-892-9
Number of Pages: 32
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades preK–1

A mouse sees some children playing tug-of-war and sets about recruiting other animals of various sizes to have a tug-of-war. 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.

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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."

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Ohio Standards

Number, Number Sense and Operations Standard
    Benchmarks (K-2)
    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 (pre-K)
    6. Compare sets of equal, more, and fewer and use the language of comparison (i.e., equal, more and fewer).