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Math Fables: Lessons That Count
Author: Gregory Tang
Illustrator: Heather Cahoon
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Copyright: 2004
ISBN: 0-439-45399-2
Number of Pages: 40
Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades preK–2

This is the first of two Math Fables books by Greg Tang that use verse to show how groups of objects (animals) can be broken down and regrouped. The simple verses should be easy enough for children to repeat, but some of the vocabulary (procrastinate, cooperate) may be a little beyond some children ages 3-6 for whom the book is intended. Still, they will enjoy encountering these big words in such an engaging context. Each verse concludes with a real-life "moral," such as, "They learned it's wise to plan ahead and always be prepared." At the end of the book, the author lists ideas for using and extending the mathematical decomposition of numbers.

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How to Use This Book
Highlights and Insights
Related ORC Resources
Ohio Standards

 


How to Use This Book

  • This book and its sequel, Math Fables Too, can be used separately or together as children grow in their ability to break apart and recombine numbers.
  • The book is divided into separate short poems for each number, so these "chapters" can be used individually, depending on the level necessary for the children.
  • When reading the book to a group, the teacher might use a flannel board to demonstrate the groupings of animals.
  • Children can use items more available or familiar (pets, pencils, cubes, or the children themselves) to generate smaller groupings from a larger group.
  • Children might make up their own stories about a group of animals or other objects.
  • Children who understand the decomposition of small numbers into two groups could be asked to work with larger numbers or to subdivide a group into three separate parts.

Highlights and Insights

  • Beyond simple rote counting and recognizing that a number tells how many objects (one-to-one correspondence, cardinality, matching sets, etc.), more complex concepts of breaking apart and combining numbers in different ways using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division can be approached through this book.
  • The "lessons for life" incorporated in the rhymes make the book ideally suited to cross-disciplinary discussions. 

Related ORC Resources

Begin With Buttons 5: Numbers Many Ways
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ORC# 4270
Resource Information
Resource Type: Lessons
Discipline: Mathematics
Grades: Grades K–1
Professional Commentary: Students find all the ways 7 can be expressed as the sum of two numbers. They then write fact families of addition and subtraction sentences for 7....
Let's Count to 10
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ORC# 3758
Resource Information
Resource Type: Lessons
Discipline: Mathematics
Grades: Grades PreK–Kindergarten
Professional Commentary: This eight-lesson unit features activities in various modalities in which students work with progressively larger sets containing 5-10 elements. They count the elements, write numerals, and make sets with more or fewer elements....
Do It with Dominoes 6: Finding Fact Families
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ORC# 4314
Resource Information
Resource Type: Lessons
Discipline: Mathematics
Grades: Grades K–2
Professional Commentary: Students find different dominoes that have the same total number of spots. They write fact families for each of the different dominoes....
Sum Search
View Full RecordAdd to My ORC Collection
ORC# 4315
Resource Information
Resource Type: Lessons
Discipline: Mathematics
Grades: Grades K–2
Professional Commentary: Students play a game of concentration with dominoes to find all the ways 5, 6, 7, and 8 can be decomposed into sums. They use an online calculator and hundred board to reinforce the decompositions....

Ohio Standards

Number, Number Sense and Operations Standard
    Grade Level Indicators (K)
    8. Represent and use whole numbers in flexible ways, including relating, composing and decomposing numbers; e.g., 5 marbles can be 2 red and 3 green or 1 red and 4 green.
    Grade Level Indicators (1)
    2. Recognize and generate equivalent forms for the same number using physical models, words and number expressions; e.g., concept of ten is described by "10 blocks", full tens frame, numeral 10, 5 + 5, 15 - 5, one less than 11, my brother's age.
    Grade Level Indicators (pre-K)
    7. Group and regroup a given set in the context of daily activities and play (e.g., 5 blocks can be 2 blue and 3 green or 1 blue and 4 green).