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 Enlarge Math Fables TooAuthor: Greg TangIllustrator: Taia MorleyPublisher: Scholastic PressCopyright: 2007ISBN: 978-0-439-78351-4Number of Pages: 40Ohio Standards Alignment: Grades preK–2This is the second of two Math Fables books by Greg Tang that use verse to show how increasing numbers of objects -- animals in this case -- can be broken down and regrouped. The book is beautifully illustrated by Taia Morley, and students may enjoy drawing the same kinds of pictures to illustrate simple number combinations. The rhyming verse is easy enough for children to repeat and is laced with fascinating scientific facts. Some of the science vocabulary is beyond the level of the mathematics addressed. The author suggests the science vocabulary is worthwhile for young children to hear, though reading the book themselves would be difficult for the age range intended.Go to: How to Use This BookHighlights and InsightsRelated ORC ResourcesOhio Standards

 How to Use This Book This book and its prequel, Math Fables, can be used separately or together as children learn to break apart and recombine numbers. Both books are divided into separate short poems for each number, so chapters can be used individually depending on the level necessary for individuals or groups of children. Children can use items more available than animals (blocks, pencils, cookies, or the children themselves) to generate smaller groupings from a larger group. Extensions to division can be achieved by separating the children in the class into several groups or teams of the same size to play a game or perform a task (teams of 5 for basketball or groups of 3 to gather different items for a class party). This book is definitely a read-aloud book to allow for discussion about what is happening to each of the sets of animals. CAUTION: The teacher must be explicit about the mathematics as the intriguing science information may tend to overshadow the mathematics. For example, it is not explict that the same group of 5 animals can be regrouped as 2 and 3 and then as 1 and 4 to form a new fact family. Another CAUTION: The illustrations may not accurately depict all of the subgrouping situations. Students should count to show where all of the subgroupings are.
 Highlights and Insights Beyond rote counting and recognizing that a number represents a number of objects (cardinality), more complex concepts of breaking apart and combining numbers (addition, subtraction) are addressed in this book. Several mathematical notions can be discussed, including: As each new species of animal appears, the number of animals increases by one from the previous number. As the number increases, there are more ways to decompose the set into smaller subsets. Also, some sets of animals (even numbers) can be divided into two equal subsets and others (odd numbers) cannot.  Students could write equalities for each group of animals. For instance, for five whales students might write 5 = 2 +3 = 1 + 4. Expressing the decomposition with the total sum on the left, rather than the right (where they usually see it), helps students understand the true equivalence expressed by the equals sign. The illustrations in the book are beautiful and would easily lead children to want to create their own animal book. The author makes specific references to the science vocabulary and the use of tools by the animals depicted in the book. The final page has extended text related to each of the animals highlighted in the book.