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This delightful picture book uses nature to engage students in learning about number concepts including more or less, counting and simple addition. The reader is first asked to imagine that nature can count and use math like we do. Then on each page is a colourful paper collage of a nature scene along with a math problem to solve. Examples of the unique approach of the book include counting Monarch butterflies in groups of ten, and recognizing the relative size of groups of milkweed pods. Of course nature does not need math, and humans are the only ones who use numbers, but the important message for children is that if we take the time to truly observe our natural world we will find all kinds of number relationships that are quite remarkable. To support the text are several pages of "nature notes" which provide more information about the animals and plants found in the story.
An accompanying teacher's guide with notes and activity suggestions can be downloaded here for free.
This book has an accompanying teacher's guide available online for free. The excellent guide provides activities that support math, science, language arts and visual arts outcomes. Examples of activities are "Word Patterns" in which students listen for repeating sounds from the book, and "Goose Groups" where students find different ways to make partners to ten.
The book could be used as a read-aloud to introduce a unit on number sense followed by a series of exciting math lessons teaching concepts found in the story. A teacher could bring in other examples from nature to further support each concept such as counting and grouping types of rocks. After all the lessons are completed then the class could go outside either on school grounds or on a field trip where students would record and describe their own examples of numbers in nature.
Since this book is set in the fall it could also be used as a formative math assessment at the beginning of the school year. A teacher can read the story and ask the students to answer the math questions either orally or using whiteboards.
The story also encourages children to really look at their environment and thus could be used to support a science unit focused on the appreciation of our natural world. Students could participate in an activity where they use their senses to describe natural objects. They could also learn more about seasons and discover the answer to seasonal questions such as why deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a grade listed below.