Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday Math Literature Volume 36

If you are a regular blog reader, you know how much I love math literature.  Every Monday I review one or more math literature books that I use with my own students.  If you are looking for some good math literature books, start here!  Follow the links at the bottom of each post to the next one.  You are sure to finish with a list of GREAT books to add to your classroom.

Today I want to share with you a resource that will help you get even more out of your math literature collection.

This book is full of activities that go along with 20 different books at the grade 3-5 level.  They also have similar books for grades K-2 and grades 6-8.

Today I want to show you one of the activities from this book.  It was done with a full class of third graders.  It uses the book

How Much, How Many, How Far, How Heavy, How Long, How Tall Is 1000?

This activity starts by showing students the book and asking them to think about the title and what it means.  

Next, we changed the focus from 1000 to 100 because we had just passed the hundredth day and it is a much more measurable amount for students.  We brainstormed a list of questions that we could ask about how much, many, far, long, tall and heavy 100 is

The beginnings of our brainstorm
After our brainstorming session, I paired students up and asked them to choose a question to investigate.  They had to report back to me when they were ready with a plan that detailed which question they were going to try to answer and what materials they needed.  As their plans got approval, they went out and found the answers.  

Their was not any prep work for this lesson, they wrote their plans on scrap paper.  I was impressed at how well this lesson had kids reviewing all kinds of topics and making decisions for themselves about how to measure, what unit to use and how to be efficient.  

These students measured the height of 100 unifix cubes.  They chose to use inches as their unit and used several yardsticks to do the measuring.

These students figured out that to measure how far 100 pieces of paper went would take them longer than the time I gave them.  They knew they could measure one piece of paper and multiply by 100 to figure out how many inches.  They do not know how to do larger number multiplication and division yet but given a calculator were able to figure out that it was 1,100 inches or 92 feet.  They then used the measuring wheel to see how far down the hall 92 feel was.  This was a great way to give themselves and their classmates a frame of reference when talking about 92 feet. 

These students looked at how many centimeters in 100 inches and made an estimate about how many centimeters are in 100 feet.  

These students wanted to find out the weight of 100 paperclips.  If your students are going to weigh something in grams, make sure you have a classroom scale that is accurate and precise.  

We finished the lesson by each pair presenting their findings.  This lesson up to this point took about 45 minutes.  Because of some changes in that day's schedule we were out of time so we finished up the lesson the next day by reading the book How Much, How Many, How Far, How Heavy, How Long, How Tall Is 1000?  


  1. What a great activity. This is how I want to use literature. I want it to inspire the lessons that we do. I have the K-2 version of the Math and Literature book. I just need to read it.
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

    1. I have six of these books at various levels and they are full of great lessons! It is my goal for this spring to use more of them!