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Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday Math Literature: The Mitten Story Problems

Happy Monday!  Yesterday, in my post about our book study on Children's Mathematics, I mentioned that I loved one of the review questions from Chapter 4 that suggested looking at a book or a unit of study you are working on and writing some story problems based on that book or unit.  I thought this was a great idea and will be posting my problems and books for the next few weeks as part of my Monday Math Literature series.  If you haven't read Children's Mathematics, they make some great arguments for exposing primary students to multiplication and division story problems as a way to build their understanding of place value.  Today I wrote some problems to go along with a treasured favorite in the primary grades.

The Mitten

It is hard to believe this book is celebrating its 20th anniversary!  It is a wonderful adaption of a Ukrainian folk tale.  If you haven't read it, you should definitely check it out!  If you use this book with your students already, here are some math story problems you could pose as a follow up.  One of these problems is a multiplication problem, one is a partitive division problem and two of them are measurement division problems.  If you don't know about these different types of problems and why they are important for primary students to be exposed to, check out the Children's Mathematics book study

You can grab these problems for free from Google Drive

Remember that problem solving is a process.  The range of solutions you will see will depend on where your students are on the problem solving progression.  If you don't see a range of strategies, these problems might be to hard or to easy for your students. 

Your turn!  What math story problem would you write for your students based on The Mitten?  Please respond in the comments below or head over to Facebook to share your idea!


  1. I love the idea of using a picture book for a set of math word problems!

    1. Me too! After more than a year of Monday Math Literature posts, you would have thought I would have done this already! It took me reading Children's Mathematics to get this idea. There is a lot of power here to create all kinds of story problems to go with all kinds of books.

  2. Great idea! I think it is so valuable to incorporate math and literature. Thank you so much for the FREEBIE!

    Best wishes!
    Jen :)

  3. I love this idea, Tara, and often did it with my students. In fact, one of their favorite activities was to work with partners and write their own story problems. Hint: Put them together to make a great class book!

    Okay, here's mine: The fox weighed 18 pounds. The rabbit weighed 5 pounds less than that. How much did the rabbit weigh?
    The animals decided that they needed a bigger place to stay warm, so they huddled together in a cave for three weeks and two days. How many days did they spend in the cave?

    Thanks for another great post!

  4. I like what you said about the problem being too easy or too hard if there isn't a range of strategies. Good reminder.