Have I got a book for you!
I found the picture book that is the trifecta! It covers language
arts, math, and science plus it provides a great launch point for a fun research project. I’m talking about – Lifetime – the Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives by Lola M. Schaefer.
In this book children learn about math in the animal world. For example a mother red Kangaroo will birth 50 joeys in one lifetime, a caribou will grow and shed 10 sets of antlers, and a cross spider only lays one egg during its whole life. The author includes wonderful back matter that gives more detail about the animals including how she calculated the numbers in the book.
Grab this book from the library and try out my lesson idea for a study that hits right in the heart of common core and narrative nonfiction. It is perfect for first and second grade students
Objective: Students will understand that numbers and math are a part of everyday life and research.
Time Required: One 40 minute class period
Book Lifetime – the Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives by Lola M. Schaefer
White board and markers, graph paper
- Hold up the book and read the title to the children. Lifetime – the Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives. Ask how could numbers be important to animals? What do they think this book will be about? Is it going to be a fiction or a nonfiction book?
- Read the book aloud to your whole class and then engage them in a discussion about the text. How did the author find out about these numbers? Did the author need to do research? What math skills did the author use?
- Divide class into small groups of three to four students. Give each group graph paper and markers.
- Demonstrate on the board how to graph numbers.
- Have the students work together to make a graph of the animal numbers used in the book. You can stop them before they have to graph 1000 baby seahorses, but do discuss how you might be able to show that number.
Extension – check out animal books from the library and have the students research different numbers such as the number of teeth, eggs, or young. Turn this research into informational graphs to be displayed in the classroom and write a paragraph to explain their research.
This lesson will cover the following Common Core Standards
CCSS.Math.Content.2MD.D.9 CCSS.ELA-literacy. W.2.2