Sunday, February 24, 2008

Math Fables Too: Making Science Count

A. Title: Math Fables Too: Making Science Count

B. Author: Greg Tang

C. Illustrator: Taia Morley

D. Publisher: Scholastic Inc.

E. Genre: Picture Book - Informational Text

F. Reading Level: PreK-K/Primary

G. Summary: Math Fables Too: Making Science Count is a great informational text picture book that includes counting and mathematics, and science. The beginning of the book has an author's note that discusses Greg Tang's intentions when writing this book. The author's goal is to help kids learn to count and begin to understand the concepts of addition. The author also wrote into the book non-mathematics related objectives: to get kids more interested in science, animals use of tools, and a positive message to kids about mathematics and science. An example of the counting and scientific information is on pages three and four; "Daydreams - One evening 2 Koalas were in search of something sweet. They climbed a eucalyptus tree with nimble hands and feet. This tree is very poisonous to all but just a few. Koalas are immune and so the leaves are safe to chew. 1 took a little nibble and the other 1 a bite. For theses very picky eaters, the leaves must be just right. The 2 marsupials loved the taste and ate the night away. And since they are nocturnal - they planned to sleep all day!" Each page-spread is set up in a way much like this, and the illustrations have a 3-D look to them that makes me think the medium is paper collages; the illustrations' background looks to be painted or digital with the paper-collages layered on top.

H. Response: The reason I love this book so much is because it covers multpile subjects and topics and is so well illustrated. Each page spread is unique to the animal it is about. It clearly has both mathematical and scientific concepts that can be applied to the classroom. Each spread tells interesting facts about the animals and their lives; my favorite pages are the ones that discuss the spitting fish: "These fish have such a sneaky way of catching what they eat. They spit a stream of water that knocks insects off their feet!" I also really like the way the illustrations are done. They are two page spreads with the words in the illustrations. The way the landscape and the animals pop out of the book because of the layering and collages are just so neat.

I. Teaching Ideas: Scholastic has a great lesson plan for another one of Greg Tang's books that is very similar in concept; the lesson plan is for Math Fables, which is a counting book that also discusses the animals environments. After reading Math Fables Too: Making Science Count, you could start a class discussion about whether or not the class knows what a fable is. As a teacher you could ask your students to talk about the animals on the cover of the book and what the students know about them before you read the book to the class. You could have the students locate where the animals in the book live and make a giant floor map. Or "play out the numbers in the story with unifix cubes or another type of counting math manipulative." You could also assign a project for the students to make their own number book, maybe dealing with animals maybe not. The class could also work together and create an animal habbitat such as an ant farm or a butterfly garden. These are just a few ideas I found from the lesson plan built around the original Math Fables, there are plenty of other great ideas that can be applied to this book!

1 comment:

Dr. Frye said...

Wow!!!! This is a perfect response! Your summary is very detailed and you even include an excerpt from the text! I LOVE IT! You persuade the reader to get a copy today! You address the illustrations, the information and share exciting and engaging lesson plans. Well-written!