365 Penguins

[Note: teach older children? Read the entry through to the bottom.]

If you're a first grade teacher gearing up for Unit 4, you've likely been looking over the list of literature connections found on page 419 of Bridges Volume Two. As you consider which books to include, you may also want to look over the virtual bookshelf for the penguin unit.

A favorite of mine, 365 Penguins, is sure to delight your children. Since the story begins on New Year's Day, it's also a great choice for January.

Summary: When a box containing a penguin arrives anonymously on New Year's Day, a family of four is puzzled, but as they continue to receive one penguin each day their problems--and food budget, and storage issues--are multiplied.

The book contains many problem solving possibilities. While some are quite advanced* for the average first grader, making the book promising for a variety of ages and abilities, the format encourages children to consider a wide variety of problems and strategies, all set within an amusing--and sometimes perplexing--situation. The book's 14" x 11" size makes it ideal for classroom sharing. Children and adults alike will enjoy the surprise ending.

*If you teach older children, you may want to explore the more difficult problems... If penguins are organized into a cube of 6 x 6 x 6 penguins for storage, how many penguins does the family now have? If the family has room for 12 boxes of 12 penguins, how many penguins will fit?

Have you used this or other literature connections in your math lessons? Send us your thoughts and ideas.