In my early lit class we read the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff. I talked to the kids about Cause and Effect or Action vs. Reaction. I asked questions like: If you demand a glass of juice by saying, "Mom! Get me some juice now!", what kind of reaction do you think you'll get from your mom? If you asked nicely and said "please?", what reaction might you get?
I explained every action has a reaction. Everything you do, think, and say have a reaction. Some reactions are very small and unimportant, others can make a big difference and/or be very important. Then we did some fun math projects!
poster or large construction paper
printout of pictures from the story
markers or crayons
Cut out the pictures from the story. Mix them up and then paste them on the poster in the order you remember from the book. Write the number of order below each picture.
Cookie Counting Activities
Small Chocolate Chip Cookies (Trader Joe's sells the perfect size if you don't want to make them)
Pencils, markers, or crayons
Worksheet 1: Greater Than and Less Than
Worksheet 2: Cookie Addition
(You do have to sign up for Docstoc.com for these printouts, but it's free and they have tons of great resources, not only for early learning worksheets)
Beginning Fractions/Division: This exercise gives young kids an idea of division and to see what the written fraction looks like, in a fun way, as well as encourages team work.
Divide the class into groups of 4 with one paper plate and eight cookies each.
Let the kids work together to first divide the cookies in half, then draw a line down the middle of the plate.
A parent can then write 1/2 on each side of the plate near the middle and explain that this is 1/2 and that two halves equal 1 whole.
Then the kids work together to divide each half in half again (making 4 quarters). The parent draws a line perpendicular to the first and writes 1/4 in each of the 4 sections. And explains this is 1/4 or four quarters of the whole and that they have divided the cookies into equal amounts for each child.
The kids can now eat their portion, they should have two each.
Greater Than and Less Than, Worksheet 1:
Let the kids use the cookies, if needed and/or desired, to determine the answers on worksheet one.
We also showed the kids how to use the greater than > and less than < symbols and asked them to write the correct symbol between each group of cookies in the problem in addition to circling the group with more.
Addition (and some optional multiplication), Worksheet 2:
(Unfortunately, the third line of this worksheet is a duplicate of the second line, so you may skip it or search for a better worksheet.)
Let the kids use the cookies to solve the addition problems and write their answers.
Color in all the cookies with the sum of 5.
It then asks how many cookies the mouse ate; I think you're supposed to count each cookie with the sum of 5 as 1 cookie, however I took this as an opportunity to introduce multiplication.
I helped the kids write out 5+5+5+5+... etc (the correct number of times for each cookie with that sum), then add them all together. I explained that this was multiplying 5, 7 times. I used the cookies to demonstrate each group of 5, by putting groups of 5 cookies in rows until I had 7 rows. We added them up again by counting by 5's as I pointed to each row of 5 cookies.
The kids were amazed and excited over the total number of cookies that mouse ate!
Markers or Crayons
Have the kids draw a picture they think the mouse would have liked to draw if he drew another picture.
(Monkey said he would draw a self portrait, left)