We recently finished A Penny's Worth of Character by Jesse Stuart, which everyone loved. It was also a wonderful bonus to be able to have a discussion about the importance of honesty. While we were reading the book, I put together a little math game for the kids to help them learn about the values of coins...
I made our own version of Mr. Conley's store based on the prices in the book. The kids could sell me eggs or sacks and then buy candy using their money. After reviewing the value of each coin, I let the kids roll dice to see how many sacks or eggs they had that day to take to the store. Then we counted out the coins together, practicing substitutions (5 pennies for a nickel, etc..). It took a little while for them to figure out how to count using the larger coins (since it isn't one-to-one correspondence anymore), but they got it. Then the girls could use their change to select candy to buy. The goal was to get enough money to buy the main character's favorite - a chocolate bar and a lemon pop together. It was no surprise that this math game was a big hit with my girls, who love dramatic play activities and then made their own store game when we were done.
To extend the math lesson, I cut out pieces of paper to represent the sacks that Shan took to Mr. Conley's store in the book. One of the sacks had a hole in it. Then I read the girls the description of how Shan stacks the sacks so the one with the hole is in the 7th position and had them recreate that order.
We finished the lesson with some coywork. It was a little confusing for the kids not to have lined paper, but they worked really nicely.
I love being able to integrate our read-aloud books with homeschool lessons. I think this exercise helped the kids both understand the story better and have a great time doing some dramatic play with math.
For more learning and fun, please join Learners in Bloom at: