*Nonfiction picture book for preschool through 2nd grade (part of the Math In Nature series by Owl Kids Books)
*Counting, Numbers, Math, and Fall as main topics
*Rating: I am so happy that the publisher sent me Counting on Fall for review. This is one I’m going to be keeping myself and sharing with my daughter in a year or two. The paper-cut illustrations by Ashley Barron are remarkable!
Short, short summary: The book starts out asking children if math matters to animals and plants like it does to people and then says, “Let’s look at fall.” Then the reader is asked a series of math questions pertaining to different fall plants and animals, such as counting leaves falling from the trees (IMPOSSIBLE TO DO IN MY YARD! ) or acorns that squirrels are collecting and storing. It also asks children to estimate things like leaves and seeds. Besides counting, the author includes other math concepts like first and last with a group of whales, counting by twos with a herd of pronghorns, and counting backwards from 10 when figuring out how many bats are awake. This is just a small sample of the math problems in the book, and again, the illustrations only add to the already great text. This is a great book for a classroom, home school, or preschooler stuck inside this winter!
So, what do I do with this book?
1. Well, obviously this is one of those books with built in activities and objectives. So, as you read with children, take time to answer the questions and practice the skills.
2. This is also a great book for noticing different animals and plants in the fall and how their behavior is different from other seasons. For example, the page with squirrels–they are gathering acorns for the winter. You can ask–what might they be doing in the summer that is different from the fall? What are the birds doing in the fall and why? Notice the leaves on the trees and so on. You can actually make a list with children when you are finished reading the book of the different details they noticed about fall in the book. For first and second graders, create a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting fall to another season.
3. The end of the book has an author’s note with more facts about each animal. Share these with children. Then allow each child to choose an animal and create a drawing of it and write facts about their behavior during fall.