I was searching for books for the letter L at the library last week when I came upon this one. I had been scanning the shelves for winter books as well, so it was perfect that it fit both criteria.
Sometimes I have ideas for the books I want for the week, but many of the times it is just me randomly searching the library's shelves for a book that has a word with our letter in it. Or doing a search on Amazon for books with certain thematic elements, then requesting them online through my library. I like it when I end up with living books, like this one, that teach something in a way that doesn't seem so much like teaching to children.
Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money by Emily Jenkins is about a little girl who, along with her younger brother, decides to set up a lemonade stand in winter. Of course, her parents try to discourage her from the idea, but little Pauline is so excited by the idea that she hardly hears their words. As the title of the book suggests, it's essentially a book about two kids counting money.
There were quite a few lessons presented in the book and probably countless ways you could expand upon it, but here is what I chose to do with Liam.
I didn't get any pictures for this first part, because this was sort of an impromptu lesson. First I got out a handful of coins from our coin jar and laid them on the table in front of Liam. I showed him each of the different types of coins: pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. Then we counted out the value of each of the larger coins with pennies explaining that five pennies is equal to a nickel, ten pennies equals a dime, and twenty-five pennies equals a quarter. it was good counting practice too! After that I asked Liam which he thought would be easier to carry, twenty-five pennies or one quarter? I think he was being silly when he answered the pennies. I put the pennies in one hand and the quarters in the other. His little hands weren't even able to hold all the pennies, so he quickly saw that it was easier to carry the quarter. I explained that is one reason we have different types of coins to represent different values.
I then asked him to sort the coins into the different types and started off each pile for him. He did have trouble distinguishing the nickels from the quarters (the book also mentioned the nickels were tricky to tell apart), but the other coins he was able to sort pretty easily.
Then I made a quick graph and we graphed how many of each of the different types of coins we had. I know it's sloppy, but little boys attention spans go quickly, so I wasn't trying to make it perfect. We talked about which coins we had the most of, which we had the least of, and the type of coins that had the same amount.
I also tried to incorporate a skip counting (by 5s) lesson, but I think that part was over Liam's head at this point, so I didn't push on that. However, if your child is old enough to understand it would be easy to extend it into a skip counting lesson as well.
We enjoyed this book, and I was pleased with all the learning we managed to incorporate after reading it. Definitely check this one out from your library and have some fun teaching your children about coins!
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