Book Chat


Since I’m on the topic… here’s another lesson from the library!  I taught this lesson a several months ago, to coordinate with the grade level curriculum, and wrote a blog post, but for some reason I never posted it.  It’s just been sitting as a sad lonely draft for months and months.  And now school is almost over and singing catchy songs about coin identification is the last thing on my mind.  But!  I thought I’d share anyway.

So here goes:

The topic was money, mainly the identification of coins for the younger ones, and counting coins for the older ones.

I chose A Chair for my Mother, by Vera B. Williams… I always try to choose a book that’s related but not just a step-by-step book that is too dry to be interesting.  This is a really sweet story about a mother and daughter who save their money to buy a new chair after a fire in their apartment destroys all their possessions.

At the part where the mother and daughter see the fire trucks and smoke coming from their apartment, I stopped reading to ask: How would you feel?

And after reading, I asked some questions to segue into our money activities.  I asked: “What kinds of jobs can you do to earn money?” and “What would you like to buy if you saved your money?” (lots of funny answers here, until one kid names a video game and then it gets very predictable as they all jump on the bandwagon) and “If you could earn money, would you save it or spend it right away?” ( almost all of them say they would save it… not sure if they’re being entirely honest, but it’s a nice thought).
With the younger grades we sang a coin indentifcation song to the tune of “The Ants Go Maching.”  I made posters of the lyrics with pictures while I was student teaching, so I found them in the attic and brought them to school.  The lyrics are really cute!

“The Coins Go Rolling”

The penny is small and brown you see, Hurrah!  Hurrah!
The penny is small and brown you see, Hurrah!  Hurrah!
They penny is small and brown you see,
It’s worth one cent, that’s enough for me!
And it jingle-jangles down in my pocket
with the rest of the coins, Clink! Clink! Clink!

And so it goes… the nickel is silver and smooth all around, worth five cents heads up or down; the dime is tiny and silver too, it’s worth ten cents I know it’s true, and the quarter is the biggest one, and now our song is done.  The kids really loved to sing along.. especially the Clink Clink Clink (like the Boom! Boom! Boom! in the Ants Go Marching song)
Then we played a cute coin toss game: I called a student to pull a paper coin from my bag, then toss a (real!) penny to land on the same coin taped to the floor.  Pretty cute stuff.
To wrap up our time while students were checking out books, we read Chicka Chicka 123 by Bill Martin Jr., and played the animated song on a dvd for our younger kids.

For the older grades, we replaced the Chicka Chicka song with a Scholastic dvd version of the book If You Made a Million by David M. Schwartz.   Fun stuff!


4 thoughts on “MoneyMoneyMoney!

  1. This is completely unrelated but Damien has never read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. He looks at me like I’m crazy when I randomly say “A told B and B told C, I’ll beat you to the top of the coconut tree.”

    Hope you’re moving is going well and Sam is enjoying the new job.

    Also, have you read The Book Thief? Because it is life chaning-ly amazing.


    1. I’m really embarrassed to say I tried to read The Book Thief and couldn’t get into it… and I really should’ve liked it. Maybe it was because I was moving (and getting married, I think) at the time and just couldn’t concentrate. It’s definitely on the list to attempt to try again one day. Moving sucks, what can I say. But I guess you could say it’s going “well.”

      love you! (btw my favorite part is when they all come down from the coconut tree and they’re all beat up. What does that say about me??)


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