Double Play!: Monkeying Around With Addition
written by Betsy Franco; illustrated by Doug Cushman
2011 (Random House)
Source: Mebane Public Library
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Chimps Jill and Jake make the most of their recess time. They hang out on the bars, jump rope, play foursquare, blow bubbles, and engage in other fun activities. As they play, the reader will notice that recess presents a great opportunity to think about math. The subject today is doubles in addition and when Jill and Jake hang upside down on the bars, they see two sets of knees; 2 + 2 = 4. When there are two games of foursquare being played, you have 8 squares; 4 + 4 = 8. Learning about doubles is an integral part of the process of being able to add numbers and Double Play! makes this fun.
Betsy Franco has mixed poetry and math before with Zero Is the Number of Leaves On a Tree and with Double Play! she again strikes a perfect chord in blending words and numbers. After reading aloud this book with a preschool or kindergarten class, you will hear addition sentences being trumpeted by students all over the playground for days. Students will also delight in viewing Doug Cushman's playful and bright artwork. I would definitely use Double Play! to create a writing activity combining recess, addition sentences, and illustrations. Your class could create their own version of the book. Another thought would be to think about the addition sentences in other areas of the school including the lunchroom. Double Play! is a great lesson for young children on applying the skills you learn in school to all parts of your life.
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