Tang, Greg. New York: Scholastic, 2003. 9780439443833
Quantitative Reading Level: Reading Level 3.5 Fountas and Pinnell Q
Qualitative Reading Analysis:
This text is surprisingly complex. I would rate it as Middle High in the “Text Complexity Measure Rubric”. What makes it complex is the language which mixed mathematic terms and art terms written in short poems. Each problem refers to the artist which most students would be unfamiliar with and many mention a art style or concept which would also be unfamiliar. The author does provide the solutions at the end of the book and a math glossary. This author states the book was designed for ages 5-10 but the younger students would need a lot of support.
The author presents 12 story problems that combine a famous artwork and addition. The problems are written in short poems that include the artist and often aspects of the author’s style. Readers are then asked to find multiple solutions to an addition problem using elements from the artwork.
Content Area: Math – problem solving, addition; Art
Content area standard:
CCSS.Math.Content.3.NBT.A.2 Fluently add and subtract within 1000 using strategies and algorithms based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.
MCCL MA.02.OAS.01.02 Understands addition as putting together and adding to within 20
MA.03.OAS.02.02 Understands the commutative, identity and associative property of addition.
MA.04.OAS.01.02 Is skilled at solving word problems using addition and subtraction of whole numbers
Ar.02.EXB.01.01 Understand the importance of presentation including signing, mounting, and labeling (such as title, size, medium, name, age)
With younger students a teacher could look at the text with small groups and answer the addition problems. In the solutions at the back of the book the author suggests approaching the problems in a systematic way which could be taught and demonstrated by the teacher. If the teacher had a ebook the text could be shown on a SmartBoard and a class could work through the problems.
The teacher could also use the text to expose students to various artists, art forms, and terminology. In addition, the teacher could point of how the author cites the different artwork properly. The teacher could use this as a mentor text for correct attribution.
This was a fun book but requires more than a quick read through in order to solve the problems. I doubt many third graders would “enjoy” this book as a simple read. The book would best be approached as a class book using a SmartBoard or use with a small problems solving group.
Subjects/Themes: Math – problem solving, addition; Art
High Interest Annotation: This book is great for practicing addition, problem solving, and learning a little bit about art along the way.