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Lesson Plan

Exploring Cost and Savings Using Children's Literature

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Grades 3 – 5
Estimated Time Four 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Joyce R. Shatzer, Ed.D.

Murray, Kentucky


International Literacy Association



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From Theory to Practice



Looking for a way to make the literature-mathematics connection? This lesson can help. Students begin by reading and discussing A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams, making connections to their own lives and writing their reactions. Next they explore the concept of saving for specific purposes. After looking at sources to compare costs of self-selected items, students set up a savings plan and timeline for the purchase of their items. Students ultimately learn the value of saving their money to meet a self-identified goal and how to go about doing so.

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Savings Plan: This handy tool helps students determine what they want to save for and how they will meet their savings goal.

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Shatzer, J. (2008). Picture book power: Connecting children's literature and mathematics. The Reading Teacher, 61, 649–653.

  • It is important to choose books for children that relate to their lives and help them make connections to other content areas as they construct meaning. Literature with content connections can motivate students to learn.

  • Students can be motivated to make many kinds of literature"“math connections using a wide variety of books and math concepts.


Brassell, D. (2006) Inspiring young scientists with great books. The Reading Teacher, 60, 336–342.

Hyde, A. (2006). Comprehending math: Adapting reading strategies to teach mathematics, K–6. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.


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