Reading Together

Storybook Guide Based on Michael Dahl’s “Eggs and Legs: Counting by Twos”

Explore math while reading and talking about this storybook.

Topic:

Activity Summary

Use this storybook guide with the book “Eggs and Legs: Counting by Twos.”
Many public libraries have this book.

Reading guide

About the Story

Mrs. Hen’s eggs are missing! She counts two little legs under an egg running in the barn and then four little legs hiding in the corn. Are there more? Six legs are chasing the dog, and eight legs are climbing on the cow. Mrs. Hen keeps counting until she finds all 10 eggs with their 20 little legs. This book helps children count by twos by showing the numbers and corresponding dots on each page.

Words to Learn

NUMBER WORDS AND SYMBOLS
two, four, six, eight, ten, twelve, fourteen, sixteen, eighteen, twenty; 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20

OTHER MATH WORDS
empty, little, into, through

About the Math

This story is about skip counting by twos. While counting along with Mrs. Hen, children can learn:

  • How to count by twos.
  • How to add two to another number. When we have eight legs and count two more, we are adding two to eight to get 10.
  • Number relations: The number of eggs is related to the number of legs: One egg has two legs, two eggs have four legs, three eggs have six legs, and so on.

Math Talk During Reading

  • PRACTICE COUNTING BY TWOS
    “Let’s try reading the numbers in the corner of the page together: two, four, six, eight, 10, 12 …”
  • PREDICT WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN YOU ADD TWO MORE
    “I see 12 little legs on this page. If there are two more legs on the next page, how many legs will there be?”
  • EXAMINE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE NUMBER OF EGGS AND THE NUMBER OF LEGS
    “First there is one egg and two legs, and then we have two eggs and four legs. How many legs will there be when we have three eggs?”

Try to come up with some of your own questions and comments, too!

Activity After Reading

  • SCAVENGER HUNT
    Go on a scavenger hunt around your home to find things that come in pairs, such as pants with two legs, pots with two handles, or windows with two panes. Practice counting by twos: “Let’s count by twos to find out how many window panes we see! Two, four, six, eight…”