Reading Together

Storybook Guide Based on Miguel Tanco’s “Count on Me”

Explore math while reading and talking about this storybook.

Topic:

Activity Summary

Use this storybook guide with the book “Count on Me.” Many public libraries have this book. This book is a Mathical Award winner.

Reading guide

About the Story

A little girl sees that her family and friends have different passions. Dad loves to paint, brother loves music, and friends love to cook or sing. But the little girl doesn’t enjoy any of these activities. She can’t play tennis or the tuba. She doesn’t like karate. Instead, she loves math. She loves finding shapes in the trees and at the playground. She loves thinking about curves. She loves making shapes with her blocks. Her passion is deep and satisfying, too.

A father paints while his daughter plays checkers. Illustration from "Count on Me."

Words to Learn

MATH WORDS
geometric shapes, concentric circles, infinite ways

OTHER WORDS
passion, difficult

About the Math

This book is about both math (especially geometry) and more importantly, the passion for math. Children can learn:

  • Math is all around us in the world.
  • You can see triangles, squares, and more at
    the playground.
  • You can see concentric circles in the lake.
  • Children have many different passions.
  • Your passion doesn’t have to be the same as
    your friends’.
  •  You can love math.
A boy and girl take a walk through a park together. Illustration from "Count on Me."

Talk During Reading

  • EXPLORE SHAPES
    How many different shapes can you find in the playground picture? How many different shapes are there in the picture of the blocks?
  • DISCUSS THE GIRL’S FEELINGS
    How do you think the girl feels when her friends love to dance but she can’t dance very well? Do you think her friends will find it hard to understand the girl’s passion for math?
  • TALK ABOUT YOUR CHILD’S FEELINGS
    What is a passion? Do you have a passion? What is it? Do you think girls can love math?

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

Activity After Reading

  • MAKE LISTS OF PASSIONS
    Let’s make a list of some things you are passionate about and some you are not passionate about. Can you make a list like this for some of your friends?
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