Reading Together

Storybook Guide Based on Peggy Rathmann’s “10 Minutes till Bedtime”

Explore math while reading and talking about this storybook.

Topic:

Activity Summary

Use this storybook guide with the book “10 Minutes till Bedtime.” Many public libraries have this book.

Reading guide

About the Story

“10 Minutes Till Bedtime” is a counting book about a boy who has 10 minutes to get ready for bed. A team of hamsters arrives to help the boy put away his toys, put on his pajamas, brush his teeth, and read a bedtime story. The story and art are hilarious so your child will enjoy learning to count backward. Use this storybook guide with the book “Eric Carle’s 123.” Many public libraries have this book.

A boy sits in a rocking chair and reads a book while someone says “3 minutes until bedtime.” Illustration from “10 Minutes Until Bedtime.”

Words to Learn

NUMBER WORDS AND SYMBOLS
ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one; 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

OTHER WORDS
minutes, aboard

About the Math

The story begins at 10 minutes and counts backward to bedtime. When reading this counting book, your child can learn:

  • How to count both forward (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) and backward (10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1).
  • How to read the numerals: We read 1 as “one,” 2 as “two,” 3 as “three,” etc.
  • How long a minute lasts and how many minutes it takes to get ready for bed.
A boy brushes his teeth in a hurry and someone says “7 minutes til bedtime.” Illustration from “10 Minutes Until Bedtime.”

Math Talk During Reading

  • PRACTICE COUNTING BACKWARD AND GUESSING WHAT NUMBER COMES NEXT
    So far, 10, 9, 8, 7 minutes have passed. What number do you think we will see next?
  • TALK ABOUT TIME
    What can you do in one minute?
  • CONNECT THE STORY TO YOUR CHILD’S BEDTIME ROUTINES
    How do you get ready for bed? Is that the same or different than the boy?
  • AFTER READING THE STORY, PRACTICE COUNTING BACKWARD FROM DIFFERENT NUMBERS
    Let’s count backward starting from
    8… Now try to count backward from 13…

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

Activity After Reading

  • AFTER READING THE STORY, TIME HOW LONG DIFFERENT ACTIVITIES LAST
    Let’s time how many minutes it takes you to get ready for bed, or how long it takes you to eat breakfast.