Reading Together

Storybook Guide Based on Eleanor May’s “Mice on Ice”

Explore math while reading and talking about this storybook.

Topic:

Activity Summary

Use this storybook guide with the book “Mice on Ice.” Many public libraries have this book.

Reading guide

About the Story

Albert is a clumsy mouse who goes ice-skating with his friends one day. His friends make shapes as they skate around the ice. When Albert tries to join them, he’s too clumsy to make shapes the right way. But then… surprise!

Seven mice ice skate on a lake, three who are skating in the shape of a triangle. Illustration from “Mice on Ice”.

Words to Learn

triplets, triangle, side, equal, turn, straight, square, circle, oval

About the Math

As Albert and his friends skate different shapes on the ice, children can learn:

  • The names of shapes, such as triangles and squares.
  • How to describe shapes. For example, a triangle has three sides and three corners, but a circle has no sides and no corners.
  • Features of shapes. For example, the lines that make up a square have to be straight; they cannot be curvy.
  • The essence of a shape does not change if you simply rotate it.
A mouse imagines his friends skating in a square. Illustration from “Mice on Ice”.

Math Talk During Reading

  • TALK ABOUT THE SHAPES
    What is this shape called? How many sides does it have? Are the lines straight or curvy?
  • NOTICE HOW THE SHAPES ARE THE SAME OR DIFFERENT
    This shape is called a triangle and this shape is called a square. How are they different? How are they the same?
  • REVIEW WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE STORY
    What’s Albert doing? Why does his square look funny?
  • WHEN YOU SEE THE TRIANGLE ON PAGE 8, TURN THE BOOK SIDEWAYS AND ASK
    Is this still a triangle? How do you know?

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

Activity After Reading

  • TRY SOME OF THE SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES AT THE END OF THE BOOK. IN ADDITION, YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN SHAPES USING STICKS, STRAWS, OR BY DRAWING LINES IN SAND OR SHAVING CREAM.
    Let’s practice making shapes. Can you use your finger to trace a triangle in the whipped cream?