
Obtain the Materials 

 The book, Rooster’s Off to See the World by Eric Carle.
 Graph paper
 Markers
 Brown paper lunch bags
 Animal squares (1 rooster, 2 cats, 3 frogs, 4 turtles, and 5 fish – can be copied from the book). The squares shouldn’t be too large – 2” x 2”. Each bag should have a set of the animals. Make sure there are 15 squares in each bag.
Note: Small parts create a choking hazard for children. Make sure that all materials you choose to use for an activity or lesson with children meet safety requirements. Small parts are not appropriate for children who are 5 years of age or younger.




Introduce the Activity 

 Explain to the children that together we are going to read Rooster’s Off to See the World. On Rooster’s journey, he meets many animals. Ask the children to predict what type of animals Rooster will meet.
 Write down the various animals on the piece of graph paper. Make sure that the suggestions are organized in a way that resembles a graph and that there is room to keep tallies of the animals that Rooster encounters in the book. When reading the book, pause and make note when one of the predicted animals is mentioned.
 Invite the children to listen to the book. Say, “Now we will read about Rooster’s journey. Raise your hand when you notice an animal. Let’s keep track of all the animals Rooster meets as well as how many animals he meets.
 Notice that on the top right hand corner of each page of the book, there is a way to keep track of the number and type of animals that Rooster meets along the way.
 Book reads “Just then, he met two cats. The Rooster said ‘Come along with me to see the world.’ ‘We would love to,’ they purred and set off down the road with Rooster.”
 Say: “Notice in the corner of the book that the book is keeping track of how many animals are joining Rooster on his trip. There was Rooster and now 2 cats have joined. How many animals are now on Rooster’s journey?” (Three) “That’s right. Let’s keep reading to see how many more animals join Rooster.”
 Continue reading and making note of the animals that join the journey. You will then get to a page in the middle of the book that has no note of the animals in the corner and shows all the animals gathered together with fire flies up overhead.
 Book reads “After a few minutes of silence, the fish suddenly decided that it might be best if they headed for home. They wished the others a happy trip and swam away.”
 Ask: “What is happening with the group of animals?” (They are leaving) “How many animals were there?” (15). Check your chart paper if the children are uncertain. Say, “And now the fish have left. How many animals are there left in the group?” (10) “What do you think is going to happen next?”
 Continue reading and making note of the animals that go home.
 After finishing the book, check the predictions that the children made earlier. Add the animals that weren’t listed and eliminate the animals that were not in the book. Ask the children to recall the number of each animal in the book. Say, “Ok, there were turtles. How many turtles were there?” (4) Do this for all the animals so the children will have a reference when doing their activity.




Engage the Children 

 Give each child a paper bag filled with the animal squares.
 Ask them to take all of the animal squares out of the bag.
 Explain that they are going to arrange the animal squares in the way in which they appear in the book.
 “First there was Rooster. Then who did he meet?” (2 cats)
 “Rooster plus 2 cats equals how many animals?” (3)
 Continue asking questions about how many animals are included in the group each time the child adds a new group of animals. If the children have trouble recalling the sequence, have them refer back to the chart paper.
 When the children have arranged all the animals in the sequence that they appeared in the book, begin to have the children take away the animals in the order in which they left the group. “There were 15 animals in the group but then 5 fish left. How many animals are left in the group?” Continue to do this until all of the animals are gone and put back into the bag.
 Using the animal squares, ask questions that will have the children solving the problems by using the squares.
 “If just the turtles and the cats went on the journey, how many animals would there be?”
 “If the fish and frogs went on a journey, how many animals would there be?"
 “If there were the fish, rooster and the cats on the journey and the cats decided to go home, how many animals would be left?”
While you are asking these questions, have the children use the animal squares to display their thinking and aid in their calculations.
**It is helpful to set some rules and expectations around this activity. You do not want the children to call out the answers but instead, you want them to show you the answer with their manipulation of the animal squares. Before starting the activity, explain that they are going to be doing some adding and subtracting using the animal squares. Say, It is important that everyone has time to think and work out their answers. So I wold like you to raise your hand when you have the answer and I will come over and check on you. Please do not call out. Your raised hand will be the signal that you have the answer. That way, everyone will be able to answer the questions."
Additional Extensions
 On an additional piece of paper, have the children write down the number sentences that accompany the question.
 “If just the turtles and the cats went on a journey, how many animals would be on the journey altogether?’ 4 + 2 = 6.
 “If just the fish, rooster and the cats went on the journey together and the cats decided to go home, how many animals would be left?” 5 + 1 + 2 – 2 = 6 or 8 – 2 = 6.
 Group the animals.
 “Can you make 3 equal groups with all the animals?”
 “How many animals would be in each group if there were 3 equal groups?"




Encourage Vocabulary 

 Predict – To guess what will happen next (e.g., "Predict what type of animals Rooster will meet on his voyage.")
 Sequence – An ordered set of numbers, shapes, or other mathematical objects arranged according to a rule (e.g., "First there was Rooster and then two cats joined. So the sequence at this point is Rooseter, Cat, Cat. Each new animal is added to the sequence according to when they join the group in the story.")
 How many  The total or sum (e.g., "If just the turtles and the cats went on the journey, how many animals would there be?")
 Altogether – In total (e.g., "If just the turtles and the cats went on a journey, how many animals would be on the journey altogether?")
 Take away – To remove something (e.g., "Begin to have the children take away the animals in the order in which they left the group.)
 Plus – The addition of (e.g., "Rooster plus 2 cats equals how many animals?")
 Equals – To be the same in number or amount (e.g., "Rooster plus 2 cats equals how many animals?")
Glossary of MATH vocabulary 



Make Adaptations 

Supporting Children at Different Levels 
Toddlers 

PreK 
Toddlers may:
 Have difficulty with sequencing.
 Have difficulty keeping a tally of all the animals found.
 Require step by step modeling.


PreK Children may:
 Be able to write and understand number sentences (3 + 2 = 5).
 Have a working knowledge of addition of numbers 010.

Home child care providers may:
 Provide a visual of what animals were encountered when and how many of each animal.
 Write the number next to the group of animals. When 4 turtles are found, write the number 4 next to the group of animals.
 Do the activity alongside of the children with their animal squares.

Home child care providers may:





Books 

 Rooster’s Off to See the World by Eric Carle (New York: Scholastic Inc., 1972)




Music and Movement 





Outdoor Connections 

 Counting animals would be a wonderful and rich activity to engage in while at the zoo. Create a tally sheet with pictures of the animals that can be found at the zoo. The children can walk around the zoo with their tally sheets, clipboards and pencils and record the number of each of the animals they see at the zoo. Thie is a great way to keep everyone engaged in mathematics while visiting the zoo.




Web Resources 

