Read Me A (Math) Story!

Village book.jpg

In my work with teachers, I have the benefit of being exposed to wonderful and innovative ideas for instruction and classroom activities on a regular basis.  It's one of the things I love most about my work!  You would be amazed at all of the new and exciting things that teachers are creating on a daily basis!  It always surprises me however when a teacher does not know about a resource that I consider a classic.  If you are a teacher, then you know what I'm talking about.  Each of us has that special collection of stuff that contain our go-to items, our favorite activities, and the best of our original work.

Today's blog is about one of those classics.  I'm talking about the book, "If The World Were a Village" by David J. Smith, illustrated by Shelagh Armstrong.  

The reason this book is in my go-to collection is because it holds all the qualities I seek in my "favorites":

  • Multicultural
  • Adaptable
  • Easy to use (Bonus: low cost)
  • Creative
  • Motivating

The premise of the book is deceptively simple:

If all the world were represented in a village of 100 people, what would that village look like?

What follows is page after page of wonderful and often surprising information on topics like food, languages, schooling, water, money, and electricity.  

Did you know?

If the world were a village of 100 people, only 5 of them would be from the United States.

If the world were a village of 100 people, 24 of them do not have electricity.

If the world were a village of 100 people, only 30 of them always have enough food to eat?

Of course this book can simply be read and enjoyed in its own right, but what I love is how wonderfully it can be turned in an engaging and enlightening lesson on math, statistics, civics, social studies, science, or world awareness.

I've often used this book in my in-service workshops with teachers who are trying to meet state standards related to Reading Across the Curriculum and they LOVE it!  

One of my personal favorite activities to do with students (or teachers) once we've read the book is to assign the task of creating their own graphic on a new topic in the style of the village book.  

A simple assignment, yet it requires creativity, research, and mathematics to support the claim that is made.  I usually give them a copy of the last page of the book which describes how the calculations were made and gives resources for world data.

I love this book and the resulting classroom activities it creates because of the wide variety of mathematics topics which can be included like these: (partial list only)

  • Statistics
  • Graphing
  • Comparisons
  • Modeling
  • Error analysis

I hope you've enjoyed learning about this classic educational resource and that you add it to your personal go-to collection today!  As always, I'd love to hear from you.

References:

Cool collection of 21 pictures related to the story

Want your own copy?  Here's the link to buy it on Amazon.

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The Solver Blog

Author:  Dr. Diana S. Perdue

© Rimwe Educational Resources LLC 2019