Turtle is such a generous and good friend that none of his buddies can say no when he invites them to lunch for a bowl of that "thick and green, gooey and slimy" delicacy, seaweed soup. Will he have enough matching place settings for everybody? Not to worry…this is one resourceful turtle. Understanding sets is an important step in counting, as well as in learning about patterns. Illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz.
DC Standard 4.1, Matching Sets, One-to-One Correspondence: Children will demonstrate a beginning understanding of number and operations and how they relate to one another. 4.1.1: Use one-to-one correspondence. 4.1.6: Recognize quantities of small groups up to 4.
While reading the story together, ask your child or class what things each new character will need in order to eat lunch. As each new guest arrives, count the number of cups, spoons, napkins, and bowls on the table. Discuss how each guest has 1 cup, 1 spoon, 1 napkin, and 1 bowl.
Plan a party (real or make-believe) with a favorite soup as the main course. (The soup can be real or make-believe: Orange Basketball Bubblegum soup – yum!) Together, make up a guest list and figure out how many cups, spoons, napkins and bowls will be needed. To help children visualize place-settings, use paper or plastic cups, spoons and bowls.
Get a package of plastic silverware (nothing too sharp!) and some plastic cups. Remove one of the forks and of the knives. Ask your child or students to make as many complete sets as they can. For the sets that come up short, what can they find around the room that could serve as a substitute? Be creative—just like Turtle! Try it again, only this time return the fork and take away two spoons and a cup.
The talents of Murphy and Remkiewicz add up to a humorous tale about sweet-natured Turtle, a charming host who invites a succession of sea creature friends to enjoy some of his fresh seaweed soup. Turtle's friends think the "thick and green, gooey and slimy" soup looks suspect, but don't want to hurt their kind friend's feelings. For each additional guest, Turtle sets a place at his table with a cup, spoon, napkin, and bowl-the elements of the mathematical sets (also called one-to-one correspondence) that is the story's theme. As the number of guests increases, Turtle finds that he has to make do with a variety of tableware that doesn't always match but that serves the same function. The guests find to their surprise that the soup is delicious, and their polite manners and Turtle's touching hospitality provide life lessons beyond math concepts. A chart near the end shows all the tableware sets in rows, offering additional opportunities for counting and matching subsets.Used with permission from Kirkus Reviews. Copyright ¬© Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
Murphy's humorous text indirectly teaches about sets as Turtle sits down to enjoy his thick green, gooey seaweed soup. Each time unsuspecting friends come by, they are invited to lunch and Turtle goes to his shelf to find extra place settings. When he runs out of an item, he makes another set with substitutes. For instance, a jelly jar serves for a cup, a toy shovel becomes a spoon, etc. Children will enjoy the story and its surprising ending while learning about the concept. The bright watercolor cartoons by the artist of "Froggy" fame lend a deft and humorous touch to the proceedings. The last pages have tips for further fun with math, suggestions for activities around the house, plus a short list of other stories with similar concepts. Well worth considering.
—Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
Used with permission from School Library Journal. Copyright Cahners Business Information, Inc.
In this level 1 MathStart book, Murphy introduces the concepts of matching sets, or one-to-one-correspondence. On a sunny beach, Turtle makes a batch of seaweed soup and invites his friends Crab, Sandpiper, Seagull, and Clam to join him for lunch. One by one, his friends come to the table, requiring Turtle to produce an additional place setting. The lunch is a success, and at the close, Turtle produces another whole pot of the savory stuff. Adults will want to read through this book before sharing it with children so that they can guide discussion about Turtle's table-setting dilemma. A graph will help children review what they've learned, and two pages of ideas for extending the book are appended. Remkiewicz's appealing illustrations encourage children to match sets and count items in each set.
Used with permission from Booklist. Copyright ¬© 2001 American Library Association. All rights reserved.
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Text copyright © 2003 Stuart J. Murphy,
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