It's election time at Camp Grizzly. Who will win the race to be the new mascot? Sophie's got the support of the all-important boat club. Daniel hands out flyers and candy bars. But with 50 out of 100 campers—50%—still undecided, Corey decides to throw her hat in the ring. As the race heats up, The Grizzly Gazette publishes polls showing how the percentages break down using a pie graph. Can Corey catch up? Learning how to describe a group of 100 in terms of percentages is the first step toward understanding this important concept. Illustrated by Steve Björkman.
As you read the story, have your or students child find the sum of the percentages shown in each graph. It is important that the child understand that percentages represented in a circle graph will always add up to 100.
Help your child or students draw a circle graph that shows one 50% segment and two 25% segments, and another circle graph that shows one 25% segment and one 75% segment. Talk about the language used to describe percentages. Equate 50% with one half of the circle, 25% with one quarter of the circle, and 75% with three quarters of the circle.
Cut a stick of butter or a candy bar in half. Then cut one half into two pieces. Ask your child to name the fractions (halves and quarters). Then ask the child which piece is 25% of the whole. Point out the largest piece and ask what percentage of the whole stick it is. Put 1/4 stick and 1/4 stick together and ask what fraction and percentage the two pieces combined represent.
Teachers will cheer to learn that Murphy has added percentages to his entertaining and educational series dealing with math concepts. The famous Grizzly Parade tops off the last week of Camp Grizzly. Sophie and Daniel are in a race for the honor of leading the festivities as camp mascot, when Corey decides that she would also like to run. As the three campaign throughout the camp, handing out candy, printing t-shirts, cart-wheeling, and finding out what the campers want from a mascot, the camp's Grizzly Gazette periodically polls all 100 campers and reports their findings in a pie graph. The pie pieces are labeled with percentages, while the margins show the number of campers who believe they will vote for each candidate. With 100 campers, the numbers of voters and the percentages are equal, making the concept easier for young learners. Social studies teachers should not feel left out, though; this could easily belong to a CitizenStart series, if one existed. Along with the share of votes going to each of the candidates, the pie graph shows the percentage of campers who are undecided. While Daniel and Sophie are busily bribing campers with favors and fancy tricks, Corey comes up with a campaign that will improve Camp Grizzly, and steals the show on Election Day. Murphy includes his standard afterward to help readers get the most from the concepts presented. The section includes activities, suggestions for extending the learning, and a reading list of other books that deal with similar concepts. Bjorkman's cartoon-like illustrations add to the camp feel and keep young readers searching throughout the pages for easily missed details. Especially delightful is the way he includes the camp critters in the elections. This is not one to be left off elementary bookshelves.Used with permission from Kirkus Reviews. Copyright ¬©2002, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Text copyright © 2003 Stuart J. Murphy,
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