B'rrrr. It's a cold snowy day and Farmer Bill is missing one of his mittens. The cow, three chickens and two horses are in the same pickle. Instead of having an even 2, 4, 6 or 8 mittens for their hands, hooves and feet, they've got 1, 3, 5 and 7. How odd! Can you guess who the barnyard mitten thief is?
Identifying the difference between odd and even numbers is essential to understanding our number system.
Illustrated by G. Brian Karas.
Draw a line down the center of a piece of paper. On one side represent some even numbers by drawing pairs of small objects. On the other, show odd numbers by drawing pairs of objects, plus one more. Have your students (or child) tell you how the even numbers are alike and how the odd numbers are alike.
Place a small pile of buttons on a table. Is there an even or an odd number of buttons in the pile? Place a second pile on the table. Is there an even or an odd number of buttons in that pile? Add them together. Is that number even or odd? Make new piles and try the activity many times. Do you get an even or an odd number when you add the two evens together? Two odds? And odd and an even?
Teacher Idea: I use "Missing Mittens" with first graders to introduce the concept of odd and even numbers. I have them create different scenarios of mittens. The book is so comically illustrated. They love the cow's udders with mittens. That really inspired them to do peacocks with mittens on the feathers. They had to identify what happened, whether it was an odd number of mittens or an even number. It’s wonderful. They created their own books. And it was very exciting to see the different things the students learned to do. —Debbie Abrams, Sayville School District, Sayville, NY