Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Of Fractiousness and Fractions

The Lion's Share: A Tale of Halving Cake and Eating It, Too
by Matthew McElligott
Walker & Company, 2009
review copy provided by the publisher

It's the time of year in 4th grade for fractions and fractiousness. I prefer the fractions. The Lion's Share is a great fable that gets readers to think about fractions AND good behavior.

The Lion hosts a dinner for all of the animals. Ant is on time; the other animals are not. Ant is shocked at the appalling table manners of the other animals. When it's time for dessert, the Lion serves a cake and says, "Please help yourself." The Elephant sets the tone by taking half the cake as his serving. Each animal in turn takes half of what is left, and then criticizes Ant when the crumbs she's left with fall apart, leaving none for the Lion. Ant apologizes to Lion and offers to bake him a special cake from her grandmother's recipe. Not to be outdone, each animal in turn offers to bake double the number of cakes of the animal before him, leaving Elephant with quite a task!

In the end, Lion and Ant share the special strawberry sponge cake...half and half.


Interview with the author at Classroom Book of the Week.

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