Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Math Picture Books to Love: Spaghetti and Meatballs for All

Spaghetti and Meatballs for All! by Marilyn Burns

  • Target Skill(s): Area and Perimeter
  • Book Synopsis: The Comfort family wants to have a family reunion. They plan to invite 32 guests. In order to accommodate all 32 family members, they decide to order 8 four-person tables and 32 chairs. Once the guests begin to arrive, the family members begin to push the tables together so that the family members can sit closer together. However, each time the family changes the table arrangement, Mrs. Comfort objects and says the new arrangement won't work. Finally, after multiple attempts, the Comforts return to Mrs. Comfort's original floor plan. 
  • Math Involved: This story involves finding the combined area and perimeter of table arrangements. 
  • Questions to Ponder: 
    • If Mrs. Comfort ordered enough tables and chairs for all of the family members, why couldn't they all sit at the different table arrangements?
    • Why did Mrs. Comfort object each time the family changed the seating arrangement?
    • What happened each time two tables were pushed together? 
    • How many tables would you have ordered for the family so that everyone could sit together? Explain. 
  • Activity Ideas: 
    • Review the various table arrangements from the story. Make a record of them. Have students find the combined area and perimeter of each arrangement.
    • Provide students with 8 squares. Then, have students create and record a variety of arrangements. Next, have students record the area and perimeter of each arrangement. Finally, have students determine the arrangement with the largest perimeter and the smallest perimeter. 
    •  Have students create a table arrangement diagram (similar to Mrs. Comfort's diagram) to show how many tables would be needed for all of the Comforts to sit together. 
  • Book Link on Amazon: