Literature Connections to
Group Solutions

Teacher's Guides > Group Solutions

There are a great many children’s literature books that convey positive lessons relating to cooperation. You and your students no doubt have your own favorites. Reading such books can help set the stage for children to work together on cooperative logic activities, and in many other ways as well. Several books that center on cooperation are listed. In addition, there are books to go along with the activities about money, maps and number.

A delightful version of the classic fairy tale “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” is included to complement the many activities in this GEMS guide that include small bear figures, such as “Bear Line-Ups” and “Bear Park Map.”

Alexander Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday
Annabelle Swift, Kindergartner
As the Crow Flies: A First Book of Maps
Babushka’s Doll
A Chair for My Mother
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
How Many Snails?
It’s Mine!

Alexander Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday
by Judith Viorst; illustrated by Ray Cruz
Atheneum, New York. 1978
Grades: K–3
A humorous look at how Alexander spends the dollar that his grandparents give him on a Sunday visit. Though Alexander would like to save the money for a walkie-talkie, saving money is hard! He and his money are quickly parted on such items as bubble gum, bets, a snake rental, and a garage sale.
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Annabelle Swift, Kindergartner
by Amy Schwartz
Orchard Books/Franklin Watts, New York. 1988
Grades: K–2
Although some of the things her older sister taught her at home seem a little unusual at school, other lessons help make Annabelle’s first day in kindergarten a success. The lesson that ties in beautifully with the Coin Count activity involves counting pennies and nickels. Annabelle surprises her classmates with her expertise in counting money. This book will especially appeal to kindergarten kids, but older students will also identify with it.
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As the Crow Flies: A First Book of Maps
by Gail Hartman; illustrated by Harvey Stevenson
Bradbury Press, New York. 1991
Grades: Preschool–2
Different maps chart the worlds and favorite places of an eagle, rabbit, crow, horse, and seagull, each from its own perspective. A large map on the last two pages incorporates all the geographical areas—the mountains, meadow, lighthouse and harbor, skyscrapers, hot dog stand, etc. A wonderful book with which to introduce or reinforce an appreciation of scale. Connects very well with the map activities in Group Solutions.
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Babushka’s Doll
by Patricia Polacco
Simon & Schuster, New York. 1990
Grades: K–3
Natasha is a demanding and rambunctious little girl who borrows a doll that turns out to be even more demanding than she is. Natasha learns something about herself—and that playing with Babushka’s doll once is enough! A good book to start a discussion about cooperative behavior.
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A Chair for My Mother
by Vera B. Williams
Greenwillow Books/William Morrow, New York. 1982
Grades: K–3
A child, her waitress mother and her grandmother save coins to buy a comfortable armchair after all their furniture is lost in a fire. The accumulation of coins of various denominations in a jar grows to a significant amount and is exchanged for dollars at the bank. Ties in with the “Coin Count” activities 1–6 in which students put coins in a cup and count them.
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Goldilocks and the Three Bears
retold and illustrated by Jan Brett
Dodd, Mead & Company, New York. 1987
Grades: K–3
This classic tale introduces a consistent and predictable scale comparison, as Goldilocks encounters the three bowls of porridge, the three chairs, the three beds, and finally, the three bears themselves. Pay attention to the gorgeous illustrations in this version and notice the caterpillars changing to butterflies, the many varieties of birds’ eggs, seeds and leaves, and forest scenes, which show a system of interacting plants and animals. Your students will miss none of these details. A fun way to build on the bear motif.
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How Many Snails?
by Paul Giganti, Jr.; illustrated by Donald Crews
Greenwillow Books, New York. 1988
Grades: Preschool–3
A young child takes walks to different places and wonders about the amount and variety of things seen on the way, from fish to fire trucks to cupcakes. This book invites the reader to actively participate and count meaningfully by attributes.
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It’s Mine!
by Leo Lionni
Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 1985
Grades: K–2
Three quarrelsome frogs quibble over ownership of their pond, the island, and even the air! A storm makes them value the benefits of sharing when they must share the last rock rising above the flooded waters. This is a helpful story to use to introduce the merits of cooperation before beginning cooperative activities.
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