Literature Connections to
In All Probability

Teacher's Guides > In All Probability

There are several books in which statistics are generated that also involve collecting, organizing, and recording data. Though some of these books may not be at the exact reading level of your students, they can still provide the basis of a statistics activity. In addition, books about prediction, chance and probability as well as number are included. One session in the guide includes a Native American game from California and to complement that session there is a book of California Indian legends.

Alice
Back in the Beforetime: Tales of the California Indians
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Jumanji
People

Alice
by Whoopi Goldberg; illustrated by John Rocco
Bantam Books, New York. 1992
Grades: 2–6
This book not only highlights the comedic skills of its author, it contains a lesson about friendship and some statistical wisdom relating to sweepstakes and their deceptive enticements. Alice enters “every sweepstakes, every giveaway, every contest,” because she wants more than anything else to be rich. She lives in New Jersey and one day is notified she has won a sweepstakes. Alice convinces her friends to go with her on an odyssey to New York City to collect the prize. What happens makes for a rollicking adventure, which your students will enjoy, as they realize the probability and statistics lessons they are learning in the classroom have lots of applications in the real world!
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Back in the Beforetime: Tales of the California Indians
retold by Jane L. Curry; illustrated by James Watts
Macmillan Publishing Co., New York. 1987
Grades: 2–6
A retelling of 22 legends about the creation of the world from a variety of California Indian tribes. In the myth “The Theft of Fire,” the animal people spend an evening gambling with the people from the World’s End. After the animal people lose all they can gamble, Coyote wagers the animal people’s fire stones in a final bet. The outcome of that bet is the basis for the mythic explanation of how the animal people got fire. The story ties in with Session 5 “Game Sticks,” a California Native American gambling game.
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Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
by Judi Barrett; illustrated by Ron Barrett
Atheneum, New York. 1978
Grades: K–3
A hilarious look at weather conditions in the town of Chewandswallow, which needs no food stores because daily climatic conditions bring the inhabitants food and beverages, such as a storm of giant pancakes or an outpouring of maple syrup. This book presents a non-threatening way to look at predictions. Students can follow up the story by listening to weather reports and charting the accuracy of meteorologists. They can also use The Cloud Book by Tomie dePaola to observe and chart clouds, one aspect of weather patterns.
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Jumanji
by Chris Van Allsburg
Houghton Mifflin, Boston. 1981
Scholastic Books, New York. 1988
Grades: K–5
A bored brother and sister left on their own find a discarded board game (called Jumanji) which turns their home into an exotic jungle. A final roll of the dice for two sixes helps them escape from an erupting volcano. The story complements the horse racing game in the GEMS guide where the roll of the dice also determines an important outcome.
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People
by Peter Spier
Doubleday, New York. 1980
Grades: Preschool–6
Here’s an exploration of the differences between (and similarities among) the billions of people on earth. It illustrates different noses, different clothes, different customs, different religions, different pets, and so on. This is a great book to use in collecting statistics and creating graphs about characteristics of people. Pairs of students can investigate the occurrence in their class of a physical feature (hair type, eye color, etc.), preference (types of food), or other distinguishing attribute (where one lives), and report their findings to the class.
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