The Perfect Book for Literacy & Numeracy Week

This brainwave came to me the other day and I couldn't wait to write about it and explore the book Uno's Garden with my Year 2 class - as part of Literacy and Numeracy week.

Graeme Base would have to be one of my favourite Australian illustrators (and authors of course but I feel his art work really needed a mention - did you know that original art works from the books sell for up to $50,000???). They detail is absolutely brilliant and the reader gets completed enthralled in the story thanks to the imagery.

Uno's Garden at it's core, is a story about how fragile the environment is, and how society needs to strive to create a balance between creatures, man made structures, and plant life. It uses multiplication concepts to do so, both increasing in numbers, and decreasing - even touching on square numbers. The mythical creatures and plants are so fun and creative!

Literacy and Numeracy week is all about integrating these two learning areas together, and what better way to do that than with books about numbers?

Let me explain Uno's Garden a bit more...

We begin with 10 creatures,
And 10 x 10 plants (= 100).
And one resident (Uno) who decides to live in the forest (so at the beginning of the story there are no buildings).

Moving through the story, as the number of buildings increases, the animals and plants decrease. So when there are 8 creatures, there are 8 x 8 plants (= 64), and 2 buildings (1 + 1 = 2). By the time there are 4 creatures, there are 4 x 4 plants (= 16), and 16 + 16 = 32 buildings. This number pattern continues until there is nothing but buildings, and a lot of very sad and miserable people.

Fortunately Uno kept a tiny collection of plants, and slowly the animals and forest returns. But this time, in perfect harmony. 2 creatures, 2 buildings and 2 plants - and so on until we get to our balanced eco system.

Oh and did I mention there is always a cheeky "Snortlepig" to find on every page? This is a trademark of the author - if you are familiar with Anamaila you'll know that there is a little lost boy to find on every page, and in The Eleventh Hour, you need to find tiny mice hiding throughout the book. These books really stand out in my childhood memories. Another favourite is The Waterhole which will appeal to younger readers during Literacy and Numeracy week as it simply explores number 1-10. Or check out this post of books for very young children all about numbers! Why not go through your own book shelf (whether you're at home or in the classroom) and pull out every single book that explores numbers - and then count how many you find!

Uno's Garden is absolutely perfect for the Year 2 age group. I would highly recommend it to kick off Literacy and Numeracy week in your class!

Lauren :)

1 comment

  1. Exploring Uno's Garden during Literacy and Numeracy Week sounds fantastic! Graeme Base's intricate illustrations and the story's environmental message make it a valuable educational tool. Looking forward to more engaging activities
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