If you are a fan of the “Sir Cumference” storybooks from Cindy Neuschwander, you may be excited to read today’s post! The Warlord’s Series from Virginia Pilegard is similar in that each book teaches important math concepts. The difference is that these books take place in ancient China! This is a great opportunity to introduce kids to some of the history and culture of China, while exploring math. Plus, you can extend the learning even further with The Warlord’s Beads extension lessons I’ve created!
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About The Warlord’s Beads:
This story follows the first book in the series, The Warlord’s Puzzle. Each story follows a young boy named Chuan as he grows and learns to apply math concepts in his home at the Warlord’s palace.
There are 8 books in this series in all, most of which you can probably find at your local library. The ones I couldn’t find at the library, I was able to find online used for $3-4 a piece.
In The Warlord’s Beads, Chuan and his father must count and keep accurate records of the Warlord’s treasure. The trouble is, his father keeps getting interrupted and loses track of his counting!
Chuan, always a clever one, comes up with a simple system for easily counting using beads.
This book is a great introduction to place value and counting large numbers.
Plus, you get to introduce your kids to an ancient bead counter, which originated in China.
The Warlord’s Beads Extension Lessons:
The printable activities I’ve created to go along with the book provide simple, hands on practice with these concepts.
To get started, you will need to create your own bead counters, following the directions at the end of the story.
Count Your Own Treasure:
The first activity allows kids to practice counting large quantities with their bead counters.
I’ve created a simple table with common objects that you can use, but there’s also a blank table if you have other objects for your kids to count.
Kids then keep track of the ones, tens and hundreds as they count, then write the total quantity in their table.
Help Chuan Count the Treasure:
After some hands on practice, the next set of pages helps kids transition from the hands on beads, to visual models of the beads.
They then use the model to write the total in expanded form and standard form. Then they write the total amount of treasure at the bottom of the page.
(Answer keys are included for these pages).
First to 50 Place Value Game:
The download also includes a set of directions for a simple, hands on game. You can play with base ten blocks or your pipe cleaner bead counters.
Design a Pagoda Challenge:
Finally, for those kids who love to build, design and create, you’ll find another hands on challenge with pattern blocks.
The challenge is for kids to design a Chinese pagoda out of the blocks, then use their bead counters to find the total number of blocks used in their design.
I recommend doing some reading/research with your kids beforehand to help them learn more about these buildings.
And that’s everything you’ll find in this fun, hands on math freebie!
If you enjoy these activities, be sure to check out my complete resource bundle, with lessons and games to go along with all 8 books in The Warlord’s Series:
Or just grab this free set below!
P.S. Want another free sample of this math resource bundle? Email subscribers get access to another fun set of lessons to go along with the book, The Warlord’s Kites! Sign up below for your additional bonus offer.
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