Literature connection:

If You Hopped Like a Frog By David M. Schwartz

Mathematical Strand:



Students will brainstorm several animal/personal scenarios (as exemplified in the text), select one, and write out an explanation of the comparison. They will apply the measurements/characteristics to themselves and a small sampling in the class. They should use any algebraic equation appropriate to demonstrate the comparison.

Grade level:


Lesson created by:

Shelley Faerber, Susan B. Anthony Middle School, Manhattan, KS.

Lesson Descriptions

1. Read the book, If You Hopped Like a Frog, to the students. Discuss with the students the various ways you could represent the comparisons numerically.

2. When you are satisfied with one of the discussions of the comparisons, read to them/show them the explanation given in the back of the book. Ask the students to work in pairs to come up with at least one other animal/personal comparison (Cheetah's speed and running home from school, speed of dolphin's swimming and how quickly you could get across the swimming pool, length of an elephant's nose and how long yours would be in comparison). Together have the students research (book or computer) the statistics/facts on that animal's characteristic.

3. The student pair should then write up an explanation that would go in the "back of the book," just as David Schwartz has done. Data should be a combination of their own measurements and their research. The student pair should then collect the data measurements of the other students in the room/other variations of the measurement. This data should be used to construct a graph or table. The students will be asked to write out the numerical representation of these comparisons as an algebraic equation.

For instance: an average Indian Elephant is 10 feet tall. Its trunk is 7 feet long. My nose is 2 ½ inches long and I measure 66 inches tall. I can measure the noses of the other students in my class, create a table, and represent those comparisons in an algebraic equation.

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Copyright 2001 S.Ma.R.T.Books and Kansas State University