Literature Connection:

Pigs Will Be Pigs by Amy Axelrod

Mathematical Strand:



The students will add, subtract, and multiply amounts of money

Grade level:


Lesson Created by:

Stacy Aschenbrenner Bergman Elementary, Manhattan, KS

Lesson Description


  • Pigs Will Be Pigs by Amy Axelrod
  • The Story of Money by Betsy Maestro
  • Money, Money, Money by Nancy Winslow Parker
  • Handout: "Pigs Money"
  • Handout: "Menu"
  • Notebook paper

1. Launching the Lesson

  1. Ask the students to write down the name of as many denominations of money they can think.
  2. Discuss the denominations. Share all of the correct answers.
  3. Ask the students "Who is found of the penny?" "Who is on the nickel?" Continue to do this for the rest of the denominations just for fun. When finished, have the students share their answers. (Answers can be found in the book Money, Money, Money by Nancy Winslow Parker.)
  4. Share some highlight about the history of money found in the book The Story of Money by Betsy Maestro.
  5. Now read the book Pigs Will Be Pigs by Amy Axelrod. Explain to the kids that they are going to figure out exactly how much money the Pigs found.

2. Developing the Lesson

  1. Give each student a "Pig's Money" handout. Explain to the students that they are to record how many coins or bills the pigs find. Each time money is found the students mark the amount of the handout.
  2. When the story is finished, the students are to add and record the amount in each row. Then calculate the total amount of money found altogether.
  3. Hand out a "Menu" to each student. Ask the students to calculate the cost of four Dinner Specials.
  4. Now ask the students:
  • How much money did the Pigs find on their hunt? ($34.67)
  • How much did the Pigs pay for their dinner? ($31.96)
  • After dinner at Enchanted Enchilada, how much money did the Pigs have left? ($2.71)
  • What could the Pigs have bought (from the menu) with the money they had left over? (Answers may vary: Texas Caviar, Coffee, Flan Custard, and Cola, etc.)

e. Ask the students to look at the menu and pick out their favorite foods. Let the students "spend" up to $15.00 on a dinner including food, drink, and dessert. Encourage the students to record their menu choices and calculate the amount of money they spent, as well as possible change. Let the students compare their results.

3. Closure/Discussion/Elaboration

  1. Talk about sales tax and tips.
  • How they are figured
  • Why they exist
  • Figure sales tax and a tip on the amount of money that the students spent when they had $15.00 to spend. (Do this even though the menu says that tax and tip are included in the price.)

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