Literature Connections:

Dinner at the Panda Palace by Stephanie Calmenson, 1991, Harper Collins Publisher

Mathematical Strand:

Number Sense and Operation


Students will strengthen number sense and operation through examination of mathematical words used in the text.

Grade Level:

First Grade

Lesson created by:

Jeanie Glessner

Lesson Description:


  • Dinner at the Panda Palace by Stephanie Calmenson, 1991, Harper Collins Publisher
  • chart paper, marker, paper, pencil, other media supplies


  1. Engage: Teacher will read the book to the class. During the reading, the teacher can ask the students to think about the number of animals in the restaurant with each new addition of animals.
  2. Explore: After reading the story, the teacher and the students will read back over each page. The teacher will ask the students to identify words that are related to math.
  3. Example: Page 1 – "At six one night"
  4. These words can be written on chart paper. The teacher will ask what is meant by the word. In this case, the text means that at 6:00 o'clock one night (time).
  5. Elaboration: Students will use creativity to develop their own math problem using animals as in the story. The finished product should include a visual, text, and the algorithm.
  6. Extension: Students will work in groups to write a class big book. The book will be about a restaurant (agreed upon by the whole class) which also has an animals the diners. Each group will have a different animal. The group will decide on the type of animal, the number of animals of that type that visit the restaurant, and the words that will be written on the page.
  7. Could also act out as reader's theater and use actual props, such as table, tablecloth, desks, and extras for costumes. This might have to be combined with another class or students could play more than one part.

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