I was feeling unprepared to introduce Linus and so was the other parent at our homeschool co-op. We decided I would read the book while the other parent acted it out on the stage. We gathered props from around the house and makeshift school room. An old blue sheet became the brooke and ocean, some yellow bean bags became little chicks on the farm, etc. I took extra care to bring some larger jewels and a nice sack and stick for fishing. The complete improvisation was really funny. I felt fortunate to have such an enthusiastic teaching partner!
Linus Minus is dedicated to my adventurous childhood friend, Roger, who passed away far too young. This fact came out early on while reading the book when a child asked about the name in the frame. So it wasn’t surprising when we had a circle time after the book and discussed what we wouldn’t want to lose, the children answered thoughtfully. Most said they would not like to lose friends or family. It was beautiful to witness such genuine gratitude from young children.
Then we read the story again, in the circle, this time they each had a set of 15 jewels (one sack of 10 and 5 other jewels) in front of them. We went through the story and as Linus lost the jewels they placed that many in the middle. This was just some basic practice. You can also make up stories about individual children and circumstances as seen here. After we finished that exercise we all went outside.
All children seem to like this game, especially the active ones! Each child had the chance to play. We gave the child 8 jewels. They put the jewels anywhere on themselves, in their pockets, shoes, under their collar on their head etc, (there is no wrong way to be Linus). Some children chose to put the jewels in a paper bag that we punctured with little holes. We wrote the number 8 on a chalkboard. Then the Linus ran around, skipping, leaping, twirling, cartwheeling for thirty seconds. They came back to the circle and met with the King and gave him the remaining jewels. The children counted the jewels Linus lost, wrote that on the chalkboard and then finished the equation.
Then we had snack time. All the fruit was subtracted. 😉
Over the next week we played a bowling game where the pins were jewels. It is a perfect game to play as the base is ten. We also played some board games both on a chalkboard and on the driveway. Check out Arithmetic Village on Pintrest for more ideas!