Math in Our World: Shadow Puppet Stories

A shadow puppet theater features a duck, a dog, and a spider.

Ibrahim and Zoe created a homemade shadow puppet stage. They made some animal puppets and used the puppets to tell stories. Sometimes, they told number stories.

  1. What do you notice? What do you wonder?
  2. Use pictures, models, or numbers to show what is happening.
  3. What math questions can you ask about this situation? Answer all the questions you can!

Try counting, adding, or comparing the numbers of legs or heads.

  • How many legs do you count? How many heads do you count?
  • Which animal has the most legs? The fewest legs?
  • What story problem could you create using the shadow puppets?
  • Show your work to someone else, and explain your thinking. Did they understand?
  • Ask whether they have any other questions you can answer!

Make your own shadow puppets using simple materials at home. You could follow these instructions to make puppets and a theater. Then write your own number story and share it with us!