Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown was one of my favorite books from childhood.  Looking back at it now, the bright orange, green, and blue illustrations (and those crazy striped curtains) seem a bit strange compared to what book printers are currently putting out.  But there was something about the lulling lilt of the words that was perfect for bed time.

It wasn’t until I started teaching that I was introduced to another of Brown’s books, The Important Book.  Like Goodnight Moon, The Important Book has simple illustrations and an appealing cadence.  Brown features various every-day objects and looks closely at their characteristics, finding the one characteristic that is most important to that object.

In the primary elementary grades teachers help kids learn to notice the characteristics of both shapes and coins.  The Important Book makes a great literature connection for both of these concepts.

Coins

The first step in learning to count coins is identifying which coin is which.  Have your students look closely at a penny, nickel, dime, and quarter together.  The penny is the easiest one to distinguish because it is copper-colored and the rest are silver.  So the most important thing about a penny, is that it’s copper.  What about the other coins?  You could make an anchor chart or class book for each coin.  The page for the nickel might look something like this:

Here is a printable mini-book over at my TpT store with pages for half-dollar, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies.

Shapes

Beginning geometry is all about noticing characteristics of shapes.  A class book or anchor chart written in the style of The Important Book might look something like this:
If you’d like to try this with 3D shapes, here’s a printable mini-book for sale with pages for cubes, cones, cylinders, pyramids, and spheres.

Hannah Braun
Hannah Braun is a former teacher with 8 years of experience in the classroom and a master's degree in early childhood education. She designs engaging, organized classroom resources for 1st-3rd grade teachers.