My students love the ‘Pete the Cat’ books! I wanted to build on this interest and integrate it into a few subjects. For this activity I used the book “Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons,” by Eric Litwin. I created a Pete figure for each student out of construction paper. I am always looking for new math activities for preschoolers and kindergartners that are hands-on and educational. This activity was both engaging and everyone learned from it.
I started by reading the book aloud to the class. I had prepared a cut out of ‘Pete’, but I did not glue it together. Pete is made up of different shapes (rectangles, triangles etc.) and I put the pieces in a bag for each child. When I first handed out the bags, I gave students time to explore the pieces and create any picture that they could with the shapes. Many students created a Pete the Cat type figure.
I then showed students my Pete the Cat figure and students worked to copy the design. This was a great exercise in identifying 2-d shapes from my example and then repeating it with their pieces. Once the figures were all together, we counted Pete’s buttons.
I then read the book aloud again and students followed along on their Pete. When Pete from the book lost a button, they took a button off of their Pete and put it aside. After each button ‘popped’ off, we counted how many buttons were left on Pete.
This creates a great hands-on tool for basic subtraction for young children. And using the book to structure the lesson kept students engaged. They were so excited to have their own Pete and carefully, and excitedly followed along as he lost his buttons.
As an extension, I also included 4 squares of coloured construction paper in each bag (white, blue, read and brown). I read the Eric Litwin book “Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes”. As Pete steps in different coloured piles, we added that colour shoe. There are so many math activities for preschoolers that you can do with Pete the Cat!