Following Papa's SONG Story-related Math Pack for Preschoolers (2024)

Following Papa’s SONG Story-related Math Pack for Preschoolers

Math is all around us. Children start exploring patterns and shapes, comparing sizes, and counting objects from the age of one to five years old. Math also helps children make sense of the world around them, to solve problems and it is an essential part of every aspect of their lives, including when they are playing.

Following Papa’sSONGby Gianna Marino is a book that talks about two whales, a papa whale, and a baby whale called Little Blue, that are swimming together through the big ocean, while Little Blue asks many questions Papa, especially ones about the long migration. How will they know the way? Will he be able to keep up? What will they see along the way?

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I have created a FREE 23-page math pack with 10 different types of activities to go along with this book, which you can download at the end of this post. In the meantime, I would like to tell you what I have included and give you some ideas of activities you can do, to take advantage of this wonderful book.

Introducing Math to Preschoolers

It is extremely important to help children build up a mathematical foundation at an early age because this will allow them to understand complex mathematical concepts in the future. These math concepts should be introduced to preschoolers in a challenging way that has to be appropriate for their developmental stage.

Also, these mathematical concepts should be introduced using fun and positive experiences, to ensure their future success later on in life.

Benefits of Teaching Math to Preschoolers

When you teach math to children you are allowing them to develop very important skills such as creative and critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and understanding of patterns, sizes, and shapes, among other skills.

Also, mathematics gives children the ability to understand the world around them, because as I said at the beginning, math is everywhere, including in their games; therefore, preschool teachers and parents must provide opportunities for children to do meaningful mathematical activities to set up the foundation for their future.

Following Papa’s SONG Math Pack

There are many math activities you can do using this storybook as a base. I’m sure you can come up with many, but I wanted to give you some of the activities I like to use.

Telling the Different Sizes

Remind the children that the blue whale is the biggest animal on the planet, reaching 98 feet. The humpback whale is a medium-sized whale, reaching 52 feet. Thevaquita porpoiseis the world’s smallest whale species at nearly 5 feet in length.

Go to the playground. Invite three volunteers to measure the size of those three whales, one at a time, and stay put where they stop. Have the rest of the children decide which whale is the smallest, which is the medium size, and which is the biggest, based on the distance walked by each child.

After the activity, you can provide the present the following sheets, asking each child which is the smallest, the medium size, or the biggest. They are part of the FREE Following Papa’sSONGMath Pack.

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Making Whale Patterns

Patternscan be found everywhere, and children must learn to identify them because that will help children make predictions and understand what comes next, make logical connections, and develop their reasoning skills.

You can purchase small plastic whales in different colors on Amazon. Present a pattern, and invite a volunteer to copy it. Continue with different patterns trying to motivate every child to try. Keep the whales available for them to continue making patterns on their own.

I include 3 different pattern activities in the PDF. One to complete the pattern, another one to copy the pattern, and the last one to create their pattern. I also included 3 sheets of tiles with 21 different designs, to use with these activities. You can also use them as a fine motor activity as well. They are part of the FREE Following Papa’sSONG Math pack.

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Counting Ocean Life

Gather the plastic whales and other ocean life toys, and invite the children to count. You can either tell them the amount to count or show them a number card and have them match it with the correct number of toys. You can also use the opportunity to show them simple adding and subtraction operations with those toys.

The FREE Following Papa’sSONG Math pack includes includes three types of mathematical operations:

  • Two sheets with 6 count and clip cards each.
  • Two sheets with 4 cards to count and write the correct number.
  • Five sheets of number puzzles.
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Following Papa’s SONG Memory Game

This game is great to strengthen the children’s concentration, and memory and to work on one-to-one correspondence and creating sets. It includes two sheets with 9 cards each, for a total of 18 cards, and is part of the FREE Following Papa’sSONG Math Pack. Print each page twice, for each set of the game, using white cardstock. Cut out and laminate the cards to make them last longer.

This game can be played as an individual activity or with a partner. Keep it super simple and have the children place the cards face down. Each child has to select a card randomly and try to match the selected card with its double. The child that matches the most cards wins the game.

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Songs, Fingerplays, and Rhymes

It is always best to tie other domains to the one you are purposely addressing, for a more complete learning process. Besides, kids love to sing and dance. Use this opportunity to introduce some literacy using songs, fingerplays, and rhymes. I found these on the Bethlehem Public Library website.

Blue Whales Poem

by Daniel Roure

When the sun falls to the sea
To shine on the mermaids
When the kids run out to see
The birds fly in the shade
When the whales turn blue
And weep as we all do
Is there in the world
Anything true

When we all forget the name
Of those stars in the sky
When all battles to gain fame
It is nothing but a lie
When the whales become so few
And weep as we all do
Is there in the world
Anything true

But as long as we’re live
There’s still a tiny chance
Just give love a little sign
To come into the dance
Give the whales a “Rendez-vous”
It’s all up to you
Apart from our dreams
There’s nothing true

When all four seasons are springs
With flowers in the air
When clouds carry on their wings
Good news from here and there
When the whales along the shore
Will tell us “how are you”…

Five Baby Whales Fingerplay
(Count down using your fingers)

Five baby whales dive to the ocean floor.
One swims away and then there are…

Four baby whales eat krill in the sea.
One swims away and then there are…

Three baby whales calling in the ocean blue.
One swims away and then there are…

Two baby whales breech in the sun.
One swims away and then there is…

One baby whale is lonely and alone.
She swims to find her friends and they all go home.

Whale Action Rhyme

A whale is not as small as us,(shake head and finger)
Most whales are bigger than a bus!(stretch arms out wide)
A whale is not a fish in the sea,(shake head and finger)
A whale breathes air like you and me.(take a deep breath)
A whale can’t walk on the ground,(shake head and finger)
A whale must swim to get around.(make a swimming motion)
A whale is a mammal like you and me,(nod head, point to self and kids)
But their home is in the deep blue sea.(make wave motion)

Books About Whales

We can never forget to include storybooks with every theme you do, even when you are using specific storybook-related activities. These books can give your students a wider knowledge and they can learn things that are not included in just one book. These are some of the most interesting books you can find about whales.

  • Secrets of the Whalesby Brian Skerry. In this provocative book of photography, we learn that whales share an amazing ability to learn and adapt to opportunities, from specialized feeding strategies to parenting techniques.
  • Whales: An Illustrated Celebrationby Kelsey Oseid. A gorgeously illustrated, entertaining, and educational guide explores the most interesting and illuminating facts about these marine mammals. Italso covers the current state of wild and captive cetaceans worldwide, why we should care, and what we can do to help our beautiful marine mammal friends.
  • Encyclopedia of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoisesby Erich Hoyt. This book is a fascinating compilation of the latest data on cetaceans and an impassioned argument for the ongoing need for international protection of at-risk populations and their increasingly damaged habitat.
  • The Big Book of the Blue by Yuval Zommer. The book opens by explaining how different types of animals can breathe and survive underwater, and the different families to which they belong.
  • The Snail and the Whaleby Julia Donaldson. This is the story of a tiny snail that meets a humpback whale and travels together to far-off lands. A very sweet story about an impossible friendship.
  • National Geographic Readers: Whales by Jennifer Szymanski. This book includes simple text and large photos on every page. A vocabulary tree at the beginning of the book introduces kids to keywords in concept groups, helping kids make connections between words.
  • Song for a Whaleby Lynne Kelly. This is the story is about Iris, a deaf twelve-year-old tech genius. When she learns about Blue 55, a real whale who is unable to speak to other whales, Iris thinks about inventing a way to “sing” to him! Full of heart and poignancy, this affecting story shows how a little determination can make big waves.
  • Whales: Amazing Pictures & Fun Facts on Animals in Nature by Kay de Silva. The book uses captivating illustrations, and carefully chosen words to teach children about the ‘gentle giants of the deep, giving a well-rounded understanding of these beautiful creatures: their anatomy, feeding habits, and behavior.

Pin It for Later

If you are in a rush and don’t have time to read the post and download the printable but want to save it for later, pin it to one of your Pinterest boards for later.

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Don’t forget to download your FREE Following Papa’sSONG Math Pack. Just click the bottom below, and type your information, for an immediate download.

You can use these ideas by themselves, but I will invite you to combine them with the literacy and science activities I created for this beautiful story, Following Papa’sSONG, to take advantage of the opportunity this book offers. Remember that for a more comprehensive and complete educational process, you should not divorce literacy from math, science, or any other domain. They intermingle together and complement each other.

Be happy, safe, and creative. I wish you well.


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P.D. Please let me know if you like any of these ideas that worked for you, or if you think I need to add or replace something. My goal is to help you in any way I can and I don’t like anything better than to post something that you might find useful. Also, if you come up with different ideas and want to share them, I would love to post them as well.

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