Math Mentor Text - Linear Measurement

I am linking up with Amanda and Stacia at Collaboration Cuties for their Mentor Text linky. If you haven't checked it out yet, you really should. They have added a page on their blog with links to all the weekly posts - a go to place for mentor text recommendations!

This week's theme is Math mentor texts. I am recommending "The Boy in the Drawer" by Robert Munsch. This is a book I first came across in Teacher's College when I was working on a project connecting picture books and math lessons. I used this book in my project and have enjoyed using it over the last 15 years.

In the book there is a little girl, Shelley, who finds a boy living in her sock drawer. This little boy causes all kinds of trouble (making messes, flooding the kitchen etc.).

 Each time Shelley does something unkind to the boy in response to his shenanigans he grows. The book explicitly states how many centimeters he grows by!

Finally Shelley and her parents find the only way to get the boy to shrink and *spoiler alert* disappear is through kindness (so of course you could talk about that little theme right there if you wanted to).

Okay here are the ways I have used it:

*drawing the boy at his different sizes - in pairs or groups
*once you have the different boys they can compare them, answer questions like how much bigger is..., convert the measurements, make additional measurements, make clothes/accessories for him
*using it as a jumping off point for measuring themselves and body parts

and my favorite is

*having students make a paper boy ( on 8.5 by 11 paper) and then make a drawer for him to fit into - to make the bottom of the drawer we use grid paper and then construct sides from construction paper strips or tag paper strips - then find the area of the drawer and the perimeter of the drawer
*if you let students make any size boy they want  you could get drawers of various sizes
*if you prefer you could give a template for the boy

Don't forget to check out all the other mentor text posts and while you are looking around you might want to check out these giveaways.


  1. I've never heard of this book before. Thanks for sharing. It looks super cute!
    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  2. What a great book! We are working on measurement this week so I am definitely going to have to tweak my plans to squeeze in this lesson!

  3. I love the illustrations in this book! It's new to me so I look forward to checking it out!
    First Grade Buddies

  4. I've never heard of this book, but my kiddos love Robert Munsch. What a great find!

    iTeach 1:1

  5. What a cute book! Thanks for sharing it :)
    Fun in Room 4B

  6. I have not seen this one! Thanks so much for sharing the text and your ideas...

    Sarah @ Hoots N' Hollers

  7. I love Robert Munsch! I have never heard of this book, but it looks like a great one! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Koonce’s Korner

  8. What a great find! I am teaching metric measurement tomorrow and this book will be a great read aloud. (Love your activities, too!) Thanks so much!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  9. PERFECT TIMING FOR ME!! Thank you! (only, now I have to find it ASAP!) I love Robert Munsch- he is so funny, and the kids love him. This is great and if I can't find it for this week, we will draw the boy after the state test!! Too cute!

    Thanks for linking up! You always know the best books that I've never heard of!
    Collaboration Cuties

  10. I love this- bookmarking it for next year! I'm your newest follower :-)

    Real Teachers Learn


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