"Smart" by Shel Silverstein

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Find out just how smart your young mathematicians are with this cross-curricular math and language arts lesson. After first reading Shel Silverstein's poem "Smart", learners draw pictures of coins to model the different exchanges described in the poem, before answering a series of three reading response questions.

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CCSS: Adaptable
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Instructional Ideas
  • Use this as a warm-up activity during a math lesson series on counting money
  • Read the poem together as a class before asking children to complete the worksheet
  • Support students by providing them with play money to use as they complete the exercises
Classroom Considerations
  • Resource assumes children have prior knowledge about the values of US currency
  • Includes a copy of the poem to pass out to each student
  • Worksheet supports children with using their knowledge of math to better understand the poem
  • An answer key is not included with the worksheet, but can be created quickly by working through the exercises yourself