Social Solutions to the cookie problem in Little House in the Big Woods

I read Little House in the Big Woods to K a year ago – I could probably re-read it to her, I think she was too young for chapter books when I did read it to her.  We were talking about the famous cookie problem at dinner the other day, and I gave K some cut out paper circles to see what she would do with the puzzle.

I had to break the circle myself for her, because at first she didn’t understand the problem: Mary and Laura were each given a cookie to bring home by their Swedish Neighbor.  They each ate half, and gave the other half to baby Carrie, who got a whole cookie.  It didn’t quite seem fair, but they couldn’t figure out an other solution.

K said they should ask the neighbor for another cookie.  I tried to bring her back to the paper circle.  Would she think of thirds?  Ben and M did, I did in 5th grade while walking home from school.

K shook her head at me.  If the neighbor wouldn’t give another cookie, they should give one half to Baby Carrie, and the other half to Ma who had worked so hard all day while they were visiting neighbors.

Well, she sure solved that problem. I’m going to have to teach fractions a bit differently with this one.

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