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One of Each

written by MaryAnn Hoberman

Hoberman, Mary Ann. One of Each. New York: Little, Brown Young Readers, 1997.

Oliver Tolliver has one of everything in his little home: one table, one chair, one dish and one spoon. To him, it's perfect. But when he brings Miss Peggoty Small home for a visit, he discovers to his dismay that having only one of each item is not very conducive to friendship. How can Oliver make room for two in his one-of-each house? Illustrated with wit and whimsy by Caldecott Honor winner Marjorie Priceman. (

Oliver Toliver lived all alone In a little old tumbledown house of his own It had one little window and one little door And one little carpet the covered the floor. It had one little table and one little chair And one little closet and one little stair. And one little bedroom and one little bed With one little pillow for under his head And one little blanket and one little sheet And one little bottle to warm up his feet. In one little kitchen was one little sink And one little cupboard all shiny and pink, And inside the cupboard one pear and one peach, One plum and one apple, just one, one of each. One plum and one apple, one pear and one peach, Just one, only one, simply one, one of each.

This book is the perfect compliment to teaching fractions in lower grades, and has the whimsy to appeal to students in upper grades as well. Written in rhyming prose, the cadence makes for excellent read aloud to a class in preparation for a group lesson. Oliver Tolliver lived all alone… with one of each of everything he needed. The repeating verse throughout the book reiterates that Oliver’s cupboard contains only one of each fruit: a pear, peach, plum and apple. As Oliver learns that one of each thing doesn’t make sharing very easy, he goes out and purchases one more of everything. At the end of the book we see that more friends are coming to call on Oliver and Miss P … so he sharpens his knife and starts dividing up the fruit. Divide the class into uneven groups purposely. Each group receives one peach, pear, plum and apple. If using actual food is not possible, then a paper representation will work just as well. Students are then asked to divide each piece of fruit so every member of the group will receive an equal share. Given that groups are not of equal size, all students will not be getting an equal piece of fruit compared to other groups. After making the plan as to how to apportion the fruit, the students will then cut with knife or scissors the fruit and distribute the pieces within their grouping. Lastly, each group will present to the class how they arrived at their plan and will show the class the fruit divided. If this is done with paper, students could glue pieces to a paper plate which could be displayed in the classroom. Teacher should plan on making groups of 2, 3, 4 and 8 (or thereabouts ) in a class of 17 students. Students place in a group of 3 may find the assignment more challenging and it would be wise to put a strong mathematical team together here.

One of Each  

Oliver Tolliver and Peggoty Small help explain fractions... and friendship.