Monster Musical Chairs
by Stuart Murphy & Scott Nash

Monster Musical Chairs is an adorable Math Start picture book that's aimed at teaching simple subtraction. Bouncy rhymes and adorable monsters keep the mood light and fun. Kids love it!

In the story, some cute partying monsters play the well-known party game 'musical chairs'. With each round, one monster is out and it's face is crossed off the list on the right (making the minus -1 aspect more visual).

If you do use this fun book for teaching simple subtraction, we suggest you move slowly and point out subtraction problems at the end of each round. Otherwise the fun game aspect of the storyline could completely override the math lesson. :)

Reading Levels for this book

Interest Level:  K-Grade 1
Grade Equivalent:  1.5

DRA Level:   16
Guided Reading:  I

Lexile Measure:  170L


See Inside Monster Musical Chairs

Here's a spread from inside this book. This first sample spread depicts the start of the musical chairs game. As you can see, all six monsters are participating and all six monsters are depicted in the box on the right.  Click on images to see larger versions.

On the next spread after this one, the music stops and one monster is out. He is shown walking away from the game and his face is crossed out in the box. On the spread after that, the game has commenced, with only five monsters playing and five faces in the box on the right. This continues until the game is over and only one face remains in the box on the right.

To learn more about this book, click the link below.  (Please note that if you purchase an item from Amazon, they will give me a small referral fee.)


Lesson Ideas for Monster Musical Chairs

The natural activity extension for this lesson is to play a game of musical chairs in your classroom.  Just be sure to stop and do over the subtraction equation after each round. Otherwise, they'll lose the math with all the fun they'll be having!

The author also has some suggestions (from his website):
- "Give students 15 small treats, such as raisins or mini-marshmallows. Have the children eat one and then count and say how many are left. Continue until all the treats are gone."

- Here's a tip to put in your classroom newsletter to let parents know of activities they can do to help their student with subtraction: "Before you check out at the grocery store, together count the number of items in your cart. As you place the items on the check-out counter one by one, ask the child how many are now left in the cart."

And if you use this book to teach subtraction, please let us know what you do so we can post it here for all teachers to see. :)


To learn more about this book, click the link below.  Please note that if you purchase an item from Amazon, they give us a small referral fee. (This helps pay for site hosting costs, thus allowing us to keep everything free for site visitors!)







This book is one of the MathStart series books. We LOVE the MathStart series. The stories are funny and cute...and SO effective for teaching the specific math concept being targeted. You can learn more about this great series of books by clicking on the book covers below or the link above.