Bean Thirteen
by Matthew McElligott

In Bean Thirteen, two insect buddies have collected 13 beans for dinner and would like to divide their loot evenly but it never works out. No matter what they do, they always have 'bean 13' left over. 

They invite a friend over, thinking dividing the beans by three will solve the problem. When it doesn't, they invite more friends over, but they can't seem to escape that left over bean.

This is an ADORABLE, kid-friendly story for teaching division. The brightly colored cartoon illustrations appeal to kids and the whole party food predicament comes across as really quite a serious dilemma for kids!

And...the use of lima beans! What a natural  lead in for hands-on classroom learning. Read the book, then pass out 13 lima beans to pairs and have them divide up the beans as you read the book again.

Reading Levels for Bean Thirteen

Interest Level:  K-Gr. 3               DRA Level:  16                 Lexile Measure:  320L
Grade Level Equiv: 2.1             Guided Reading: J     

See Inside this cute book

Below are sample spreads from inside this book. We love the illustrations... and kids will definitely "get" the division problem and be interested in how these cute little guys will be able to solve it.

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 Bean Thirteen

Depending on your class, you may want to slow this book down and do the bean divisions with your students as the little insects do the math in the book. Print and cut out 13 green circles to represent lima beans, then attach them to your whiteboard.  As you get to each division in the book, stop and do it on the board as well (perhaps with student help.) It is repetitive, of course, but for students just learning division, that can be very helpful.

Lesson Idea:  Dried Beans Extension Activity
For this activity, print and cut out our hand-out of insect buddies, plus enough dried beans for each student to have 18 beans.Read the book to your class and discuss the division. Then give each student 18 dried beans and go through a dividing activity like in the book by following these simple steps.

- Put two insect friends on the board
- Ask kids to divide the beans evenly
- Put another friend up, then have them divide beans by 3.
- Keep adding a friend for practice dividing by 4,5,6,7,8, and 9

We really like Matthew McElligott's books. His illustrations are so brightly colored and cute. If you find you like this book, you may want to check out other books by him. To learn more, click on the images below or the link above.  :) 

Or see other books on our page of best children's books about division: