Literature Based Arithmetic

Clean Your Room, Harvey Moon!

Clean Your Room, Harvey Moon!

Pat Cummings

You may be tempted to turn this into a lesson about cleaning.  But, there’s some math in there!


Pull out a clock manipulative.  (We had one from our math curriculum, but you can also get one from a teacher store or maybe even a dollar store!)

Discuss the meaning of “ten to nine.”  Can your student tell you what time Harvey was eating his toast?  Show it on the clock or have your student set it correctly.

Then, ask if Harvey started cleaning his room at 9 o’clock, then how long has he been working when he sees that it is 10:30?  Have them show you 9 o’clock then move the minute hand until it is 10:30.

Continue working through the time with your student.

  • Harvey wanted to eat lunch at noon.  How long did he want to work after seeing the time at 10:30?
  • Harvey sees that it is almost 2 o’clock.  How long did he really work after seeing the time at 10:30?
  • How long did Harvey clean his room on Saturday?

You may even want your student to keep a time sheet of his day.  How much time does he watch TV?  How long does it take him to eat breakfast?