Before I *finally* return this book to the shelf, I want to mention it. During our recent geometry classes, I read Hamster Champs to the class after spending some time talking about degrees and doing a little exploration* with angles and protractors. In the story, three hamsters attempt a daring series of stunts, measuring degrees on a car ramp that sends them flying through the air. The cat promises not to chase them as long as he doesn't get bored. They taunt him with larger and larger angles until they eventually reach 180 degrees and speed away from him.
My geometry class, ages 8-11, loved the book...for two primary reasons, I think. First, they loved the taunting exchanges between the hamsters and the cat. Second, after having talked about angles in class, they understood some basics and could apply their knowledge to another "real" situation.
*Hmmm. I can't find notes about this on my blog. Hate it when I forget to write something from a lesson. I had the kids hold up two popsicle sticks and make acute, obtuse, straight, and right angles. We also looked at the vocabulary in Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland... the "'cute" steeply angled rooftops (acute angles) and the Mountains of Obtuse (obtuse angles.)
Workbox activity: after learning about acute, obtuse, straight, and right angles, have children form them with popsicle sticks and draw models in their math journals. Read the two books mentioned here.