Monkey Puzzle

By Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

The story revolves around a child-like monkey who has lost his mother in the deep, thick, hot jungle. The monkey is then assisted to find his mother by a butterfly, who tries to think of whereabouts in the jungle she might be.


You can view the story HERE


Let me introduce you to my friend Sheila Griffin!

I have the pleasure to work alongside Sheila in W.A. She is a mathematics consultant with A.I.S.W.A.

Sheila is absolutely passionate about mathematics and most importantly she is generous in sharing her ideas and insights! You can connect  Sheila on Twitter HERE

A HUGE thank you to Sheila for creating purposeful and engaging mathematics teaching ideas to this superb book!

View this video to get to know Sheila


  • Counting and Early Subtraction

“Five Little Monkeys jumping on the bed”

View the song – click here


  • Estimation

Monkey said his mum’s “tail coils round trees.” Without using any measuring materials can you draw a coil approximately one metre long. How could you check your estimation?

  • Geometry – Symmetry

Find a picture of a butterfly and fold it in half. Can you draw the other half?




  • Problem Solving and Reasoning

Monkey peers through the jungle. He can see 24 legs. Which animals can he see? How many different solutions are there?

  • Collecting data and graphing

Go through the book and tally how many times you see each jungle animal who tries to help monkey and graph your results.

  • Number Lines (Place Value and Ordering)

From the tally write the total number for each animal on post it notes. Order the numbers on an open /empty number line. How many are odd? How many are even? Can you write one more, one less, ten more, ten less for each number?

  • Length

Draw monkey, his mum and dad and order them from big, bigger and biggest.

Draw 5 jungle trees and order them by height.

  • Place Value

Monkey found a four-digit puzzle. Can you help him solve it?

The digit in the ones place is the number of legs on a spider.

The number of legs on a parrot is the number for the thousands place.

In the hundreds place is the number of legs on three parrots.

The tens digit is the number of legs on a frog minus one.

Using the number of legs on the animals from the story, can you make another four-digit puzzle for monkey?

  • Number Facts

Using the left-hand side and right-hand side of butterfly wings.  Place a number between 0 and 10 on the left-hand side. On the right-hand side write the number which makes the number fact to ten. How many of these butterflies can you make?

  • Repeated Addition / Early Multiplication

How many animal eyes are in the story? What number sentences could you write to help you find the total?


Enjoy and take care,


Andrea Hillbrick