OVERVIEW: The goal of "Sand Castles" is to share with kids, in a fun way, how important math is in everyday life. The performance is written for 6th grade down to kindergarten with a wide variety of math concepts touched upon. The younger child will not feel lost as the math is done in an everyday reality-based way – without the audience being asked to solve anything they are incapable of.

OBJECTIVES: To show how math is integrated into everyday life.

To create an atmosphere of positive fun around math.

To expose children to the aesthetics of puppet theatre.

SYNOPSIS: The show begins on the last day of school as the teacher is reviewing "The Four Steps of Problem Solving: What’s the Problem?; Choose a Strategy; Solve the Problem; Then Look Back." The students (pigs) complain that they’ll never use any of what they’re learning (naturally, they’ll use everything during the show) and the "Ten Strategies of Problem Solving" are examined. The pigs head off to the beach and use a wide variety of math skills, including: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, measurement, percentage, ratio and geometric shapes as well as chart making, estimating, logical reasoning, brainstorming, picture making, and list making. The pigs ride boogie boards, explore the boardwalk, surf the net and enter a fantastic sandcastle-making contest in which they compete against a pair of warthogs. The show features two "sing along" songs with recordings and sheet music in the school for duplication.


  1. What is your personal attitude towards math: Do you like it? Why or why not?
  2. What parts of math are you good at? Why?
  3. Where do you use math?
  4. If you were going to the beach, where do you think you’d use math – make a list of skills and uses. Try to anticipate what the playwright will do in the show.
  5. Buildings and famous architecture play an important role in the show. List famous buildings. Do research on famous buildings, pictures, etc.
  6. How many have been to the ocean? Swam in the ocean? Built a sandcastle?
  7. What are some safety concerns? Who likes the beach? Who doesn’t? Why?
  8. Review your school’s math problem-solving techniques and strategies to see how different they are than the ones presented.



  1. Did you like the show? Why or why not?
  2. What were some of the unusual staging techniques employed?
  3. Where did you see the following math skills used?
  4. Adding – boogie board rental chart, sandcastle supply purchasing

    Subtraction – boogie board rental chart, sandcastle supply purchasing

    Multiplication – boogie board rental chart, sandcastle supply purchasing

    Division – boogie board rental chart and pizza

    Percentage – supplies, fabric discount and tax

    Ratio – water to sand mixture

    Geometry – shapes, perimeter, square footage

    Chart making – boogie board rental

    Logical reasoning – lost at sea

    List making – Suzy and Buster’s list for scrapbook, rules

    Pictures- Buster’s list

    Estimating – lifeguards’ lesson with rope, supplies purchase

    Temperature – lifeguard stand

    Mph – wide velocity

    > - SPF quotient

    Commutative property of math – Rocky’s insult

  5. What are some buildings seen?

Taj Mahal, Stonehenge, Big Ben, Eiffel Tower, Jefferson Memorial, Seattle Space Needle, Washington Monument, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Westminster Abbey, St. Basil’s, Chrysler Building



1. Annotated Guides Architecture N. Stevenson 2. Pockets Buildings P. Wilkinson 3. SAND-tiquity M. Wells K. Wells C. Simo 4. Sandcastles P. Mitchell