Once Upon a Dime: A Math Adventure

Farmer Worth discovers that his farm now produces a new variety of crop - money! By carefully using different kinds of animal manure, he grows different kinds of money crops. What kind of farming is this? How much money can he grow?

Interested in using this resource in your classroom? Check out the posters that go along with this book: Trade & Money, Goods & Services, Productivity.

Comprehension Questions

What goods did Farmer Worth produce on his farm?

Apples, beans, various kinds of animals.

What did Farmer Worth use for fertilizer on his crops?

Various types of animal manure.

Why do farmers use fertilizer on their farms?

It makes crops grow much better. In other words, fertilizer increases a farm’s productivity. More crops get produced per acre.

What kind of money was grown from using the following types of animal manure for fertilizer?

  • Chicken droppings: pennies
  • Pig squish: nickels
  • Sheep biscuits: dimes
  • Cow pies: quarters
  • Bull chips: dollar bills

When Farmer Worth used Chinese panda patties for fertilizer, what did his tree grow?

Yuan - Chinese money

Was this real money?

Yes. It won't purchase goods or services here in the United States, but it will in China!

Bonus question: Can people trade (exchange) Chinese money for U.S. dollars, and vice versa?

Yes! There are exchange rates for different kinds of money. When a person from the U.S. goes to China, he must purchase yuan. When a person comes here from China, he must exchange yuan for dollars. People often exchange money at banks. In other countries, stores sometimes will exchange currencies. Sometimes merchants in other countries will accept dollars - but not always. This is because dollars are highly valued by people in other countries.

Money doesn't really grow on trees! How do people usually get money?

They work for money at their jobs. This money is called income.

Figure out the total amount of money (from all the trees and fertilizers, but not including the Chinese yuan) that Farmer Worth and the boy grew on the farm.

Pennies 225 X .01 = $ 2.25

Nickels 150 X .05 = $ 7.50

Dimes 100 X .10 = $ 10.00

Quarters 275 X .25 = $ 68.75


200 X 1.00 = $ 200.00

TOTAL $ 288.50

Author: Nancy Kelly Adam
Published: 1997
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
Accelerated Reader Level/Points: .5
Publisher: Charlesbridge