Jan 03, 2020
Next time you snuggle up with your little one to share a bedtime story, or decide to make a trip to your local library to find a great book, consider how some of the most beloved pieces of literature can be leveraged to support an interest and curiosity for mathematics.
Many stories, some which may already be in your collection at home, can be “mined” for great mathematical conversations just waiting to be had with your child.
Literature situates mathematics in a context that is interesting and encourages problem solving. It can build an intangible perception of math skills through illustrations and support your student in “mathematizing” the world around them. In addition to that, children’s literature can:
- Promote the development of number sense.
- Model an interesting problem.
- Explain a mathematics concept.
- Promote critical thinking.
- Increase the level of interest for both reading and math.
Math becomes more interesting when a child can make a math connection in a story. When children are reading or listening to a book, they learn to recognize that math is used all around them. They begin to use their prior knowledge to connect math concepts to the outside world.
Below are a few titles to get you started:
- Picture Pie by Ed Emberley
- The Lion’s ShareT by Matthew McElligott
- Two of Everything by Lily Toy Hong
- Counting Crocodiles by Judy Sierra
- Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
- One Hundred Hungry Ants by Elinor J. Pinczes
- Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni
- How Big is a Foot? by Rolf Myller
- How Many? by Christopher Danielson
- Rooster's Off to See the World by Eric Carle
- The Water Hole by Graeme Base
- Grandfather Tang’s Story by Ann Tompert
- The Librarian Who Measured the Earth by Kathryn Lasky
- Gator Pie by Louise Mathews
- Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone by Cindy Neuschwander
- Alexander, Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday by Judith Viorst
- A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
If this list is not enough, find even more titles to add to your reading list. Or ask your local librarian for some titles they may know of in their collection. The possibilities are endless, so get lost in the pages and exercise your child’s math brain with a good book. They will love you for it!