Literature in Math Class, a Program for Teachers and Parent Groups

Literature in Math Class, a Program for Teachers and Parent Groups

To familiarize teachers and/or parents with many children’s books appropriate for math instruction and to introduce simple, specific lessons based on these books.

Many books written for children include basic concepts of mathematics. Addition or algebra, digits and place value or data assessment, comparisons or congruency, parents and educators can use these books as learning tools.

There are many benefits to this approach. Good literature speaks to the heart of a child; the right story can spark interest in mathematics, provide a way for children to make math more personal and help children realize the variety of situations in which people use mathematics for real purposes. Good books also make math fun.

Of course, not every book is meant for mathematics. Books shouldn’t be ‘twisted’ in order to suit math instruction purposes. If we want to use literature as a way to give math meaning, it should accommodate relevant math.

And, it should be good literature. When we introduce children to a book, we undertake the responsibility to make it a good book. The ideas children form will form them; the language children hear is the language they will speak and write. It is important to introduce children to proper syntax and grammar, lyrical meter and rhyme, inspiring rhetoric.

In this power-point presentation, author M.W. Penn explores books appropriate for teaching math concepts and the lessons they contain. Booklist sources are also evaluated.

Booklists, lesson plans.

M.W. Penn began her professional career designing software and writing software manuals. She is an award winning author of ten children’s picture books; her math/poetry appears in Highlights for Children and several anthologies. She has presented ‘Stories that Count: Literature in the Math Classroom’ at numerous state, regional and national conferences of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and reviewed books and articles for NCTM journals.

K-3 teachers, elementary math specialists, PTA/PTO groups

90 minutes to 3 hours

Pat Vita at