On the seventh day of back to school, my principal gave to me, seven books for reading with a mixed-up set of TEs.
Did you know there are many picture books centered around math content and skills? Using picture books in the math classroom is an excellent way to engage students and to teach or reinforce grade level content and skills through literature.
Picture books can be used to enhance the mathematics you teach in a variety of ways. I have included a few ways and an example of each below:
- Lesson Launch– Picture books can be great lesson openers and a way to hook your students right from the start! Choosing a picture book that is related to the content you are about to teach gives students a context for their learning, helps activate prior knowledge, illustrates another way to connect the learning, and develops curiosity about the skill. Examples- If You Hopped Like a Frog and The Greedy Triangle
- Explore a Concept– Picture books can be a great way to explore a concept too. Often times, picture books are designed so that students can work through the problem of the story with the characters of the book. For this type of learning experience, a well-crafted activity sheet can be used to give students an opportunity to experience the skill with the characters. Examples- Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland, A Remainder of One, and Spaghetti and Meatballs for All
- Explain– Picture books can also support student understanding of a skill after an initial learning experience. Many books actually explain how or why to use a skill or procedure and then gives students an opportunity to apply it through the context of the story. Examples- A Fly on the Ceiling, Cut Down to Size at High Noon, and What’s Your Angle, Pythagoras?
- Station Work– Picture books make great tasks for math stations. Series such as the Pig books by Amy Axelrod and books by Stuart Murphy can be placed at a station with an accompanying activity sheet. Read an example of how to do this here.
Amazon has a fabulous selection of math picture books– many of which you can peruse via their website. Below, you will find a list of the books that I have written about over the years. Click the book title to read more about the book and how it can be used to enhance your students’ learning experiences.
Sound Off! What’s your favorite math picture book to use in the classroom?
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