Using children’s literature when teaching math is one of the most amazing ways you can bring math concepts to life for young students!
Why Incorporate Children’s Literature Into Math
- Using stories during math can build students’ interest.
- Can make math seem more approachable.
- Connects math concepts to real life.
- Can make abstract math concepts easier to understand.
- Can connect to students’ background knowledge.
- Allows students to see how other subjects (reading, science, social studies) can be related to math.
- Can help build students’ critical thinking skills.
One of the biggest complaints teachers have about teaching math is that students struggle with word problems.
Using children’s literature can help your students conceptualize what they are learning, which can help make word problems more relatable.
Let’s Look At An Example:
Let’s imagine I’m teaching my students about multiplication. This story, Each Orange Had 8 Slices has many examples of multiplication.
The images in this story clearly represent the multiplication story being told. As you’re teaching, you can write down the multiplication equations that are represented in each question.
You can use this story to teach:
- basic multiplication
- repeated addition
- the associative property
You can continue reading the remainder of the book and work through the various math problems that are on each page.
You can also have my students create their own story page that they would add to this book. Students could draw a picture and then write their own questions. You can share these as a class and solve each other’s multiplication problems. You could even put them together to make your own class book!
There are so many stories out there that were written for specific math skills. If you spend a little time looking, you will find many stories that can help bring your math lessons to life.
If you’re ready to add some children’s literature for math to your classroom library, check out these grade level lists!