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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Math Connections & Literacy

Integrating Math and Reading

Books - Compare/Contrast - Graphs - Read Alouds

There are a number of great books for integrating math and reading - in today's post we share two ways of doing just that:

1) Reading correlating picture books - and using them to share information about creating math and reading them; and,
2) Reading aloud a math focused title to correspond with lessons on the math concepts.

Reading and Graphs

With any title such as Goldilocks -  you can teach the reading of graphs and correlate with math.
1) Over a period of days/sessions read 3-4 related titles (in this case versions of Goldilocks)
2) Along the way discuss and compare/contrast the versions/stories.
3) Put up a facsimile of the book jacket of each of the books and ask each member of the class to make a line in front of the book jacket cover that they like best. -- a HUMAN bar graph.
4) Use small pictures of each student (I generally took their class picture and made photo copies of it and cut apart the students's pictures and put each set of pictures in an envelope - and pulled an envelope out when needed), and make a large wall bar graph.  Make sure you make the bars with grids to correspond with each book jacket.  Each child pastes his/her picture in the appropriate grid square to collectively form a vertical bar.  A PICTORIAL bar graph.
5)  Make an tissue paper overlay with the same grid and jacket pictures.  Lightly tape it over the bar graph and put a dot at the edge of the top of the last picture in each bar.  Choose a different color for each bar and color the bar in solid.  A BAR GRAPH
6)  Make an tissue paper overlay with the same grid and jacket pictures.  Lightly tape it over the bar graph and put a dot at the edge of the top of each bar.  Connect the dots - it will become a LINE graph.
7) From there you can use the same data to create a circle graph.  Create a circle and dissect it into the correct number of triangular pieces.  Use the same colors as used for the bar graph - each child will color in "their" pie piece to represent the same information as shown in the bar graph and the line graph.

You may not want to do  these graphs all with the same book set; but along the way as you compare/contrast a different set of books you can create the various graphs.
However, don't make the mistake of doing #1 with one set, and only #2 with another etc.  Much of the learning will come with the viewing of the same information in a variety of forms.
So do the human bar graph a couple of  times, then the next time do the pictorial graph.
With each new literature set go one step forward until you do all seven graphs with a literature set.   This connection to the math standards will not be accomplished in one session; or in one week etc.  It is a process that will be revisited over a period of weeks during a semester.

By the time you accomplish the seventh step with a 8th or 9th literature set you will have taught the children the function of graphs and I will guess that each child will understand the function and the reading of graphs.

I've done this with all ages from K to much older students who did not yet "get" graphs. Kids love it - the chance to vote and they didn't even realize that they were learning how to read graphs so make sure you tell them what they have learned that day, "You helped make a bar graph today."  "We learned to read a line graph, ... " etc.

Infusing Math into the day - with Read Alouds

Every teacher should be reading aloud a minimum of five times during a day's studies.  Concerned about being able to carve out time to read aloud - try infusing the read aloud into content area curriculum.  This post's focus is on books with mathematical concepts.
Great books to read aloud can be infused into every corner of the curriculum.  Here's a few of my favorites and links to some additional resources.

Math Books for Young Readers (K-6) - a Booklist

This bibliography features a selected list of books that feature a mathematical concept. Some of the titles are appropriate for use as an introductory text, while others are better suited to reinforce or review mathematical concepts. Some titles are best used when learners have prior experiences upon which the reader can attach the new learning.  For example:  Before reading Calvert’s title learners would benefit from having heard and being quite familiar with several versions of the traditional Rumpelstiltskin folk story.   Some of the books on this list are available on YouTube in recorded versions. Some are uploaded there by the publisher or authorized producers – however, many are uploaded without formal permission and thus are not entirely legal for use and sharing.
  •      Adler, David A. (2017) Place Value.  Illustrated by Edward Miller. New York: Holiday House. (Place Value)
  •      Axelrod, Amy. (1997) Pigs Will Be Pigs: Fun with Math and Money. Illustrated by Sharon McGinley-Nally. New York: Aladdin. (Money)
  •      Baker, Keith. (2004) Quack and Count.  Illustrated by Keith Baker. New York: HMH Books for Young Readers. (Counting)
  •      Burns, Marilyn. (1997, 2008) Spaghetti and Meatballs For All! Illustrated by Debbie Tilley.  New York: Scholastic. (Equations for 32)
  •      Calvert, Pam. (2006) Multiplying Menace: The Revenge of Rumpelstiltskin (A Math Adventure). Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge Publishing. (Multiplication)
  •     Crews, Donald. (1995) Ten Black Dots. Illustrated by Donald Crews. Illustrated by Donald Crews. New York: Greenwillow. (Counting 1-10)
  •      Demi. (1997) One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale. New York: Scholastic. (Multiplication)
  •     Einhorn, Edward. (2014) Fractions in Disguise: A Math Adventures. Math adventures series) Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge Publishing. (Fractions: Simplifying)
  •      Gehl, Laura. (2014) One Big Pair of Underwear. Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld.  New York: Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane Books. (Counting; by 1’s; by 2’s)
  •     Giganti, Paul, Jr. (1999) Each Orange Had 8 Slices.  Illustrated by Donald Crews. New York: Greenwillow. (Counting)
  •     Hong, Lily Toy.  (1993; 2017 pb )  Two of Everything: A Chinese Folktale. Illustrated by Lily Toy Hong. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman & Co. (multiplication)

  •     Hutchins, Pat (1986) The Doorbell Rang.  Illustrated by Pat Hutchins. New York: Greenwillow Books. (Division)
  •     Kroll, Virginia. (2005) Equal Shmequal. Illustrated by Philomena O’Neill. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge Publishing. (Equal: Math, art, the law, and team sports)
  •      Long, Lynette. (1996) Domino Addition. Illustrated by Lynette Long. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge Publishing. (Addition)
  •      McKellar, Danica. (2017) Goodnight, Numbers. Illustrated Alicia Padron. New York: Crown Books. (Counting)
  •     Merriam, Eve. (1996) 12 Ways to Get to 11. Illustrated by Eve Merriam. New York: Aladdin. (Counting)
  •     Murphy, Stuart J. (2005) More or Less.  Illustrated by David T. Wenzel. (MathStart Series). New York: HarperCollins. (Estimation – more and less)
  •      Murphy, Stuart. (1996) Give Me Half. Illustrated by G. Brian Karas. New York: HarperCollins. (Division; fractions)
  •     Myller, Rolf (1962; 1990) How Big Is a Foot.  Illustrated by Rolf Miller. New York: Scholastic. (Measurement)

  •     Neuschwander, Cindy. (1997) Sir Cumference and the First Round Table.  Illustrated by Wayne Geehan. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge Publishing. (Geometry)
  •     Pinczes, Elinor J. (1999) One Hundred Hungry Ants.  Illustrated by Bonnie MacKain. New York: HMH Books for Young Readers. (Counting by 2’s, 4’s, and 10’s)
  •     Schwartz, David M. (1994) If You Made a Million. Illustrated by Steven Kellogg. New York: HarperCollins.
  •      Scieszka, Jon. (1995) Math Curse. Illustrated by Lane Smith. New York: Viking. (General Math)
  •      Sparagna, Angeline. (2003) A Place for Zero.  Illustrated by Phyllis Hornung. (Math adventures series) Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge Publishing. (Zero)
  •      Sturges, Philemon. (1997) Ten Flashing Fireflies.  NorthSouth Books. (Counting 1-10; 10-1)
  •      Tang, Greg. (2004) The Grapes of Math. Illustrated by Harry Briggs. New York: Scholastic.  (Math Riddles)
  •     Walsh, Ellen Stoll. (1995) Mouse Count. Illustrated by Ellen Stoll Walsh. New York: HMH Books for Young Readers. (Counting 1-10; 10-1)
For more titles that feature mathematical concepts:

EEG Publishing/  (2007) Picture Books for Math.  Retrieved from

Three Sisters: Betsy, Cindy, & Virginia. (2018) The Best Children’s Books.  Retrieved from

© 20182019 McBookwords.  Permission to reproduce for private/professional use or in conjunction with workshops, seminars at professional /non-profit conferences, or for use as part of classroom activities for graduate or undergraduate students.

If you wish to download a pdf of this bibliography you may do so here

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