list is a list of children’s literature that adapts easily to include
discussion of math terms and concepts. This
list came from Brenda Danielson, Deubrook Area Schools—a 4th grade
teacher who has also taught 2nd and 6th grade at our
school. Following the author’s
name are some of Brenda’s suggestions for using the books.
The Button Box—Margarette
S. Reid (sorting, classification, characteristics)—provide a large variety of
manipulatives to be sorted, classified, and graphed with line, bar, or
Frog and Toad Are Friends—“A
Lost Button”—Arnold Lobel (characteristics)
Two of Everything—Lily
Toy Hong (doubles)—ask students to observe in their lives and find things that
come in twos. Make your own Two of
M & M Counting Book—Barbara
Barbieri McGrath (number sense, fractions, graphing)—Use a small bag of
m&m’s or a package of skittles to do line and bar graphing.
Also good for fraction introduction.
The Cheerieos Counting Book—Barbara
Barbieri McGrath (number sense)—Send home this book and a baggie of cheerios.
Have this be one of your math family at home activities.
Include a card making suggestions for grouping in 10’s and 5’s and
The Very Hungry Caterpillar—Eric
Carle (basic number sense, sequence)
Even Steven, Odd Todd—Kathryn
Cristaldi (even/odd numbers)
A Three Hat Day—Laura
Geringer (characteristics, graphing, probability) Introduce Venn diagrams.
Use hats to do sorting and predicting.
The One that Got Away—Percival
Everett—Full of puns—great fun! (even for older students)
12 Ways to Get to 11—Eve
Merriam (3 addends)—Use the number of students in your classroom.
Decide on which adding facts would be appropriate.
Make your own book with unique illustrations based on this book.
Pigs Will Be Pigs—Amy
Axelrod (money)—Older students want to figure out how much money they have
“Kids Will Be Kids” book. Send
them out to count little piles of money from the dresser, washer, or somewhere
else at home. Write a sentence
about it and illustrate it. Make a
story problems about eating out. How
much would it cost your family to eat their favorite foods at their favorite
restaurant? (You might want to get
copies of their menus). Include
problems that would involve making change.
Put the problems on note cards. Provide
a bag or cash box of play money and practice counting out money and making
Henkes (money, addition)—How much is $1.00?
Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich
Last Sunday—Judith Viorst (money)—Use your play
money to reenact this story. Write
a reverse story in which Alexander earns, or receives a dollar a bit at a time.
The Lunch Line—Karen
Berman Nagel (problem solving with money)—Using note cards, have each student
create their own story problems involving spending or saving money.
Then use play money to act out the situations and count change.
A Chair for My Mother—Vera
B. Williams (money)—Write about collecting money in a jar for some purpose for
your family, just like the girl in the story.
Estimate an amount of money in a jar.
Use a variety of Estimation jar activities.
“Smart” a poem from Where the
Sidewalk Ends—Shel Silverstein (money)
How Much Is a Million?—David
Schwartz (number sense)
Amanda Bean’s Amazing Dream—Cindy
Newschwander (multiplication, number sense)
100 Hungry Ants—Elinor
Pinces (100th day, groups of numbers, division)
Arctic Fives Arrive—Elinor
J. Pinces (counting by 5’s)—correlate with social studies/science.
Find animals and habitats of the areas you study.
Use a different fact family and write a similar story about your area.
A Remainder of One—Elinor
J. Pinczes (number sense, division)
Jump, Kangaroo, Jump—Stuart
J. Murphy (number sense, division)—send home with a bag of manipulatives as a
family night project. Expand the
activity with note card directions to include 36 or 48.
The Great Divide—Dayle
The Grouchy Ladybug—Eric
Carle (time, sequence)
Just a Minute—Teddy
Slater (time)—minute activities:
Brainstorm lists of things that take
less than one minute, more than one minute, and about one minute.
Time them to see if you are accurate.
Play a good recording of “The Minute
Try to stand on one foot for a minute.
Estimate how many times you could write
your name in one minute. Then do it
Cloudy with a Chance of
Barrett—How much time is it between meals?
The 329th Friend—Marjorie
W. Sharmat (ordinal numbers)—Get a simple outline of cares, boats, or some
animal shapes. Cut out about 10 and
color them differently. Arrange
them in an order and write clues about which one is where. (Ex. The
polka-dotted van is in front of the white van.
The delivery van is the third one in the row.)
See if another student can arrange them in the proper order following
The Doorbell Rang—Pat
Hutchins (fractions)—use cookie cutouts to sort cookies to fit the story.
Then use the cutouts to create some other story problems.
Write the problems on note cards and put in the math center for other
students to solve.
The Hershey’s Fractions
Pallota and Rob Bolster (fractions)
Fractions Are Parts of Things—J.
Richard Dennis—nonfiction-gives your eyes a chance to estimate fourths,
thirds, halves, etc.
Caps for Sale—Esphyr
Slobodkina (problem solving)
Jump Frog, Jump—Robert
Kaplan (problem solving)
The Greedy Triangle—Marilyn
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do
Martin, Jr. (repetition)—I use this with geometry vocabulary.
Ex: Red triangle, red
triangle what do you see? I see a blue pentagon looking at me. At the end use the shapes named in the colors named to create
a picture. Such as I see “shape
City” looking at me.
Sir Cumference and the Dragon of
Neuschwander—also Sir Cumference and the Knight of Angleland and Sir
Cumference and the First Round Table.
Nesbit –a take off on the penny a day, double it the next.
Good to use with fairy tales.
The King’s Chessboard—David
Birch (problem solving)
How Big Is a Foot?—Rolf
Myller (measurement)—Make a list of places in your school to measure with body
Have the whole class measure the length of your room with their own foot.
Measure a large table with thumbs.
Read about the history of the Metric System of measurement.
Use Shaq’s foot as a measurement tool.
Jean’s Favorite Books that didn’t make Brenda’s list.
Ø One Nation--America by the Numbers—Devin Scillian
Anno’s Counting Book—Mitsumasa Anno
Bears, Ten by Ten—Jack Beers
I Can Count the Petals of a Flower-John
& Stacey Wahl
Math for All Seasons—Greg Tang
Nine Ducks Nine—Sarah Hayes
Ten Little Rabbits—Virginia Grossman
& Sylvia Long
Linking Math with Literature—Jane
Literature-Based Math—Lois Laase
Math and Literature K-3—Marilyn Burns
Storybook Mazes—Dave Phillips
Storytime Mathtime—Patricia Satariano
The Wonderful World of Mathematics--NCTM
Favorites for an Older Audience
Amazing & Incredible Counting
Anno’s Magic Seeds-- Mitsumasa Anno
The Best of Times—Greg Tang
Big Numbers—Edward Packard
Fractions Are Parts of Things—J.
G Is for Googol—David M. Schwartz
Gator Pie—Louise Mathews
Grandfather Tang’s Story—Ann
Is a Blue Whate the Biggest Thing There
Is?—Robert E. Wells
Math Curse—Jon Scieszka
On Beyond a Million—David M. Schwartz
Spaghetti and Meatballs for
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