*         The first 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.

Ø      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 pictographs.

Ø      Frog and Toad Are Friends—“A Lost Button”—Arnold Lobel (characteristics)

Ø      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 Everything book.

Ø      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.

Ø      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 skip counting.

Ø      The Very Hungry Caterpillar—Eric Carle (basic number sense, sequence)

Ø      Even Steven, Odd Todd—Kathryn Cristaldi (even/odd numbers)

Ø      A Three Hat Day—Laura Geringer (characteristics, graphing, probability)  Introduce Venn diagrams.  Use hats to do sorting and predicting.

Ø      The One that Got Away—Percival Everett—Full of puns—great fun! (even for older students)

Ø      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.

Ø      Pigs Will Be Pigs—Amy Axelrod (money)—Older students want to figure out how much money they have found.

o        Make a “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 class book.

o        Write 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 change.

Ø      Chrysanthemum—Kevin Henkes (money, addition)—How much is $1.00?

Ø      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.

Ø      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.

Ø      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.

Ø      “Smart” a poem from Where the Sidewalk Ends—Shel Silverstein (money)

Ø      How Much Is a Million?—David Schwartz (number sense)

Ø      Amanda Bean’s Amazing Dream—Cindy Newschwander (multiplication, number sense)

Ø      100 Hungry Ants—Elinor Pinces (100th day, groups of numbers, division)

Ø      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.

Ø      A Remainder of One—Elinor J. Pinczes (number sense, division)

Ø      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.

Ø      The Great Divide—Dayle Ann Dodds

Ø      The Grouchy Ladybug—Eric Carle (time, sequence)

Ø      Just a Minute—Teddy Slater (time)—minute activities: 

o        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.

o        Play a good recording of “The Minute Waltz.”

o        Try to stand on one foot for a minute.

o        Estimate how many times you could write your name in one minute.  Then do it and count.

Ø      Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs—Judi Barrett—How much time is it between meals?

Ø      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 your clues.

Ø      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.

Ø      The Hershey’s Fractions Book—Jerry Pallota and Rob Bolster (fractions)

Ø      Fractions Are Parts of Things—J. Richard Dennis—nonfiction-gives your eyes a chance to estimate fourths, thirds, halves, etc.

Ø      Caps for Sale—Esphyr Slobodkina (problem solving)

Ø      Jump Frog, Jump—Robert Kaplan (problem solving)

Ø      The Greedy Triangle—Marilyn Burns (geometry)

Ø      Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do you See?—Bill 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.

Ø      Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi—Cindy Neuschwander—also Sir Cumference and the Knight of Angleland and Sir Cumference and the First Round Table.

Ø      Melisande—E. Nesbit –a take off on the penny a day, double it the next.  Good to use with fairy tales.

Ø      The King’s Chessboard—David Birch (problem solving)

Ø      How Big Is a Foot?—Rolf Myller (measurement)—Make a list of places in your school to measure with body measurements.

 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

Ø      Anno’s Counting Book—Mitsumasa Anno

Ø      Bears, Ten by Ten—Jack Beers

Ø      I Can Count the Petals of a Flower-John & Stacey Wahl

Ø      Math for All Seasons—Greg Tang

Ø      Nine Ducks Nine—Sarah Hayes

Ø      Ten Little Rabbits—Virginia Grossman & Sylvia Long


*       Reference Books

Ø      Linking Math with Literature—Jane Steffen Kolakowski

Ø      Literature-Based Math—Lois Laase

Ø      Math and Literature K-3—Marilyn Burns

Ø      Storybook Mazes—Dave Phillips

Ø      Storytime Mathtime—Patricia Satariano

Ø      The Wonderful World of Mathematics--NCTM


*       Favorites for an Older Audience

Ø      Amazing & Incredible Counting Stories—Max Grover

Ø      Anno’s Magic Seeds-- Mitsumasa Anno

Ø      The Best of Times—Greg Tang

Ø      Big Numbers—Edward Packard

Ø      Fractions Are Parts of Things—J. Richard Dennis

Ø      G Is for Googol—David M. Schwartz

Ø      Gator Pie—Louise Mathews

Ø      Grandfather Tang’s Story—Ann Tompert

Ø      Is a Blue Whate the Biggest Thing There Is?—Robert E. Wells

Ø      Math Curse—Jon Scieszka

Ø      On Beyond a Million—David M. Schwartz

Ø      Spaghetti and Meatballs for All!—Marilyn Burns

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