Skip to Main Content

COVID-19 Updates: Open to UCalgary students, faculty and staff only | Masks are mandatory in all library spaces | Booking a Space for Online Classes

Education - Mathematics (Elementary)

Learn more

"For many teachers, the storybook shelf isn't the first place to look when planning a math lesson. But children's books are effective tools for teaching mathematics. Children's books cna spark students' imaginations in ways that exercises in textbooks or workbooks often don't. Connecting math to literature can boost confidence for children who love books but are wary of math. And students who already love math can learn to appreciate stories in a whole new way."


"While the goal after reading a book aloud is to launch a math lesson, it's important first to provide time for students to enjoy the book, savor the text, and examine the illustrations. Also, as for any read-aloud experience, it's important to provide the opportunity for class discussion about the book. Then it's appropriate to make the math connection and shift the students' attention to the math goal of the lesson. After the lesson, it's a good idea to make the children's book available for students to revisit on their own..."

-- from: About Teaching Mathematics: a K-8 resource by Marilyn Burns. p.45

Count on Me:

A checklist for choosing picture books for math.

Is the book of high quality from a literary perspective?

Does the book present content that is mathematically sound and grade-level appropriate?

Does the book provide opportunities to introduce or reinforce mathematical symbolism?

Is the book effective for supporting students to think and reason : mathematically?

Will the book help build students' appreciation of both mathematics and literature? 

-- from: Easy as Pi by Marilyn Burns. School Library Journal, May 1, 2010

Or --

Is there accuracy of content in the text and illustrations?

Do the text and illustrations enhance mathematics concepts and skills?

Do the book's mathematics and story complement each other?

Does the text incorporate vocabulary familiar to mathematics teaching?

Is the book intellectually and developmentally appropriate?

Do the illustrations and text imply easy-to-use math manipulatives to help readers benefit from the mathematics knowledge and understanding embedded in the book?

Do my selections reflect a variety of literary genres and vivid interesting writing styles that involve the children?

Does the book facilitate real-world applications?

from: Math Memories You Can Count On: a literature-based approach to teaching mathematics in the primary classrooms by Jo-Anne Lake, 2009.

Criteria for Choosing Literature to Use in Math

Articles and Books

Print Page