Whether choosing anchor texts for a topic, reinforcing vocabulary, connecting math to the larger world, sparking a conversation, launching an inquiry or having some quiet time, stories are a beautiful way of connecting Numeracy and Literacy. Stories are powerful and an inviting way to offer a different lens for children (and adults) to view math. Likewise, telling number stories, creating story mats and using literacy strategies to unpack language-based problems is an underused method of helping people make sense of mathematical concepts. There are many wonderful books for all ages written about numeracy and mathematicians. This page holds a collection of resources to both help you find the right stories and support you in using them to deepen your child/student’s understanding of Math, Reading and Writing. Remember, also, that any book can be a math book, if we ask the right questions. For a longer piece on how the literacy/numeracy connection is important for my family, please read my blog post.
Please click here for resources about Inquiry Learning and resources that are not topic specific.
Teachers: Always remember to preview any resources for compatibility with the technology available AND compliance with your district’s curriculum and approval requirements.
Questions To Ask:
- What is math? (It is important for everyone to understand that math and numeracy are more than just counting and computation. Math is also measurement, data collection/analysis, modelling and abstract thinking, geometry and design and many other things. Once we get in the habit of “seeing” the math in what we are doing (mathematizing), we begin to realize that there are very few (if any) aspects of life that math does not touch)
- Where do you see math in this picture/book/story?
- How is math important in the story?
- How many? How do you see them?
- Is there a pattern? What repeats?
- Why did you…?
- What if…?
- Tell me about…
Find A Book:
- Mathical Book Prize Books
- Math Learning Center Free Little Books (preK-1)
- Math Book Magic
- Math Through Stories
- Using Children’s Literature (Jen Barker)
- Read A Story Explore the Math (Sandra Ball)
Story Sources Beyond Books:
- Data Literacy (Youcubed.org’s Data Science Section)
- Nasa Space Math
- Mathigon Interactive Timeline of Mathematicians
- Math Catcher: Mathematics through Aboriginal Storytelling
Professional Resources for Connecting Numeracy and Literacy:
- (Webinar) Using Children’s Literature to Make Real-World Mathematics Connections
- (Webpage) Christina Tondevold (Video)Teaching Math Through Story Problems
- (Website)Kathy Marks Krpan (Book)Teaching Math With Meaning: Cultivating Self-Efficacy Through Learning Competencies (K-8)
- (Websites)Faye Brownlie, Carole Fullerton and Leyton Schnellert: (Books)It’s All About Thinking: Collaborating to Support All Learners in Mathematics and Science
- NCTM Deepening Students’ Mathematical Understanding With Children’s Literature
- NCTM Exploring Math With Literature
- (Book) Mary Hynes-Berry and Laura Grandau: Where’s the Math? Books, Games, and Routines to Spark Children’s Thinking
- (Free download) Nevin Iliev and Frank D’Angelo: Teaching Mathematics through Multicultural Literature