Math and Literature, Grades 2–3
Combining math and literature in classroom activities is an excellent way to generate student interest and enthusiasm. Math and Literature, Grades 2–3 includes lessons based on 20 enchanting children’s books. These books serve as springboards for introducing math concepts to students in a way that sparks their mathematical imaginations and helps develop their problem-solving skills. Topics include counting, sorting, addition, subtraction, money, measurement, and patterns.
Download an at-a-glance chart of children’s literature featured in the Math, Literature, and Nonfiction series, listed with grade levels and topics.
Marilyn Burns and Stephanie Sheffield
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Review by Susan Weiss, elementary resource teacher, Brookline, Massachusetts. Reprinted with permission from Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, © 2005 by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. All rights reserved.
In the Math and Literature series, the authors demonstrate ways in which children’s books are effective vehicles for motivating children to think and reason mathematically. On average, each book includes twenty-two lessons based on literature, which range from simple picture books to easy readers, chapter books, and rhymes or poetry. In each book the writing is clear, concise, and includes samples of children’s work, interpretation of the children’s samples, and extensions to many of the activities. Each section includes wonderful activities that enrich the learning of mathematics by giving students a chance to learn mathematics in a nonthreatening environment. The lessons include not only a description of the activity but also ways to organize the classroom, as well as ways to ask questions that challenge and encourage all children to take the time to communicate among their peers. I was impressed by how the lessons are used to stimulate children’s imagination and still could be used to teach new mathematics concepts along with skills.
In the K–1 book, the major emphasis is on money, counting, addition, measurement, patterns, geometry, and problem solving. Built into several lessons, are illustrations showing how the lessons are different grades. In the 2–3 book, the major emphasis is problem solving, multiples and doubles, geometry, measurement, numbers patterns, fractions, subtraction, grouping (division), money, and combinations. In the 4–6 book, topics include tangram activities, multiplication and division, fraction patterns, and number theory. Each book also emphasizes proper use of mathematical terminology. The activities are grade-appropriate, but with some creativity a teacher could adapt a lesson to another grade. Teachers who do not have the story book could just use the story summary and the lesson found in the Math and Literature series.
Teachers who purchase these books will find many wonderful ideas and lessons that can be used with any mathematic series. Even if you have many other books on literature and mathematics, the concepts and repertoire of techniques developed in these books make them well worth the purchase.