Using Literature to Support Mathematical Learning

Children think about and understand math concepts in a variety of ways.  Many children can process abstract mathematical ideas in their heads easily, while others need a different type of support.   For example, kinesthetic children benefit from the hands-on use of math manipulatives.   Visual learners often appreciate seeing a problem being worked out step-by-step on a whiteboard or computer screen.   What about that linguistic (language-strong) student who may be a bit mathphobic?  Or perhaps you have special needs student who needs exposure to math in a new way.

math symbols

Have you ever considered using literature to help your student comprehend math concepts?  Math-themed picture books can be useful tools for introducing a math concept or reinforcing a math skill.   Most of the books are easy to find in your local library, or even as read-aloud videos online.

If you have never thought of combining math and literature , Scholastic teacher blogger Alycia Zimmerman has written two extremely helpful articles on using picture books to teach math skills.   Her first article describes the three tiers of math picture books  as well as provides helpful ways to use picture books to teach math.  Her second article expands on the idea into biographies and independent reading books that math-minded children would enjoy.   Click over  on the links below to get an idea of how to use literature with math.  She has shares quite a few book suggestions as well.  Well worth the time to bookmark and read later.

Teaching Math With Picture Books – Part 1 

Teaching Math With Picture Books – Part 2

Math in Literature resources on our Facebook page this week – book lists, activity ideas and more.  Scroll down to the bottom of this blog page to find the link to the AHE FB page.


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