Nov 25

Read Alouds on YouTube: Approaching Math through Story

Using children’s literature to teach math increases achievement, vocabulary and overall interest throughout the elementary years. It deepens conceptual understanding, triggers extended talk about math, enhances numeracy and reasoning, reduces math anxiety and builds a positive attitude toward mathematics.

In an earlier blog, Dr. Julie Comay explores research behind approaching math through literature and provides simple guidelines to help with book selection.

Below, members of the Robertson Team read their favourite children’s stories that support math learning.

Annos Magic Seeds

The children’s storybook Annos Magic Seeds touches upon a range of mathematical concepts, including simple counting to sophisticated geometric and algebraic reasoning.

Special thanks to Tarunima Mittal for reading this story.

Counting Crocodiles

A trickster tale told in rhyme that invites a range of mathematical problem-solving from kindergarten counting to middle school algebra. The children’s storybook Counting Crocodiles explores mathematical concepts, including counting, adding, growing/shrinking patterns, algebraic thinking, skip counting, geometric numbers.

Special thanks to Jordan Morton for reading this story.

One Grain of Rice

In this beautifully told folk tale from India, exponential growth gets the better of a despotic Rajah. The children’s story One Grain of Rice contains many mathematical concepts, including algebraic thinking, growing patterns, doubling, numbers and operations, equations, functions.

Special thanks to Julia Barrett for reading this story.

Two of Everything

In this folk tale retelling from Korea, a magic pot doubles whatever falls into it, producing chaos and opportunity for mathematical discussion. The children’s story Two of Everything contains many mathematical concepts, including doubling, multiplying, adding, growing patterns, algebraic thinking, functions, equations.

Special thanks to Alisha Talpur for reading this story.

Warlords Puzzle

In this tale from China about the origins of tangrams, a ceramic tile is smashed and a powerful leader demands it be put back together. The children’s story Warlords Puzzle contains many mathematical concepts, including spatial reasoning, geometry, squares, tangrams, congruence, mental rotation, puzzles

Special thanks to Michelle Chin for reading this story.

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