Illuminations: Mathematics and Children's Literature

# Mathematics and Children's Literature

In the following lessons, students participate in activities in which they focus on connections between mathematics and children’s literature. Three pieces of literature are used to teach geometry and measurement topics in the mathematics curriculum, from using and describing geometric figures to estimating volume of figures. These lessons were adapted from "Ideas: Mathematics and Children’s Literature," by Martha H. (Marty) Hopkins, which appeared in The Arithmetic Teacher, May 1993, pp. 512‑519.

### Math Content

In this unit, students will:
• Recognize geometric figures
• Draw and describe geometric figures
• Interpret positional words
• Solve problems involving estimation of volume
• Examine the need for a standard unit of measure

### Individual Lessons

Lesson 1 - Shapes and Poetry

Students read the poem "Shapes" from A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstein, and create their own illustration of the poem. In this lesson, students explore geometric figures and positional words.

Lesson 2 - Estimating Volume by Counting on Frank

In this lesson, students read the book Counting on Frank. They use information in the book to make estimates involving volume. In particular, students explore the size of humpback whales.

Lesson 3 - How Big Is a Foot?

In this lesson, students read the book How Big Is a Foot?, by Rolf Myller. They then create non-standard units (using their own footprints) and use them to make "beds." As a result, students explore the need for a standard unit of measure.

### NCTM Resources

 More and Better Mathematics for All Students
 © 2000 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Use The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics is a public voice of mathematics education, providing vision, leadership, and professional development to support teachers in ensuring mathematics learning of the highest quality for all students. The views expressed or implied, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official positions of the Council.