# Why Not?

## Math and Literature by Adele Owatz

Adele Owatz is a grade two/three teacher at Westmount school in Moose Jaw and has participated on the Saskatchewan team for the Western Canadian Protocol Mathematics Materials Evaluation.

With the time crunch felt in many classrooms, using quality literature and integrating subjects will allow for more exploration time in content areas. The students will focus on and explore literature from a different perspective. As teachers, we know how easy it is to interest children in a good story. There is no better steppingstone to gaining students’ interest as well as leaving them with something concrete to refer back to. The Language Arts Curriculum requires that students listen, speak, read and write daily. Through the integration of subject areas, students will have more opportunity to practice all these skills.

You will easily be able to differentiate between concept books and good storybooks that can be used to explore mathematical concepts. Concept books such as 1,2,3, and shape books all have their place in beginning reading as well as to introduce simple math concepts, but students need good stories as well in order to learn how to predict and anticipate.

As well as using quality literature as an introduction to manipulatives, you can also use math journals to respond to literature. Math journals can be used to:

1. stimulate dialogue between students and teachers
2. be a part of a portfolio assessment tool
3. allow students to clarify their thoughts about a topic
4. formulate problems for others
5. develop pattern writing based on a mathematical topic
6. allow teachers to informally assess a student’s understanding of a topic
7. allow teachers to assess their teaching of a particular topic.

The book Something From Nothing by Phoebe Gilman can be used with students from years one to five by changing the expectations you hope to develop from the provincial mathematics curriculum. The following objectives are taken directly from the Saskatchewan curriculum document.

 P-1 Problem Solving - interpreting pictures - drawing diagrams - using number sentences - recognizing hidden information P-8 Create problems similar to those solved D-6 g. Timeline N-11 Building a pattern N-21 Use ordinals to describe and order an arrangement N-43 Use the term plus to add an event N-89 Concept of fractions M-5 Compare, estimate, then measure and record (a) centimetres M-13 Solve a variety of problems involving area

 Each of the following books are enjoyable as stories on their own. Each contains at least one strand from the mathematics curriculum that you could explore with a class after reading the book. A list of books to use with a math class can now be found in the new teacher’s manuals that have been developed for a hands-on integrated approach to mathematics such as those by Ginn, Gage, and Addison-Wesley.
 TITLE AUTHOR MAIN STRAND GERALDINE’S BLANKET THE TANGRAM MAGICIAN GRANDFATHER TANG’S STORY Keller Ernst Ann Tompert Geometry Geometry — Tangrams Geometry — Tangrams THE DOORBELL RANG TWO WAYS TO COUNT TO TEN WHAT COMES IN 2’S, 3’S AND 4’S? Hutchins Retold by Ruby Dee Aker Numbers and Operations Numbers and Operations Numbers and Operations THE SEVEN CHINESE BROTHERS MILLIONS OF CATS HOW MUCH IS A MILLION? Mahy Wanda Gag Schwartz Numbers and Operations Numbers and Operations Numbers and Operations A MILLION FISH…MORE OR LESS SOMETHING ABSOLUTELY ENORMOUS McKissak Wild Numbers and Operations Numbers and Operations REMAINDER OF ONE Elinor Pinczes Numbers and Operations — Division ONE HUNDRED HUNGRY ANTS ONE HUNDRED IS A FAMILY ONE WATERMELON SEED Pinczes Ryan Lottridge Numbers and Operations — 100 Numbers and Operations — 100 Numbers and Operations — 100 MR. GRUMPY’S OUTING WHO SANK THE BOAT? Burningham Pamela Allen Measurement - Mass Measurement - Mass A QUARTER FROM THE TOOTH FAIRY WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS ALEXANDER WHO USED TO BE RICH LAST SUNDAY Holtzman "Smart" by Shel Silverstein Viorst Measurement - Money Measurement - Money Measurement - Money A CHAIR FOR MY MOTHER COUNTING ON FRANK THE BUTTON BOX Vera Williams Rod Clement Margaret Reid Data Management Data Management Data Management FROG AND TOAD ARE FRIENDS CHRYSANTHEMUM "The Lost Button" by Lobel Henkes Data Management - Attributes Data Management - Graphing TITLE AUTHOR MAIN STRAND EACH ORANGE HAD 8 SLICES SIX-DINNER SID HOW MANY BEARS Paul Giganti Jr. Inga Moore Cooper Edens Problem Solving Problem Solving Problem Solving THE IMPORTANT BOOK Margaret Wise Brown Writing - all strands
 I have designated one main strand that each book could be associated with, but once you read a book many more ideas will be apparent to you that you could use to explore math concepts and to use manipulatives with the students in your class. As well as mathematics ideas, you will also see the possibilities for integration of arts education strands, science, writing, and social studies. Have fun with these books. The possibilities are limitless.
 TEACHER RESOURCES Burns, Marilyn MATH AND LITERATURE (K-3) Math Solutions Publications, 1992 ISBN 0-941355-07-1 Satariano, Patricia STORYTIME MATHTIME: MATH EXPLORATIONS IN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE Dale Seymore Publications, 1994 ISBN 0-86651-73-4 Gailey, Stavroula K. ARITHMETIC TEACHER "The Mathematics-Children’s Literature Connection" NCTM, January 1993 Schneider, Sally TEACHING CHILDREN MATHEMATICS "Links to Literature" NCTM, December 1995 Helton, Sonia M. TEACHING CHILDREN MATHEMATICS "I thik the Citrane will Hoder Lase: Journal Keeping in Math Class" NCTM, February 1995 Wadlington, Elizabeth; Bitner, Joe et al ARITHMETIC TEACHER "Have a problem? Make the Writing-Mathematics Connection!" NCTM, December 1992 Hurst, Carol Otis PICTURING MATH SRA/McGraw-Hill, 1996 ISBN 0-02-687367-2 Whitin, David J. and Gary, Casandra C. ARITHMETIC TEACHER "Promoting Mathematical Explorations Through Children's Literature" NCTM, March 1994 Kilman, Marlene and Richards, Judith ARITHMETIC TEACHER "Writing, Sharing and Discussing Mathematics Stories" NCTM, November 1992 Winograd, Ken and Higgens, Karen M. THE READING TEACHER "Writing, Reading and Talking Mathematics: One Interdisciplinary Possibility" International Reading Association, January — Febrauary 1995 Matthias, Margaret and Thiessen, Diane, editors THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF MATHEMATICS The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 1992 ISBN 0-87353-353-4