# Using Literature to Teach Problem Solving in Mathematics

## Abstract

This article provides a snapshot of one interesting, but unexpected, classroom experience that (Author 1) had with a 1^{st}grade student above and what lessons we learned from this student about using literature to teach problem solving in mathematics. It also includes suggested text sets of other literature that can be used to teach students a variety of important mathematical concepts.

## References

References

Altieri, J.L. (2009). Strengthening connections between elementary classroom mathematics and literacy, Teaching Children Mathematics, February, 346-351.

Carter, S. (2009). Connecting Mathematics and Writing Workshop: It’s Kinda Like Ice Skating, The Reading Teacher, 62(7), 606-610.

Halpern, C.M. and Halpern, P.A. (2006). Using creative writing and literature in mathematics classes, Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, 11(5), 226-230

Olness, R. (2007). Using literature to enchance content area instruction: A guide for k-5 teachers. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Short, K., Harste, J., with Burke, C. (1995). Creating classrooms for authors and inquirers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Whitin, D.J. and Wilde, S. (1995). It’s the story that counts. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Whitin, D.J. & Whitin, P.E. (1996). Fostering metaphorical thinking through children’s literature. In P.C. Elliott (Ed.), Communication in mathematics: K-12 and beyond, 1996 yearbook of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (pp. 228-237). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Whitin, P. and Whitin, D.J. (2000). Math is language too: Talking and writing in the mathematics classroom. National Council of Teachers of English and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Whitin, D. (2008). Learning our way to one million, Teaching Children Mathematics, 14(8), 448-453.

Whitin, P. and Whitin, D.J. (2008). Learning to solve problems in primary grades, Teaching Children Mathematics, 14(7), 426-432.

Table 1. Text Set on Problem Solving

Gray, K., & Field, J. (2015). How many legs? London: Hodder Children’s Books.

Limentani, A. (2016). How much does a ladybird weigh? Great Britain: Boxer Books.

Merriam, E. (1993). 12 ways to get to 11. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Sayre, A.P., & Sayre, J. (2006). One is a snail, ten is a crab. Candlewick Press. Somerville, MA.

Table 2. Text Sets by Math Concept

Data & Probability

Einhorn, E. (2008). A Very Improbable Story. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.

Herman, G. (2002). Bad Luck Brad. Minneapolis, MN: Kane.

Leedy, L. (2007) It’s Probably Penny. New York: Henry Holt.

Murphy, S. (2001). Probably Pistachio. New York: HarperCollins.

Van Allsburg, C. (1981). Jumanji. New York: HMH Books.

Area & Perimeter

Burns, M. (2008). Spaghetti and Meatballs for All! New York: Scholastic.

Murphy, S. (2002). Racing Around. New York: HarperCollins.

Murphy, S. (2002). Bigger, Better, Best! New York: HarperCollins.

Neuschwander, C. (2006). Sir Cumference and the Isle of Immeter. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.

Pollack, P., & Belviso, M. (2002). Chickens on the Move. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Kane.

Multiplication

Birch, D. (1988). The King’s Chessboard. New York: Puffin.

Calvert, P. (2006). Multiplying Menace: The Revenge of Rumpelstiltskin. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.

Demi. (1997). One Grain of Rice. New York: Scholastic.

Leedy, L. (1995). 2 X 2 = Boo! New York: Holiday House.

Losi, C. (1997). 512 Ants on Sullivan Street. New York: Cartwheel Books.

Neuschwander, C. (1998). Amanda Bean’s Amazing Dream. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.

Number Sense & Place Value

Driscoll, L. (2003). The Blast Off Kid. Minneapolis, MN: Kane.

Fisher, V. (2006). How High Can a Dinosaur Count? Decorah, IA: Dragonfly Books.

Friedman, A. (1994). The King’s Commissioners. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

LoPresti, A. (2003). A Place for Zero. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.

Pilegard, V. (2001). The Warlord’s Beads. Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican.

Schmandt-Besserat, D. (1999). The History of Counting. New York: Collins.

Thompson, L. (2001). One Riddle, One Answer. New York: Scholastic.

Love, D. A. (2006). Of Numbers and Stars. New York: Holiday House.

Ratio & Proportion

Clement, R. (1994). Counting on Frank. New York: Gareth Stevens.

McCullum, A. (2006). Beanstalk: The Measure of a Giant. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.

Pilegard, V. (2003). The Warlord’s Puppeteers. Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican.

Schwartz, D. (1999). If You Hoped Like a Frog. New York: Scholastic.

Division

Harris, T. (2008). Splitting the Herd. Minneapolis, MN: Millbrook.

McEllicott, M. (2007) Bean Thirteen. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Books.

Murphy, S. (1997). Divide and Ride. New York: HarperCollins.

Pinczes, E.J. (1993). One Hundred Hungry Ants. HMH Books.

Pinczes, E. J. (1995). A Remainder of One. New York: HMH Books.

Turner, P. (1999). Among the Odds & Evens. New York: Scholastic.

Graphing

Bader, D. (2003). Graphs. New York: Grosset and Dunlap.

Dussling, J. (2003). Fair is Fair. New York: Fitzgerald Books.

Glass, J. (1998). The Fly on the Ceiling. New York: Random House.

Leedy, L. (2005). The Great Graph Contest. New York: Holiday House.

Nagda, A.W., & Bickel, C. (2000). Tiger Math: Learning to Graph from a Baby Tiger. New York: Square Fish.

Ochiltree, D. (1999). Bart’s Amazing Charts. New York: Scholastic.

Penner, L. R. (2002). X Marks the Spot! Minneapolis, Minnesota: Kane.

Geometry

Adler, D. (1998). Shape Up. New York: Holiday House.

Burns, M. (1994). The Greedy Triangle. New York: Scholastic.

Ellis, J. (2004). What’s Your Angle, Pythagoras? Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.

Friedman, A. (1994). A Cloak for the Dreamer. New York: Scholastic.

Friedman, M., & Weiss, E. (2001). Kitten Castle. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Kane.

Murphy, S. (2001). Captain Invincible and the Space Shapes. New York: HarperCollins.

Neuschwander, C. (2001). Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.

Neuschwander, C. (1997). Sir Cumference and the First Round Table. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.

Neuschwander, C. (1999). Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.

Neuschwander, C. (2005). Mummy Math. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.

Pilegard, V. (2000). The Warlord’s Puzzle. Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican.

Rocklin, J. (2000). The Incredibly Awesome Box. New York: Cartwheel Books.

Rocklin, J. (1998). Not Enough Room. New York: Cartwheel Books.

Algebraic Thinking & Algebra Readiness

Campbell, S. C. (2010). Growing Patterns. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills.

Murphy, S. (2003). Less Than Zero. New York: HarperCollins.

Murphy, S. (1997). Elevator Magic. New York: HarperCollins.

Neuschwander, C. (2007). Patterns in Peru. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.

Measurement

Adler, D. (2000). How Tall, How Short, How Faraway. New York: Holiday House.

Herman, G. (2005). Keep Your Distance. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Kane.

Kellogg, S. (2004). The Mysterious Tadpole. New York: Scholastic.

Leedy, L. (2000). Measuring Penny. New York: Square Fish.

McCallum, A. (2006). Beanstalk: The Measure of a Giant. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.

Sweeney, J. (2002). Me and the Measure of Things. Norman, OK: Dragonfly Books.

## Downloads

## Published

## How to Cite

*Ohio Journal of School Mathematics*,

*81*(1). Retrieved from https://ohiomathjournal.org/index.php/OJSM/article/view/6574

## Issue

## Section

## License

Copyright (c) 2018 William Paul Bintz, Sara Delano Moore