Picture books with mathematical content
Why use picture books in a maths class? Using picture books with mathematical content can be an effective way to engage students and explore problems within entertaining contexts. (read more)
The use of a narrative supports problem solving as students have a reason within the story to solve and to figure. A picture book can be used as an introduction to a concept, as a launch pad to further explore an idea, or as a prompt for a discussion and debate.
It is important to select books that are of high quality from both a literary and a mathematical perspective. Evaluate the mathematics within the book prior to sharing it with your students and decide on some directions you are interested in following with questions or response activities.
Questions to help guide your selection of books to use within maths classes:
- Does the book present content that is mathematically sound and appropriate for the level of your students?
- Does the book provide opportunities to introduce or reinforce mathematical symbols and vocabulary?
- Is the book effective for supporting students to think and reason mathematically?
- Will the book help build students' appreciation of both mathematics and literature?
This checklist has been adapted from one created by Marilyn Burns in her article: Easy as Pi: Picture books are perfect for teaching math. School Library Journal, 05/01/2010
Select a cell from the table below to see a list of books with mathematical content suitable for a particular level AND strand. Selecting a row or column heading will provide a list of books with mathematical content at that level OR strand. Some books appear at more than one level or strand.
If you have suggestions of other books that you think should be added to this collection please click to email them to us, including as much information about the book as possible.
Click to download a spreadsheet of all picture books listed in this section (.xls, 17KB)