Picture BooksWelcome to Lenny's Wiki!Home Site http://lvermaas.wikispaces.com/
email address lennyvermaas@gmail.com phone 402-641-0043
Powerpoint for Picture Books
What is your favorite picture book? Use this Google Form to let me know.
Math Literature K-2 by Elinor J Pincizes
  • My Full Moon is Square
  • Inchworm and a Half
  • One Hundred Hungry Ants--also has a youtube video
  • A remainder of One
  • Arctic Fives Arrive


  • Finding the Math in Storybooks Article
  • “New Visions for Linking Literature and Mathematics” by David Whitin and Judith Lindfors. What makes a picture book good? This is an excellent resource from NCTM and NCTE. Not only does this book review and highlight many different books, one chapter is Criteria for Selecting Math-Related Books.
  • Math vocabulary, its importance and strategies to help students with vocabulary acquisition are provided by Miki Murray in her book “Teaching Mathematics Vocabulary in Context.” She states that “Mathematical communication requires more than mastery of numbers and symbols. It requires the development of a common language using vocabulary that is understood by all.”
    mathematics vocabulary.doc also see the web page developed by Jen Madison and Lenny on vocabulary at http://esu6vocabulary.wikispaces.com/

Literature Links:

Teaching Science with Picture Books MiddleWeb Post
Below is a list of the books and a link to an article. Each article contains a short description about the book as well as activities that could be used in a mathematics classroom.
Marilyn Burns Blog Link
David Schwartz http://davidschwartz.com/
  • “G is for Google, A Math Alphabet Book” by David Schwartz is one of his many books with mathematical connections. While this book’s reading level is more appropriate for upper elementary, it does create ideas for vocabulary activities for all levels of students. G is for Google.doc
  • “If You Hopped Like a Frog” David Schwartz. Have you ever wondered about the jumping ability of a frog? If so, you would discover that “If you hopped like a frog…you could jump from home plate to first base in one mighty leap.” The book poses and then answers many questions such as, “If you were as strong as an ant…If you had eagle eyes. Illustrations by James Warhola make the variety of animal characteristics come to life in amazing and amusing human traits. If you hopped like a frog.doc
  • “If You Made a Million” written by David Schwartz. What makes “If You Made a Million” special is that there is an error is the book. Challenge your students to find the mistake by having them take a page, a passage, or a picture and verify that it is correct. The error, which was revealed in a presentation by David Schwartz at a NCTM national conference, is found on the page that begins "If you prefer coins, you can have a fife-foot tack of pennies." The error is that "Or you can receive your ten dollars as a 3 1/4 inch pile of forty quarters" The pile would be 2 3/4 inches. If You Made a Million.doc
  • “If Dogs Were Dinosaurs” demonstrates how imagination can be used to enhance mathematics. David Schwartz ponders such questions as “If the moon were a marble …” and “if a submarine sandwich were a real submarine…” and comes up with possible answers like “you could play baseball with the planet Earth” and “a pickle slice could save your life.” Illustrations by James Warhola make the book fun to read even for students to young to understand the math. if dinosaurs + immeter.doc
  • "How Much is A Million" shows the concepts of a million, a billion and a trillion are made vivid by delightful examples of mins-stretching examples.
  • Millions to Measure” explores the invention of length, weight and volume measurements.
Other Books
  • "Less Than Zero" by Stuart Murphy, Illustrations by Frank Remkiewicz. It is never too early to introduce students to negative numbers. Winter is a great time for negative numbers and showing them on a number line.
  • "Bean Thirteen" by Matthew McEllicott
    • Bean Thirteen activity
    • Magic Bean, make the 13 beans turn into 12 and solve your remainder problems
  • “The Little Engine That Could” by Watty Piper has been around for a long time. One of nine instructional strategies in Bob Marzano’s book “Classroom Instruction That Works” is reinforcing effort and providing recognition. Have your students divide up 100% into the categories; ability, effort, other people, and luck as to which has the greatest influence on their success. While all of these play a part in what we can accomplish, many students do not realize the importance of believing in effort. The Little Engine that could.doc
  • “Math Curse” written by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith is delightful, entertaining, and educational. The book begins, “On Monday in math class Mrs. Fibonacci says, “YOU KNOW, you can think of almost everything as a math problem.” On Tuesday I start having problems.” Math questions are generated from and connected to the students’ world as they go through a typical day. Math Curse.doc
  • “Sir Cumference and the First Round Table” written by Cindy Neuschwander and illustrated by Wayne Geehan. What do King Author, Camelot, Lady Di, and Sir Cumference have to do with mathematics? The first hint may come from Sir Cumference, he is not a well know Knight. Add the fact that he is married to Lady Di who comes from the town of Ameter, has a half sized son named Radius, his carpenter is Geo of Metry, their country is being invaded by people from Circumscriber, and King Author is not pleased with his rectangle table. Sir Cumference.doc
  • “Sir Cumference and the Isle of Immeter” is another in a series of books written by Cindy Neuschwnader and illustrated by Wayne Geehan. This book begins with Lady Di of Ameter (diameter) teaching her cousin Radius the game of “inners and edges.” This game involves finding the area and perimeter of different rectangles. if dinosaurs + immeter.doc
  • "Sir Cumference and the Diameter of Pi" is another in a series of books written by Cindy Neuschwnader and illustrated by Wayne Geehan.
    Video with problems
  • “The Dot” by Peter Reynolds This delightful book is “Dedicated to Mr. Matson, my 7th grade math teacher, who dared me to “make my mark.” As teachers we make “marks” on students daily, that is why we are teachers. Our interactions help mold students into young adults and ultimately into the person they will become. A related activity is provide to estimate the number of dots on a scanned picture that is provided. The Dot.doc Picture to use for for the activity The Dot Jacy's Balloon.doc More activities using the dot.
  • Students don’t care what you know; they want to know that you care. I frequently share this thought as I work with teachers. No matter how old the student, teaching is about building relationships. Peter Reynolds has written and illustrated many books including, The Dot”, “Ish”, and the The North Star.” Teaching is a profession where you can make a difference. Children need to develop self-confidence and encouragement. I would challenge you to use one or more of Peter’s books with your students this year. Dot+Ish+North Star.doc
  • “The 13 Days of Halloween” by Carol Greene This book is similar in format to “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. A wide variety of mathematical objectives can be the focus of activities related to the story. In addition to problem solving, counting, ordinal numbers, creating equal groups to lay a foundation for multiplication, recognizing and extending patterns, multiple representations using tables, charts, or equations, and written or oral communication are some that quickly come to mind. 13 day of Halloween.doc
  • Also see an article "Thirteen Days of Halloween: Using Children's Literature to Differentiate in the Mathematics Classroom, Teaching Children Mathematics, September 2004 p 82-90.
  • “A Million Dots” by Andrew Clements and illustrated by Mike Reed This book actually has 1 million dots within it pages. It begins with a picture of 1 dot, then10 dots, 100 dots, 500 dots, 1000 dots and continues with references to numbers in the world around us. Tie 578,504 shoelaces together and they would reach from New York to Boston. Students may try to verify claims made in the book. million dots.doc
    • Megapenny site provides information for various numbers of pennies; a graphic, weight, value, dimensions of a pile, area if laid flat, height if stacked up.
  • “The Greedy Triangle” by Marilyn Burns may be a familiar book to many of you and one that you may be using. In this book, students learn about polygon shapes. The unhappy triangle visits a “shape shifter” to increase the number of sides and change shapes. The triangle goes from quadrilateral to pentagon to hexagon and on and on and finally adds so many sides that it becomes a circle. Ultimately, the triangle reverts to its original three sides. Students learn the names for several polygons as well as examples of where students will find these shapes. Three activities related to geometry are included in this article. These activities create a greater depth for student’s understanding of properties of polygons. Greedy Triangle.doc
  • Sixty seconds, one minute can be a relatively short time or a period of time in which many events can reoccur. Did you know that every minute about 191 cell phones are discarded in the United States? This fact along with many more are contained in the pages of “Every Minute on Earth, Fun Facts that Happen Every 60 seconds.” This Scholastic book by Steve Murrie and Matthew Murrie is filled with fun and interesting facts. Each page contains a fact along with a picture and related comments. The rationale or calculations for the facts are not included, which leaves a possible mathematics activity. With over 200 pages, there are many facts that will surprise and amaze you. Ten adult elephants can produce 1 pound of poop per minute. Every Minute on Earth.doc
  • “If the World Were A Village” by David J. Smith is the author with illustrations by Shelagh Armstrong. As Americans we take many aspects of our lives for granted. This book makes it clear how fortunate Americans are compared to others that live in our global village. At the present time 6.6 billion people live in the world. If all of these people were represented by a village of one hundred people the following would be true: twenty-one people speak a Chinese dialect, seventeen can not read or write, thirty always have enough to eat, twenty-four do not have electricity, twenty-eight have televisions in their home, and five are from Canada and the United States. The book provides similar information related to ages, money, religions, and much more. I think that you and your students will find many surprises. World were a village.doc See a video of the world as 100 people at http://www.miniature-earth.com/ Also the article 100 students in Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, February 2010, pages 320-327
  • Let’s begin with an enjoyable book, “Pigs Will be Pigs: Fun with Math and Money” by Amy Axelrod with pictures by Sharon McGiniey-Nally. This is one of a series of books “Pigs Will be Pigs.” The book tells how a hungry pig family finds an empty refrigerator and then decides to hunt all over the house for money. After finding different amounts of money, they drive to their favorite restaurant, Enchanted Enchilada, and order 4 daily specials from the menu. A menu is included in the book. Pigs will be Pigs making sense of money.doc
  • "The Inch Boy" by Junko Morimoto is the story of a boy, Issunboshi, who is one inch tall and has an ambition to become a Samurai Warrior. Using a sewing needle as a sword, along with courage, he is appointed special bodyguard to Princess Makiko. After jumping into the mouth of the Red Demon and defeating the giant, Issumboshi begins to grow and grow and turns into a gallant Samurai Warrior and marries the Princess. Other than promoting perseverance against all odds, how can this book be used for mathematical connections? Issumboshi’s one-inch size serves as a way to introduce outliers into a data set. Another possibility for a small outlier would be to use the story of Tom Thumb. The article uses the Statue of Liberty as a larger outlier. A worksheet, The Inch Boy and Yao Ming, is available on my website along with the picture book corner articles. Shel Silverstein has written a poem, “One Inch Tall” which talks about what would happen if you were one inch tall. Activities with this poem use proportions to investigate if statements made in the poem are possible and are available on my web site. inch boy.doc Bonus Inch Boy and Yao Ming statistics activities Inch Boy activity.doc
  • Two of Everything by Lily Toy Hong recounts a Chinese folk tale. The farmer finds a magic pot which doubles everything that is put into it. This humorous story is a great introduction to function machines and input/output tables as teachers make the transition to the "doubling pot" and recording information in an input/output table. This book comes from one of my favorite mathematics web sites Math Wire, http://www.mathwire.com/