Math picture books, which are also commonly referred to as math read alouds or math stories, are effective tools to introduce, teach, and review math concepts, skills, and vocabulary in meaningful contexts. They can be presented in the format of shared reading, a read aloud, or a center. Children, especially those who struggle with math, benefit from a different approach to math instruction. Similarly, it’s a great way to represent a concept in a different way for students who have a different learning style. For all learners, math picture books bring math alive and depict how math is present in everyday situations.
This blog post will answer the following questions:
- Why should I use picture books to teach math concepts?
- How do I use childrens’ books to teach math?
- What are the best math picture books for teaching…?
- number sense and place value
- skip counting
- even and odd numbers
- telling time
- data and graphing
7 Reasons to Use Children’s Books for Teaching Math
7 reasons why 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grade teachers should use children’s books for teaching math are that they…
- Increase student engagement
- Bring meaning to math by showing how math is present in the real world (learn more about real world math)
- Present a math concept or skill in a different way
- Invite children who do not like math into the math world
- Build literacy skills
- Offer problems that are often more authentic and complex than the typical math word problem
- Provide an opportunity to integrate content areas, which shows children that content areas are interrelated and important
How to Use Math Picture Books to Teach Math Concepts
Below are a list of 8 ways to use math stories to teach math concepts:
- Introduce a new math concept, topic, or vocabulary term using a whole group read aloud.
- Help students make connections between concepts using a text.
- Kick off a meaningful math talk using a whole group read aloud.
- Pose a problem from the text, send your students to solve (independently, with partners, or in small groups), encourage them to share their findings with the class, and then finish reading the book.
- Show students the problem solving process in context by using a whole group read aloud.
- Teach a math concept using a text by inviting them to write their own problem that is connected to the story.
- During math workshop or math center time, offer a bin of math picture books for students to explore (independently or with partners).
- Review a math concept, topic, or vocabulary term using a text.
A List of Math Picture Books for Teaching Math Concepts and Skills
Below is a list of math books for elementary students that are great for teaching math concepts and skills. You are going to love these math read aloud books!
Number Sense and Place Value Picture Books
The following math picture books are great read alouds for teaching elementary students about place value concepts:
Skip Counting Picture Books
These math books for elementary students are great read aloud examples for teaching elementary students how to count and skip count:
Even and Odd Numbers Picture Books
The following math read alouds are examples of quality math lit for teaching elementary students about even and odd numbers:
Addition Picture Books
When planning how to teach addition in your elementary classroom, consider pulling the following math picture books:
Subtraction Read Aloud Picture Books
Using children’s books is a great approach for how to teach subtraction to elementary students. Consider using the following subtraction read alouds:
Multiplication Read Alouds
Using picture books is a great approach to consider when thinking about how to teach multiplication to struggling students. The following are examples of great math read alouds for supporting you with this:
Division Picture Books
The following math stories are great read alouds for teaching elementary students about division:
The following fraction books are great read alouds for introducing and teaching fractions in your elementary classroom:
The following math picture books are great read alouds for teaching elementary students about geometry concepts:
Measurement Read Alouds
The following list of math picture book examples are great for teaching elementary students about measurement:
The following math picture book texts are great examples of children’s books about money:
Telling Time Picture Books
The following math stories are examples of quality math lit for teaching time to kids:
Data and Graphing Read Alouds
The following math picture books are great for teaching elementary students about data and graphing:
We hope this list of math picture books will be helpful as you plan your upcoming math lessons and would love for you to try these math resources with your students. They offer students opportunities to practice grade level concepts and skills in fun and engaging ways. You can download worksheets specific to your grade level (along with lots of other math freebies) in our free printable math resources bundle using this link: free printable math activities for elementary teachers.
Check out these other math resources!
- 1st Grade Math Resources
- 2nd Grade Math Resources
- 3rd Grade Math Resources
- 4th Grade Math Resources
- 5th Grade Math Resources