Math Literature Connections:   Geometry & Measurement

Featured Book: The Shape of Things

The Shape of Things by Dayle Ann Dodds introduces the geometric shapes as they are found in the world around us.   Students will be challenged to locate all of the triangles in the illustration or the squares, etc.   Shape patterns form the border of each page, prompting more discussion about shapes, color and size.

  • Students can create their own shape pages for a class book on "The Shape of Things." Download the Shape of Things template so that students can choose a shape, draw a picture, stamp the border and add their own words to the page prompt.


Three Pigs, One Wolf and Seven Magic Shapes

Three Pigs, One Wolf and Seven Magic Shapes by Grace Maccarone is a mathematical take on the classic fairy tale.   Students are introduced to tangrams in this leveled reader.   The pigs use the seven magic shapes to form solutions to the problems they encounter.   Students will enjoy using tangrams to recreate the figures in the book as well as creating their own tangram figures for classmates to solve.

Grandfather Tang's Story

Grandfather Tang's Story by Anne Tompert also uses tangrams to illustrate the story a grandfather tells his granddaughter.   Students will enjoy recreating the tangram creatures found throughout the book.


The Biggest Pumpkin Ever

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Stephen Kroll would be a great literature connection for the Huge Pumpkin Estimation Station discussed above or to introduce the class pumpkin sorting activity.

The Fattest, Tallest, Biggest Snowman Ever

The Fattest, Tallest, Biggest Snowman Ever by Bettina Ling is a Level 2 Hello Math Reader (Gr. 1-2) that introduces students to the concept of measuring objects using nonstandard units and instruments.   When neither child's arms are long enough to measure around the snowmen to see whose snowman is biggest, they decide to use a string of paper clips to measure.


Pezzettino by Leo Lionni is a great introduction to the concept of area as how many small squares cover a surface.

  • After reading the book, have students use color tiles or paper squares to first estimate how many squares will cover an object then actually use the squares to measure the object.
  • Students can also create their own Pezzettino characters using colored construction paper squares.   The class discussion should focus on comparing the "sizes" of these Pezzettino characters based on their area or the number of squares used to construct each character. Download the Pezzettino Characters handout and squares template.   The squares template can be used to copy squares onto construction paper that has been trimmed to 8.5 x 11 inch size to use in a copier.   Ellison pattern block square cutouts will also produce small squares from construction paper.

Bats Around the Clock

Bats Around the Clock by Kathi Appelt takes a humorous dance through time.   Click Dark and American Batstand introduce a new dance each hour.   Students move through time, enjoy some rhyme and learn the names of some oldie-but-goodie dances along the way.

Just a Minute

Just a Minute by Teddy Slater is a humorous look at how easily adults tell kids to wait "just a minute."   The young boy in the story waits much longer than a minute for his parents but he soon learns that he can't use the same line back to them.