Resources and Tools for Elementary Math Specialists and Teachers

Measurement and Literature

This discussion is part of a collection:Teaching Measurement in Grades 3-5

Several resources at Mathlanding utilize literature connections to help students learn math. Many people are familiar with the work of poet/illustrator Shel Silverstein, and I'd like to recommend one of his books in particular. 'Where the Sidewalk Ends' has many poems that could result in measuring investigations. Among them are Smart, One Inch Tall, What's in the Sack, The Worst, and Melinda Mae.

Do you have favorite books rich in math measurement connections?


If You Hopped Like A Frog, by David Schwartz: It combines measurement with ratio and proportion by relating the abilities of various animals to their size and comparing it to the scale of a child. The illustrations are humorous and there are interesting factual annotations in the back that can lead to interesting activities. How long would your tongue be if you were a chameleon? Look for other Schwartz books; they're all excellent.

Counting on Frank, by Rod Clement: A curious boy and his dog (with glasses!) present hilarious counting, size comparison, and mathematical facts. It invites imaginative projects and estimation activities and can be enjoyed by a range of ages.

Yes, cmead. "Frank" is a riot. Schwartz has a math alphabet book too entitled G is for Googol. It has measurement terms and other math topics. I also recommend "Henry Hikes to Fitchburg" by D.B. Johnson. It has topics like time and distance and also the money Henry must earn to cover the expenses of his trek. Top shelf, I'd say.

In this Math Counts book, the pages show images of things that can be measured, and asks questions about the objects. This is a great book to read with a class or small group and discuss: How long do you think the yarn is? How would you measure it? Do you think it is longer or shorter than the object on the next page? Why would we want to know how long this object is? etc...
Length (Math Counts) by Henry Arthur Pluckrose