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The Mathematical Experience by Philip J. Davis & Rubin Herst
Grade level: 10-16
Math subject(s) addressed: History & Philosophy
Submitted by: Keith Alford <>
What Is Mathematics Really? by Reuben Hersh
Grade level: 10-16
Math subject(s) addressed: History & Philosophy
Submitted by: Keith Alford <>
The Librarian Who Measured the Earth by Kathryn Lasky, Kevin Hawkes (Illustrator)
Grade level: 4 - 11
Math subject(s) addressed: Measurement & Mathematics History
Submitted by: Janelle McFeetors <>

Comments: This book tells the story of Eratosthenes and how he went about determining the circumference of the Earth.

I love using this book in conjunction with a circle geometry unit at the grade 11 level. The unit consists of studying theorems about chords, angles within circles, and tangent lines. Not only does this book give students an understanding of mathematical history, but it does talk about how Eratosthenes used central angles to find the circumference of the Earth. It also provides a wonderful example of how the topics the students are learning are used in real life.

I usually read the book over three days, having students journal after each time. On the first day, the students either compare & contrast life in Ancient Greece and today or they write a diary entry from the point of view of Eratosthenes. On the second day, the students predict how they believe Eratosthenes will find the circumference of the Earth. On the third day, students describe one question they have about the Earth or universe and how math would be involved in finding the answer.

Although using a large picture book at a high school level might sound unappealing to students that age, I have found that my students love this activity. They love looking at the pictures while I read and the change of pace in class. I'm sure younger students could also benefit from the mathematical history that comes across in the book.

G is for Googol by David Schwartz
Grade level: 4 - 12
Math subject(s) addressed: Number but it has entries that address each area.
Submitted by: Carol Fisher <>

Comments: I used this book to develop math vocabulary and review math concepts. Each day I did one letter of the alphabet, reading the selection in the book and then having students share other "math" words they knew that started with that same letter. I then brought in any that I specifically wanted to review. The students loved it!

The Math Gene: How Mathematical Thinking Evolved & Why Numbers Are Like Gossip by Keith J. Devlin
Grade level: 13 (college freshmen)
Math subject(s) addressed: Number
Submitted by: Anonymous
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin A. Abbott (Illustrator), Banesh Hoffmann (Introduction)
Grade level: 9-12
Math subject(s) addressed: Algebra
Submitted by: Margie Coleman <>

Comments: We used the book to guide students to contemplate a fourth dimension. Activities along the way included an illustration and description of Flatland and its Inhabitants, A story about a three dimensional figure visiting a two dimensional world, and building a representation of a four dimensional figure (the hypercube) using pipe cleaners.

Pigs is Pigs by Ellis Parker Butler
Grade level: 10-12
Math subject(s) addressed: Exponential Growth
Submitted by: Louise Wilson <>

Comments: The book describes what happens when guinea pigs are kept against their will and describes how fast the are reproducing after some months. Read the story. Use the events in the story to determine the rate of increase of the guinea pigs. This book is copyrighted 1906. It contains some of what may be considered derogatory language, but it is an American Humor classic!

Bats on Parade by Kathi Appelt, Melissa Sweet (Illustrator)
Grade level: 3-5
Math subject(s) addressed: Number (arrays)
Submitted by: Dianne Unger <>

Comments: I have used Kathi Appelt's excellent book "Bats on Parade" to help with the concept of building arrays. The book has brilliantly coloured illustrations as well as exciting and descriptive language. Before I read this book to students, I tell them that the book tells a story and it also gives the meaning of array. I direct them to think about what an array could be based on the story. Then, I read the story aloud. The students inevitably determine that an array is the arrangement of objects in columns and rows.

Two of Everything: A Chinese Folktale by Lily Toy Hong (Illustrator), Judith Mathews (Editor)
Grade level: 1-3
Math subject(s) addressed: Number
Submitted by: Tammy Dubois <>

Comments: Read this book to your students before a lesson about doubling numbers. It's an engaging story about a poor couple that finds a Magic Pot-- for every one thing that goes in, two come out! Students generate their own Magic Pot riddles after reading and discussing the book. For example, "I put 12 candy bars into the pot. How many candy bars will come out?" Students trade riddles and answer each others.

Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday by Judith Viorst, Ray Cruz (Illustrator)
Grade level: early elementary
Math subject(s) addressed: Number (Money)
Submitted by: Anonymous
The Great Pet Sale by Mick Inkpen, Mick Ankpen
Grade level: early elementary
Math subject(s) addressed: Number (Money)
Submitted by: Anonymous
Mathematics and Humor: A Study of the Logic of Humor by John Allen Paulos
Grade level: high school/college
Math subject(s) addressed: relationship between humor and mathematics
Submitted by: Anonymous
The Arithmetic of Life and Death by George Shaffner
Grade level: 14 and up
Math subject(s) addressed: The whole book is divided into chapters that talk about all mathematical subjects
Submitted by: Chad T. Lower <>

Comments: We analyze data from the UD Dept of Labor about median earnings for people of different educational levels and develop a personal "value for education" that is a monetary value.
If You Hopped Like a Frog by David M. Schwartz
Grade level: elementary
Math subject(s) addressed: measurement, ratio and proportion
Submitted by: Anonymous

Comments: Used as an introduction to ratio and proportions, allowed students to then calculate their own measurements "if they jumped like frogs," "grew like newborns," etc.

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