~ July 2005 ~

Integrating Across the Curriculum – Math, Science, Literature and Technology

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The Math Forum @ Drexel

Curriculum Integration

Why integrate curriculum?

  • It engages kids.
  • It’s how the real world works. Life does not present situations in tidy single-discipline contexts.
  • There are not enough hours in the day to do it any other way


Always start with "big picture" standards and learning goals in mind.

Consider broad themes (not merely topics) such as change, modelling, data, shape, adaptation.

Use children's literature to introduce a science unit or a math problem.

  • Biographies help to humanize the content, give it context, connect it with other subjects.
  • Good stories or poems capture a child's imagination, spark curiosity, and draw children into a topic.
  • Literature helps make the content relevant to children and builds positive attitude.

Use children's literature to present math or science content.

  • Trade books are far more engaging than text books.
  • Artistic quality adds appeal, especially for visually talented students.
  • Literary quality encourages communication.
  • Development of reading comprehension skills serve, and is served by, learning goals in all curriculum areas.

Present a math problem in the context of a story or character children will relate to.

Problems created by Quest 2005participants, based on Henry Hikes to Fitchburg by D.B. Johnson.

Problems created by Quest 2005 participants, based on Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.

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Last updated July 6, 2006