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    Stories which develop Numeracy                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Back

There are many stories which you can share with your child, which focus on key mathematical concepts and vocabulary. There are a wide range of stories which can be used to develop maths skills such as counting, number formation, ordering, addition, subtraction, months of the year, days of the week and telling the time.  Children enjoy stories as they provide a fun and relaxed atmosphere for learning to take place. Not only are you developing maths but also a love of stories along with key language patterns and new vocabulary.

Ways in which stories develop maths

Stories for teaching counting and numeracy

 

How stories develop maths

By selecting stories carefully you can develop your child’s knowledge and skills in a fun and interesting way. You can start reading stories to your child at a very early age, especially if they have simple language. For a pre-school child or young toddler you could begin with a simple storybook which introduces counting to three such as ‘1, 2, 3 to the Zoo'.

Below are some ideas of how stories can be used to develop your child’s maths skills. You might want to focus on one story for a few days and explore the maths in detail or read several stories which focus on one mathematical area such as counting to five.

        Peace at Last by Jill Murphy (1992)

       This book could be used to explore the concept of time i.e. night and day. Discuss and explain language such as: morning, afternoon, evening, night, midnight, now, soon, early, late, clock etc. You could talk about different ways of telling the time and how you know when its night or day. Can your child recognise things which are different at night such as lights being on in houses, different animals about, street lamps and car lights being turned on etc. For more information see Telling the Time.

Four Friends in the Garden by Sue Heap (2005)

This story explores many mathematical concepts and has lovely illustrations. The book could be used to look at capacity though the size of the cups and jug used for the picnic. The language of shape, pattern and time could be explored. In addition counting and number could be discussed through looking at flowers, butterflies, symmetry and seasons. Discuss and explain the language in the book such as ‘more, less, how many...? pattern, every other, circle, spring, summer, autumn, winter, same, sides’. Take time to talk about the story and let your child raise questions about new concepts or vocabulary.

Snow Bears by Martin Waddell (2003)

This story is ideal to explore the concept of size through the three baby bears (smallest, middle sized and biggest), mother bear and the different sized snowballs.  Talk about different sized objects around you and after reading the story ask your child to order three objects from smallest to largest. This could be extended by ordering a larger quantity of objects closer in size.

  Doing the Garden by Sarah Garland (1992)

  

   This book would be useful for exploring length, mass and capacity  through focusing on different sized plants, trees, pots, seeds, seed trays etc. Having read the story you could do some gardening with your child, and discuss important concepts such as size of plants and how we measure things outdoors. For more ideas see the section on gardening and mathematics.

 

   Popular Stories for Teaching Counting and Numeracy

 

There are a wide range of stories which develop counting skills. When sharing a story take time to focus on the front cover, illustrations, characters and language used. Read the story slowly focusing on new vocabulary and mathematical language. If the book is focusing on counting, spend time practising the numbers together, and encourage your child to read and recognise the numerals.  Give your child the chance to talk about the story and share what they think it may be about, whether or not they liked the book or what their favourite part was.

 

The following stories can be used to teach and reinforce counting skills.

 

‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’  

T Bradman (Metheun Publishers)

 

‘Ten, Nine, Eight’  

Molly Bang (Pic Puffin Publishers)

 

‘One, Two, Three Jump’  

Penelope Lively and Jan Ormerod (Puffin Publishers)

 

‘Ten in the Bed’

Penny Dale (Walker Publishers)

 

‘Ten Sleepy Sheep’

Holly Keller (Hippo Publishers)

 

‘Witches Four’

Marc Brown (P Corgi Publsihers)

 

‘One Bear All Alone’

C Bucknall (Macmillan Publishers)

 

‘The Bad Babies Counting Book’

Tony Bradman (Beaver Books Publishers)

 

‘Sixes and Sevens’

John Yeoman and Quentin Blake (Pic Mac Publsihers)

 

‘1, 2, 3 to the Zoo’

Eric Carle (Hamish Hamilton Publishers)

 

‘Kipper’s Toy Box’

Mick Inkpen (Hodder and Stoughton Publishers)

 

‘The Squirrel’s Store’

Rosemary Revile Irons (Kingscourt Publishers)

 

‘Counting on an Elephant’

Jill MacDonald (Pic Puffin Publishers)

 

‘One Duck, Another Duck’

J Amego (Pic Puffin Publishers)

 

Images courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

 

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