1st Edition

Teaching Mathematics through Story A creative approach for the early years

By Caroline McGrath Copyright 2014
    184 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    184 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

      How do you make mathematics relevant and exciting to young children? How can mathematics and literacy be combined in a meaningful way? How can stories inspire the teaching and learning of mathematics?

      This book explores the exciting ways in which story can be used as a flexible resource to facilitate children’s mathematical thinking. It looks at the potential relationship between story and mathematics and practically demonstrates how they can be combined to help children connect, understand and express mathematical ideas using story language.    

      Written for all early years practitioners and students, the book offers a playful pedagogical approach to facilitating children’s mathematical thinking which brings a creative satisfaction and confidence to teaching mathematics. Encouraging a creative approach to teaching mathematics that draws on picture books and oral mathematical stories, the book shows you how to:

      • Move from reading to telling stories with mathematical themes
      • Encourage children to pose and solve problems by playing with the plot of stories
      • Enable children to translate abstract mathematical ideas to concrete representations with supporting story props and puppets
      • Create original oral mathematical stories alongside children
      • Capture children’s mathematical thinking in an observational framework, supported with audio or video recordings which can be shared with parents and colleagues
      • There are free audio recordings of children and adults telling oral mathematical stories, which feature in the book. These can be downloaded from: www.routledge.com/9780415688154

      This book draws on practical work with children, educators, parents, professional storytellers, and trainee practitioners, who bring theoretical ideas to life and offer insight into their mathematical story experiences. It is a ‘must have’ for all those who want to make mathematics relevant, accessible and imaginative for young children.

    1. Mathematics  2. Story  3.Threading Play in a Mathematical way  4. Picture Books: Meaningful Mathematical Contexts  5. Oral Mathematical Story: Moving from Picture Books to Oral Mathematical Story  6. Oral Mathematical Story: Possibilities  7. Oral Mathematical Story: Large and Small groups  8. Puppets and Props: Mathematical Stories in their Making  9. Children as Mathematical Storytellers  10. Crafting and telling Oral Mathematical Stories  11. Conclusion  12. Appendix  13. Appendix one: Mathematical Observation  14.Appendix two: Story Profile template  15. Appendix three: Story profile ‘Handa’s Surprise’ by Eileen Browne  16. Appendix four: Story profile ‘Little Lumpty’ by Miko Imai  17. Appendix five: Story profile ‘The Doorbell’ by Pat Hutchins  18. Appendix six: Tabulated Observation framework  19. Appendix seven: Analysis of mathematical observation ‘Jake retelling Ladybird on a Leaf’  20. Appendix eight: Moving from Picture Books to Oral Mathematical Storytelling  21. Appendix nine: ‘How to make a gorilla hand puppet’  22. References  23. Index


    Caroline McGrath is a lecturer for the Early Childhood Studies Foundation Degree, in partnership with Plymouth University, at City of Bristol College. She has a particular interest in children’s mathematical development, and is the author of Supporting Early Mathematical Development: Practical Approaches to Play-Based Learning (Routledge, 2010). Her research involving children, educators and staff informs the content of this new book.

    Drawing from her own doctoral research findings and relevant literature, Caroline McGrath puts forward a persuading case for the use of storytelling to enhance mathematics teaching and learning. What is unique about this book is Caroline’s emphasis on the use of oral storytelling with young children. ‘Teaching Mathematics through Story’ is a book full of practical ideas and will be a useful CPD resource for in-service teachers as well as teacher educators.


    Dr. Natthapoj Vincent Trakulphadetkrai

    Associate Professor of Mathematics Education, University of Reading

    Founder of MathsThroughStories.org