Math Literature: Infinity and Me


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Literature with math concepts is often the perfect way to start a math lesson. Literature naturally engages students and often initiates meaningful, rich discussions. Some discussions may focus on the math concept being presented, other discussions might focus more on connections and experiences with the story line, while still other may center on the illustrations and artistic techniques. Literature draws us in and keeps us together around a central theme but also lets us enter based on our personal experiences and interests. Therefore, math literature is a powerful, all reaching tool when sharing math concepts with our students. Often, we can reach most, if not all students with a powerful story.

Authors of math literature often also do a great job of personalizing difficult concepts. Kate Hosford has done just this in her book Infinity and Me. Her words along with Gabi Swiatkowska’s gorgeous illustrations personalize the concept of infinity. Uma, the main character, questions her friends and family members on how each person imagines infinity. The answers are varied and imaginative but also sweetly personal. Young readers will love to engage with this delightful story about a difficult, but now accessible concept.

After reading and discussing this book with your child, try writing an infinity poem:

  1. Brainstorm ideas about infinity including: (1) feelings, (2) images, (3) activities one might want to do and (4) wonderings or questions.
  2. Write a poem about the concept of infinity together to model writing to complete a sentence starter. Ask for ideas and show how to write these in sentence form.
  3. Using the brainstorming list, have your child or students write a poem of their own.
  4. Share finished poems with pairs or the whole class.

More to Explore…

  1. Draw a picture to share one of the ideas you presented in your poem. Look closely at the illustrations by Gabi Swiakowska for ideas.
  2. Visit Kate Hosford’s website and download the curriculum pack for more engaging activities.

 

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