Mathematics - Literature Connections
Rogie, the figure to the left, is jumping with joy. She found out her name and home in the Land of Polygons. Rogie's story and other literature/mathematics related resources developed by and for students are presented below.
Engaging stories, beautifully illustrated and rich with mathematical content appropriate for elementary grades, can be accessed and printed through the links below. They are in Adobe pdf format files which can be read and printed with the Adobe Acrobat reader which is free and widely available. Copying and use for non-profit educational purposes is welcomed.
These stories were originally written as projects in a mathematics course (MATH 3403: Geometric Structures) intended for prospective elementary teachers at Oklahoma State University. We believe that they rival commercially available books in quality and appreciate the generosity of the student authors for allowing them to be made available. These materials are now used in both mathematics and reading education courses as an illustration of the integration of reading and mathematics.
The Naughty Polygon (2.15MB PDF file) by Kelly Orta. Mrs. Triangle is upset. An interesting shape snuck up behind her and stole her new purse. In this story Officer Circle helps Mrs. Triangle put together the clues to solve the case and identify the culprit.
Who Am I? Rogie in the Land of Polygons (995KB PDF file) by Carolyn Marshall. Rogie was sad. Everyone in Coneville had a family. Everyone except Rogie. This begins the story of Rogie's adventures in the land of polygons as she finds out who she is, what shapes are her brothers and sisters and what quadrilateral family she belongs to.
The Sad Circle (134KB PDF file) by Heather Truster. The circle was sad because he didn't think he did anything useful. With the help of his friend the kite, the circle comes to believe again that life is great as a circle.
The Greedy Triangle
The Greedy Triangle, a delightful commercially available book by Marilyn Burns, has been used to help create an imaginative context for several geometry activities in both reading education and mathematics content courses at Oklahoma State University. Below are links to the assignment sheets and examples of students' reactions to these assignments.
The Greedy Triangle Activity Worksheet (51.4KB PDF file) by John Wolfe. This activity sheet contains a few geometry problems inspired by a reading of Marilyn Burns book.
Mini Project: Your Own Story and Problems (57KB PDF file) by John Wolfe. This activity sheet contains brief instructions providing a basis for a student project inspired by The Greedy Triangle and The Greedy Triangle Activity Worksheet above. The stories given above and the questions given in the next link are examples of student work in response to this assignment.
The Shape Equilizer by Matthew Brady. The ShapeEqualizer is a distant cousin of our friends the ShapeShifter, the ShapeSplitter and the evil ShapeShredder. This student project provides a fun setting for geometry questions about the ways a shape can be split into two equal pieces. This document is also available as a PDF document: The Shape Equalizer (60KB PDF file).
Students' Greedy Triangle Questions. (!!!Link not yet active!!!) This page gives a sampling of the imaginative questions created by the students in a college geometry course for elementary teachers and inspired by The Greedy Triangle.