Number Sense Picture Books

One of my favorite ways to teach a lesson is to incorporate a picture book into the mini lesson.  I would do this in all subject areas whenever I could find a good picture book that matched the lesson.  Math was no exception.  Not only did I use picture books during my lesson, but I would also set out math books for students to read when they finished their activity/center early. 

While teaching second grade, we usually started the year off with place value.  I didn’t usually need to teach basic number sense but I would set out books, like those described below that included numbers 1-10 and skills such as counting.  These books would be great in a pre-K, kindergarten or first grade classroom.  There are TONS of other titles that would fit into this category.  This just happened to be the books in my personal collection. 

Fat Frogs on a Skinny Log by Sara Riches is a basic counting book that practices numbers one through ten.  This book could also be used for an adjective lesson because each page adds another word to describe the log including slippery, slimy, slithery and shaky.  As I type those, I realize the book could also be used for teaching alliteration.

George’s Store at the Shore by Francine Bassede is another basic counting book for numbers one through ten.  This is a good book because there is one-to-one matching with the objects described in the story and the pictures in the book.  This allows students to be able to count the items and match it to the number on the page.

Bat Jamboree by Kathi Appelt counts up to ten but then it counts back down to one again.  This book uses rhyme and funny illustrations to tell the story.

Zero is the Leaves on the Tree by Betsy Franco is a little different twist on the normal counting book.  This book focuses only on the number zero.  I was drawn to this book because we rarely address zero but expect the students to know what zero means.  It is written poetically and the pictures match so that students understand that zero means nothing left.

Those are just a few books from my collection that could be used for number sense or counting in the early grades.  What books do you like to use to teach number sense?

Happy Teaching,



  1. I LOVE picture books. When my focus became teaching only math K-2 I bought 2 huge lots off Ebay of only math related picture books. It was like Christmas opening up those boxes and going through the books. :)

  2. That's awesome. I had an awesome math book collection but after going through them today I realized how many the school I worked at had bought that I had to leave behind. Hopefully I'll be able to remember some of those other books for future blog posts.


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