Using Literature to Teach Place Value

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teach place value

teach place value


Many of us use a curriculum to teach math, but using literature to teach math can be a great teaching tool. I am continuing this math literature series with some of the best books to teach place value. With my love for literature and math, it only makes sense to combine the two so I have gathered some of my favorite books that teach place value in the elementary classroom.

Penguin Place Value by Kathleen Stone allows students to help a little family of penguins discover how many fish they have caught using place value skills. Students will understand the value of a numeral. For example, 9 has a different value in each of these numbers: 9, 90, 900, etc. This book teaches the concepts of place value with several enrichment activities at the end of Penguin Place Value.

Sir Cumference and All the King’s Tens by Cindy Neuschwander is a clever math adventure about place value. Sir Cumference and Lady Di planned a surprise birthday party for King Arthur, but they did not expect so many guests to show up. They must figure out how many lunches they will need, and when more guests arrive, they must figure out how many dinners they will need. Sir Cumference and Lady Di count guests by tens, hundreds, and even thousands to help young readers learn about place value.

Zero the Hero by Joan Holub is another family favorite. The other numbers think Zero is worth zero-zip-zilch-nada. He doesn’t add anything to addition. He is of no use in division. And don’t even ask what he does in multiplication. But Zero knows he is worth a lot, and when the other numbers get into trouble, he swoops in to prove that his talents are innumerable.

These are only a few of my favorite books that teach place value; there are so many more out there! Feel free to share in the comments what you consider the best book to teach place value.


Welcome to My Happy Homeschool! My name is Susan Reed and my heart’s desire is to encourage the homeschool mom to live out God’s calling and stay the course.


teach place value

1 Comment to “ Using Literature to Teach Place Value”

  1. Krysten Traylor says :Reply

    These are some of my favorite posts! I love using books to teach math.

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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).