Here are the basics for a great math writing project that incorporates math, art, writing, and more. I usually have students working in pairs for this project. It will usually generate more creative books. Sometimes one student is more comfortable with writing and the other with art – this makes a great writing team! At the conclusion of the story, the ultimate activity and reward is to give students opportunities to read their book to elementary school students, groups of students or a whole class. Below are the instructions I give students. I always read a couple of books to my HS class – yes, I said I read to my HS students – to kick of the project. I always pick a Sir Cumference book or maybe two (see #7 below). Hint – I was really nervous about reading to my students but quickly found out that they love it.
Prepare to write your story :
1. Choose a math topic and math standard(s) from the list of standards to focus your book on.
2. Pick the vocabulary words (10 or more geometry words if it is a geometry class) that you’ll use to support the math topic that you’ve chosen. Feel free to use other math vocabulary to support your story. It is important that students reading your book learn the vocabulary and to use the words correctly.
3. Choose an appropriate age or grade level for children that should read your book.
4. Create a name for your main character(s). This is not to be an alphabet/word book!
5. Choose a setting for your story – time in history, location, etc.
6. Create a plot for the story.
7. Choose a Title for your book…(Some books on the market include The Greedy Triangle; How Big is a Foot; Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi; Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland; A Higher Geometry; So Many Circles, So Many Squares; Shapes, Shapes, Shapes, A fly on the Ceiling, etc. )
Write your story:
1. Write a rough draft of your story.
2. Read it to at least two people (at least one adult) and ask them to tell you what they like about the story, whether you’ve used the geometry vocabulary correctly, and what they would change to make it better. Have each of them complete a feedback form and sign it. Make sure to hand this in with your book and evaluation sheet.
3. Make revisions and word-process the text.
4. Divide the book into a minimum of 10 “children book” pages so that you can add illustrations to your story.
5. Bibliography and Illustrations: Illustrations can be original (which are preferred) – drawings or photographs that you’ve taken OR un-copyrighted clipart. If you use clipart, make sure to include a page that cites where the pictures came from – Include a copy of the picture and a link to the exact page on the Internet with the picture on it at the end of the book. (This page does not count as one of the 10 required pages.)
Read some of my students’ books!