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Compiled by David Knapp

Poetry
for Math

Compiled by David Knapp

Table of Contents

Introduction and Lesson Plan

One by T. Pappas

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The Balanced Bee by Winters, K., & Collins, P.

Time Passes by Ilo Orleans (found in Hopkins, L.)

Divisibility Rule Poetry by Barry Schneiderman .....................

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Fractions of Me in Franco, B.

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Hungry for Math by K.Winters & P. Collins

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Sky by Lee Bennett Hopkins

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Fractions by Lee Bennett Hopkins

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Nature Knows Its Math by J. B. Graham (found in Hopkins, L.)

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To Build a House by Lillian M. Fisher (found in Hopkins, L.)

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SOS by Beverly McLoughland (found in Hopkins, L.)

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Everywhere Math by Anonymous @ www.hearteducationalinstitute.com

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Sources

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Compiled by David Knapp

Introduction and Lesson Plan(s)


Introduction:
This collection of poems focuses on math concepts in the world around us and
features a variety of poems about math vocabulary, numbers, and math concepts. These
poems are appropriate for use at the elementary and middle school levels. Five poems have
been identified below for use with specific activities.
Poem and Author: One by T. Pappas. (1991).
Description: Oral Presentation of poem
This poem is divided into two parts and could be used for activities which divide the
class into groups or partners.
Poem and Author: The Balanced Bee by Winters, K., & Collins, P. (2015).
Description: Memorization of poem
This poem would be a good poem for the students to memorize as it is short, about
a familiar topic that will connect students to the text and prior knowledge; and it has a
rhyme pattern that it is easy to follow (AA, BB, CC, DEFE). This poem would also work well
for oral presentation and/or chanting because of its catchy rhythm.
Poem and Author: Time Passes by Ilo Orleans found in Hopkins, L. (2001).
Description: Chant
This poem ties into prior knowledge and familiar concepts. It has a simple rhythm
and a predictable pattern that makes it a good poem for individual, partner or group
chanting. The chant/poem should serve as a mnemonic device to support students when
learning methods for measuring of time.
Poem and Author: Divisibility Rule Poetry by Barry Schneiderman
Description: Extension activity relating to poem
Found @ http://whortonpcis.weebly.com/uploads/6/7/3/4/6734988/divisibilityrulepoetry.pdf this
poem leads to a variety of extension activities for helping students master divisibility
rules using simple rhymes. The website, where the poem is located, even provides
worksheets and lesson plan activities for students to use when finding what numbers are
divisible by which other numbers using the rules within the poem.
Poem and Author: Fractions of Me by Betsy Franco
Description: Students create poems following same format
This poem is an example of a format poem. Students choose a fractional part
(denominator) and then write verses to match the number of parts (numerator) in order
to create a poem representing a whole number. The lesson activities can extend to
include not just math and language arts but a number of related content areas as well.

Compiled by David Knapp

One
by Theoni Pappas (1991)

One.
I was the first of them.

The numbers that is.

together

The numbers that is.

I was the
initiator.

Counting
and computation.
started with me.

One

together

One

Every number
has me as a factor.

I can multiply any number


and amazingly leave it unchanged.
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Compiled by David Knapp

One
Thats me

I can divide any number


you name it
and leave it
the same.

And when you think youve


reached the end of the numbers,
just add me to the last
and the list goes on.

Im the number one,


together

the first.

the first.

Compiled by David Knapp

The Balanced Bee


by Winters, K., & Collins, P. (2015)

Three circles, tall not wide.


Six legs three per side.
Two plus two wings, on its back.
Bands of yellow, white, and black.
Compound eyes to spy the view.
Antennae, not one always two.
Now fold your paper.
Its plain to see.
Bees are balanced.
Its symmetry!

Compiled by David Knapp

Time Passes
By: Ilo Orleans

Sixty seconds
Pass in a minute.
Sixty minutes
Pass in an hour.
Twenty-four hours
Pass in a day And thats how TIME
Keeps passing away!

Note: Poem found in Hopkins, L. (2001).

Compiled by David Knapp

Divisibility Rule Poetry


By Barry Schneiderman

Every good student who goes to school,


Needs to know every divisibility rule.........
1

If it's a whole number, you're done,


It's divisible by one.

If it's even, it's true


It's divisible by two.

Add the digits to see


If it's divisible by three.

Divide the last two digits by four,


And you'll get four for sure.

If it ends with five or zero,


It makes five a hero.

If you got two and three


You get six for free!

Add the digits, that's fine


To check on the nine.
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A zero at the end


And we'll feel good about ten.

Memorize each and every single rule,


And you'll feel even better about coming to school.

Note: Poem (and extension activities) found at:

Compiled by David Knapp

http://whortonpcis.weebly.com/uploads/6/7/3/4/6734988/di
visibilityrulepoetry.pdf

Fractions of Me
Math poetry: Linking language and math in a fresh way
by Betsy Franco

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Compiled by David Knapp

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Compiled by David Knapp

Hungry for Math


By K.Winters & P. Collins
He was hungry for math,
always ready to munch.
Math for this breakfast,
math for lunch.
Hed pig out on pie charts
and bar graph galore,
binge on skip-counting,
and still ask for more.
Shapes - he discovered
were less filling fare.
Hed taste test a rhombus,
sparing room for a square.
Hed devour the dollars
atop his dessert,
then slurp on the coins
hed slopped on his shirt.
At night, in the dark,
hed gnaw on base ten
toss back some clocks,
and crunch numbers again.

Sky
By: Lee Bennett Hopkins
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Compiled by David Knapp

Decimal point
meteors
streak
through
the night
Fractions
of moonbeams
gleam
white-bright
Percentages
of stars
seem to multiply
in the finite
dramatic
mathematic-filled
sky.

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Compiled by David Knapp

Fractions
by Lee Bennett Hopkins

Broken number pieces


disconnected
a quarter
a half
an eighth
fragmented
out of order
out of control
until
I explore them
restore them
make them
whole
once more
again.
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Compiled by David Knapp

Nature Knows Its Math


by Jane Bramsield Graham

Divide
the year into seasons,
four,
subtract
the snow then
add
some green,
a bud,
a breeze,
a whispering behind the trees,
and here
beneath the rain-scrubbed sky
orange poppies
multiply.

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Compiled by David Knapp

To Build a House
by Lillian M. Fisher

Here on this plot.


Our house will rise
Against the hill
Beneath blue skies
Ruler and tape
Measure the size
Of windows and cupboards
The floor inside

We add, subtract,
Multiply, divide
To build closets and stairs
The porch outside
Without numbers and measure
Would our house ever rise
Against the hill
Beneath blue skies?

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Compiled by David Knapp

SOS
by Beverly McLoughland

Sammys head is pounding


Sammys in pain
A long divisions got
Stuck in his brain
Call for the locksmith
Call the engineer
Call for the plumber
To suck out his ear,
Call the brain surgeon
To pry out the mess,
Call out the Coast Guard
SOS,
Because
Sammys head is pounding
Sammys in pain
A long divisions got
Stuck in his brain.
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Compiled by David Knapp

Everywhere Math
by Anonymous @ www.hearteducationalinstitute.com

Numbers can be found all around us,


On the front of the house, on the side of the bus.
You can find them with a clock.
You can find then on a lock.
A birth date identifies you.
A tape measure shows how much you grew!
Numbers can be found anywhere.
Even inside the clothes you wear.
Pay attention to the numbers you see
They say so much about you and me.

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Compiled by David Knapp

Sources
Anonymous. (n.d.). Math Poems. Retrieved April 16, 2015, from
http://www.hearteducationalinstitute.com
Franco, B. (2006). Math poetry: Linking language and math in a fresh way. Tucson,
AZ: Good Year Books.
Hopkins, L. (2001). Marvelous math: A book of poems. New York: Aladdin
Paperbacks.
Pappas, T. (1991). Math talk: Mathematical ideas in poems for two voices. San
Carlos, CA: Wide World Pub./Tetra.
Schneiderman, B. (n.d.). Divisibility Rule Poetry. Retrieved April 16, 2015, from
http://whortonpcis.weebly.com/uploads/6/7/3/4/6734988/divisibilityrulepoetry.p
df
Tang, G., & Briggs, H. (2005). Math for all seasons. New York: Scholastic Press.
Winters, K., & Collins, P. (2015). Hungry for math: Poems to munch on. Fitzhenry
and Whiteside.

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