Math Read-Alouds Beyond Elementary School

Picture books and read-alouds are a great way to introduce and explore math concepts with little kids. Stories and colorful illustrations engage their minds and help them to visualize math ideas.

But don't stop using math read-alouds after your kids get to middle school! Middle schoolers might pretend that they are too big to be read to, but the truth is that our kids never outgrow the joy of read-alouds. It gives them a break from pencil-paper work and textbook practice. And it can help math ideas take shape for big kids just as it can for the little ones!

Here are some examples of great math read-alouds for some middle school math concepts!

Multiplying and Dividing Fractions

Full House: An Invitation to Fractions by Dayle Ann Dodds

Five hungry guests and one creative hostess show that there's more than one way to slice a cake!

Ed Emberly's Picture Pie by Ed Emberly

This math and art crossover book shows students how to use fractions of a circle (and fractions of those fractions!) to make whimsical art.

The Lion's Share by Matthew McElligott

Ant dines with Lion but is dismayed when each of the other guests takes more than his fair share of cake. What is half of a half of a half? And what happens when you multiply fractions versus whole numbers?

Multiplying and Dividing Mixed Numbers

The Hidden World of Bacteria by Georgia Beth

A math and science crossover, this book helps students to understand the concept of multiplying mixed numbers in the real-world application of the growth of bacteria.

Prime and Composite Numbers

You Can Count on Monsters: The First 100 Numbers and Their Characters by Richard Evan Schwartz

This playful book explores the unique characteristics of the first 100 numbers including whether they have factors or are prime numbers!

Want one place where you can find these resources (and much more - over 150 math topics) organized for you? Check out Homeschool Family Math!

Scientific Notation

Mole and Tell by Catherine Payne

Another math and science crossover, this book explores scientific notation and also introduces the scientific concept of the mole (a way to measure a number of atoms!)


If You Were a Quadrilateral by Molly Blaisdell

What real-life objects could you be if you were a quadrilateral? Remember, there are many more types of quadrilaterals beyond just squares!

Shape Up!: Fun With Triangles and Other Polygons by David A. Adler

This colorful book illustrates the basic concepts of quadrilaterals and other polygons exposing children to important terminology and definitions as well as visual concepts.

Calculating and Using Pi

Happy Pi Day to You! by Bonnie Worth

The Cat in the Hat is back, teaching about the history of pi and how students can calculate it themselves! Of course, this book is written in rhyme!

Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi by Cindy Neuschwander

A potion changes Sir Cumference into a dragon. Can Radius figure out the formula to turn him back into a human? To complete his quest, Radius will need to solve riddles that help him discover the magic number that applies to all circles.

Pythagorean Theorem and Right Triangles

What's Your Angle, Pythagoras?

Young Pythagoras travels to Alexandria learning about building and right angles. Along the way, he discovers how to use geometry to find out more about right triangles!

Pythagorean Theorem for Babies By Chris Ferrie

This book uses colorful diagrams and a funny approach to teach a big concept in a way even little people can engage! Don't be fooled - it isn't just for babies!

Coordinate Plane

The Fly on the Ceiling by Julie Glass

This math biography explores the discovery of Rene Descartes, the father of the modern Cartesian system of coordinates. This Step into Reading book can be read independently by younger students as well.

Ordered Pairs

Sir Cumference and the Viking's Map by Cindy Neuschwander

Per(imiter) and Radius must decode a strange map and understand the code in order to find their way back home. Can they discover the meaning of the grid and the numbers on the map?

The Story of Geometry

String, Straightedge, and Shadow by Julia Diggins

We can trace the origins of Geometry back to Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece. This math and history crossover explores how early mathematicians used only three tools: string, straightedges, and shadows to learn much of what we now cover in modern geometry courses!

This is a lengthy book that covers much more than one single topic. It's best for older middle schoolers who want to understand more about the people and ideas behind geometry!

Find these titles organized by math topic and book lists for over a hundred other math skills! Check out Homeschool Family Math!


Lynna Sutherland is a homeschool mother of eight always-homeschooled kiddos ranging in age from high school to kindergarten. She loves to encourage parents in the freedom and flexibility of homeschooling and offer creative ways to manage a large family and a multi-age homeschool!

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