What Does Math have to do with Poetry?

By Deanna Hurn, Executive Director of Miracle Math Coaching

In honor of National Poetry Month, here’s one of my favorite posts from last year:

In honor of National Poetry Month, here’s one of my favorite posts from last year:

 As you know, April is National Mathematics Awareness Month.  I recently learned that April is also National Poetry Month.  What a coincidence that two topics that are so connected to one another are celebrated at the same time!

Wait a minute…did I just say that Math is related poetry?

Yes, I did.  According to professors who’ve studied the two disciplines,

“It is obvious that both poetry and math rely on patterns and are dependent on students’ skill with language, whether it is the language of verse and rhythm or the language of symbols and signs.”

The quote comes from “Reading and Writing Poetry in Math,” a research study conducted by Jan LaBonty of the University of Montana and Kathy Danielson of the University of Nebraska.

Other experts  assert that a great way to learn Math is by treating it as a language, like English or Spanish.  That backs up what I’ve been promoting – the importance of TALKING about Math in everyday life.  And in April, a great way to talk about Math is to find and read Math poems.

Children’s Author Shel Silverstein, who penned the hugely popular, “Where the Wild Things Are,” wrote a poem that will prompt a wonderful conversation with your children about Math and money:


My dad gave me one dollar bill

‘Cause I’m his smartest son,

And I swapped it for two shiny quarters

‘Cause two is more than one!

And then I took the quarters

And traded them to Lou

For three dimes — I guess he didn’t know

That three is more than two!

Just then, along came old blind Bates

And just ’cause he can’t see

He gave me four nickels for my three dimes,

And four is more than three!

And then I took the nickels to Hiram Coombs

Down at the seed-feed store,

And he gave me five pennies for them,

And five is more than four!

And then I went and showed my dad,

And he got red in the cheeks

And closed his eyes and shook his head —

Too proud of me to speak!


Google “Math” and “children’s poetry” to find more examples of this novel way to talk with your child about Math.

Hope you enjoyed this article.  If you’re interested in more or just want to take advantage of our FREE learning Discovery Evaluation:  Click here to sign up now.  As a mother of three girls and a person whose career depends upon great Math skills, I know the importance of cultivating a love for Math in kids. That’s why our evaluation is free.  It can allow both you and us at Miracle Math to see how best to help your child. All the best!

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