Children's Books for Algebra 2

Children's books are are a great way of introducing concepts and to help build a classroom community.  Students love sitting together on the floor and listen to a teacher read aloud a picture book. Letting a picture book and prior knowledge give them a hook into the curriculum.

Here are three great books to help teach some Algebra 2 concepts.

Follow the Line
by Laura Ljungkvist

This picture book goes from the city to farms. Each scene contains questions designed to get children counting, thinking, and observing.  Children would count 5-6 times on each page.

In Algebra 2 class I am going to read aloud the book, but instead of going over the questions in the book I am going to ask different questions.

What types of lines do you see?
Which ones of these are functions?
Which of these are not functions?
What type of slope do some of these lines have?

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers
by Mordicai Gerstein

This picture book is about Philippe Petit who tightrope walked across from one World Trade Center tower to the other. He performed tricks, walking, and dancing for an hour. The book has great and different types of numbers you could number talk during the read aloud.

The way that I am going to use the book in Algebra 2 is to get students use to the idea that mathematical models illustrate the behavior of real world situations.

During the talk I am going to ask the students at specific times to model different situations in the book and ask them about the math being used.

Lifetime: Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives
by Lola M. Schaefer

This book talks about the different animals what can happen in their entire lifetime.

An example, in one lifetime an alligator will build 22 nests and lay 550 eggs.

In Algebra 2 we are going to use this book to introduce students to exponential expressions and how they can be written in different ways.  We are going to talk about If one alligator lays 550 eggs, and then one of those alligators lays 550 eggs. How many alligators in twenty generations?


  1. I love using picture books in math class! Thanks for sharing these three and your ideas for how to use them!

  2. I would love to use more, what are some that you use in your classroom?