During our mathematics lectures we have been exploring the different words we use as mathematical language in the classroom. One way in which we use mathematical language on a daily basis is through reading picture books. To explain this further I have chosen to look at old time favourite, Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A.Milne.

Image result for winnie the pooh book

Filled with great stories and great illustrations Winnie-the-Pooh has been engaging children for over 90 years but not many people would look quite so carefully at the language it uses. The first page of this book alone which only has 13 lines includes;

  • One
  • Some
  • Down
  • Begin
  • Behind
  • Far
  • Another
  • Bottom
  • First

There are probably more on that page that I haven’t picked up on, but you see the point I am trying to make. Shape, height, pattern and time are also written into the book which anyone not looking for it would miss entirely, but if a teacher was looking to point this out, is readily available for learning opportunities.

Some fun activities that I might do linked to this book are;

  1. Having a honeypot number line in the classroom
  2. Making “woozles” tracks in sand or mud (or snow if you can!) to explore patterns, size and shape
  3. Looking at the map at the beginning of the book to explore numbers, compasses and length
  4. Counting different things on the pages such as honeypots, bees, footprints, words and woodland creatures

There are so many amazing things that I love about this book but one that I really want to point out is the layout of the writing. In each book I have come across the way the words are spread out across the page, in many different directions, sizes, lengths and fonts are really interesting and unique to each edition of the book. The page opposite is from the original by A. A. Milne and E. H. Shepard edition of 1926 and I would definitely compare different editions of the book and focus on these pages when in the classroom.

I think in the short time it has taken to write this post it has become plain to see that mathematical language is featured heavily in this book. This classic book will live of for years to come and be read in classrooms across the country, but it is up to the teachers to point out the mathematical language when reading, Winnie-the-Pooh.

5 thoughts on “Winnie-The-Pooh

  1. Athole

    Fascinating post! I love Winnie The Pooh but didn’t realise that different editions displayed the text in such different ways. How many editions do you have?

    1. Katie Rebecca WhithamKatie Rebecca Whitham Post author

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I myself have 4 editions, one which I recently picked up in a charity shop for £1.99 which was quite the bargain and looked like it had never been read. I never realised how much mathematical language was in these book either until I really looked. I will definitely be reading picture books with a fresh set of eyes now!
      Katie Rebecca

  2. Richard Holme

    Great point about text layout. Presenting things in different ways gives learners chance to u derstnd deeper meaning rather than standard systems of approaches. I would move number lines about on the IWB (horizontal, vertical and diagonally and add negative values too) so the concept could be explored.

    1. Katie Rebecca WhithamKatie Rebecca Whitham Post author

      Thank you Richard. Yes this is a point that I hadn’t thought too much about until the actual input and took a good look through the book. It was always just a page that I liked but it could be explored in so much more detail.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.