Living Math Through History C1U1 Intermediate Level Book List
Lecture series from The Teaching Company suggested for parents self-educating:
History of Science: Antiquity to 1700
The Joy of Thinking The Beauty and Power of Classical Mathematical Ideas –
some of these lectures are accessible to Intermediate level kids.
Math History Readers, used only in this unit. Each is different in style of
presentation: The History of Counting by Denise Schmandt-Besserat. From Zero to Ten by Vivian French. More of a cartoon type resource with humor.
Senefer, A Young Genius in Old Egypt, Beatrice Lumpkin – although this is in a
picture book format, it is an advanced reader and explores more advanced mathematical ideas such as Egyptian multiplication.
How to Count Like a Martian by Glory St. John - Different systems of counting
including the Egyptian base ten, the Babylonian base sixty, the Hindu system using three symbols, and the abacus and computer systems. Out of print.
Science in the Past, Ancient Mesopotamia – history of ancient science w/
chapters on mathematics. Series consist of fairly short books with lots of pictures.
String, Straightedge & Shadow by Julia Diggins, approx. 7th grade on up.
Optional Historical Context - Story of the World Vol. 1 by Susan Wise Bauer.
I Africa Counts by Claudia Zaslavsky is a unique resource for understanding other cultures and math develop. Adult text, but quite readable, activities suggested.
Parent Resource: Before Writing: From Counting to Cuneiform by Denise
Schmandt-Besserat – adult text, contains many vivid, detailed pictures of artifacts such as tokens.
From Five Fingers to Infinity, a collection of math history essays edited by Frank Swetz (Chapter 7) or How Writing Came About by Denise Schmandt-Besserat are more abbreviated sources of token images if you cannot find the Before Writing book, it has gone out of print.
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