### MATH SUPPORTS POETRY

Students are often surprised when I share how much math I use when I write poems. Many poems have a certain number of syllables per line and lines per stanza. Thus, I often have to add and subtract *while* I’m rhyming to get the rhythm and cadence correct.

Like math, many classroom-friendly poetry forms employ numeric formulas. For example, consider the formula for haiku:

** 5 + 7 + 5 = 17 **

Three lines of seventeen syllables total, in the pattern of fives syllables for the first line, seven for the second line, and five for the third line. (For some haiku-writing fun, check out these POETRY BOOST posst on BOOK-U, VOCAB-U and HAIKU MENTOR TEXTS. )

Here's the formula for a cinquain:

** 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 = 11 **

Eleven total words divided into one word in the first line (a noun), two words in the second line (adjectives), three words in the third line (participles), four words in the fourth line (a phrase about the subject), and one word in the fifth line (a synonym for the first word.)

Without knowing it, many students are already doing math while writing poetry!

### POETRY SUPPORTS MATH

*Snowman – Cold = Puddle: Spring Equations,*by Laura Purdie Salas (Illustrated by Micha Archer) and

*Counting in Dog Years, And Other Sassy Math Poems*by Betsy Franco (illustrated by Priscilla Tey.)

*Snowman – Cold = Puddle*, Salas explores the reasons we see changes in spring through clever and imaginative combinations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division equations. For example…

*“In writing these equation poems, I began to notice things that I usually take for granted. I hope you notice how our world changes every day all around us.”*Encourage your own students to notice the wonders in the world around them but writing their own equation poems. You can find more ideas for using

*Snowman – Cold = Puddle*in the classroom and a template for writing equation poems on Laura Purdie Salas’s website HERE.

*Counting in Dog Years,*Betsy Franco takes a readers through “a surreal playground of calculated delights” with twenty poems that apply math concepts to everyday life. Many of Franco’s poems can be used as models for students to write their own poems to reinforce math concepts.

What a wonderful way to celebrate poetry and math!

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