Place-based Math

Math Catcher:  Mathematics through Aboriginal Storytelling

  • “For today’s learners: We present the Math Catcher Outreach Program in the classroom to encourage elementary and high school students to recognize how math is used in everyday life and how it forms the basis for many of our daily decisions and life-long choices. We use storytelling, pictures, models and hands-on activities to encourage young people to enjoy math and to help dispel myths that math is boring and abstract. We offer free-of-charge Math Catcher visits to schools across British Columbia. The program also organizes annual math summer camps at SFU’s Burnaby campus and workshops at SFU and at other locations.
  • For today’s educators: The Math Catcher Outreach Program provides you with the opportunity to explore ways to demystify mathematics for your students through storytelling and hands-on activities.
  • Meet Small Number: We engage Aboriginal learners in math and science through the use of First Nations imagery and storytelling. You can experience Small Number’s adventures by watching animated films in the Blackfoot, Cree, English, Halq’emeylem, Heiltsuk, Hul’q’umi’num’, Huu-ay- aht, Nisga’a, Sliammon, and Squamish languages.” (Source:  Math Catcher)

Deborah Sparrow, Musqueam First Nation, “Blanket making as mathematics” (ProD))

Numeracy : Professional Development resource from the Alberta Education Department. “Deepen your understanding of the importance of literacy and numeracy for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students. …. Find out how a Traditional Games Day creates a context for meaningful numeracy learning. …. See first-hand how two different teachers engage their students in meaningful numeracy experiences through traditional contexts…” (ProD)

Math Teaching and First Nation’s Culture : A short article (2007) by Julie-Ann Backhouse highlighting Associate Professor Cynthia Nicol’s (UBC) work and insight focusing on how cultural values are at the heart of math.  Practical applications for teaching math concepts within aboriginal culture and connections to the land are offered in this article. (ProD)

Aboriginal Perspectives Mathematics Workshops : These workshops “were created by students in the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program and the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina, under the direction of Drs. Kathy Nolan and Harley Weston.” Included are thorough lesson plans with background information and student worksheet links. (Intermediate)

Games from the Aboriginal People of North America : Native American games connected with mathematical concepts compiled by contributors to “Math Central”, a project of the University of Regina. ((Primary, Intermediate, Middle School, High School)

Math First Peoples 8 & 9 : FNESC developed lesson plans that model the inclusion of math concepts within the framework of indigenous cultures. Here is an answer key connected to the Gr. 9 Unit on Circle Dwellings  (Middle School)

Weaving Math :  Project based math unit based within indigenous weaving skills. These place-based lessons were created by the Burnaby Mathematics Inquiry Team, a collaborative team from the Aboriginal Education Department and Secondary Mathematics teachers.  These lessons incorporate cultural knowledge in the new
BC Mathematics Curriculum. (Primary, Intermediate, Middle, Secondary)