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Teaching Math Through Science and Social Studies Themes

Math, Science, Social Studies

Written by: Mary Kate Bolinder

Have you ever looked at your scope and sequence across subjects and thought, “How will I ever have enough time to teach all this?!” With so much knowledge to share, it often seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day to teach everything on the list. Our Lucky to Learn Math curriculum is here to lighten the load. Each unit is linked to a science or social studies theme to help you cover multiple standards across subjects AND get kids excited about learning! Discover how teaching math through science and social studies themes can work wonders in your classroom.

Why Teach Math with Science and Social Studies Themes

Repetition and exposure to new skills are essential to master a new math concept. But it’s no secret that some math curricula can be monotonous, leaving students disengaged, bored, or left behind. Instead of boring facts or endless practice pages, pique student interest by pairing the skill with a high-interest topic. This will get the attention of some reluctant math learners and increase comprehension by connecting skills to real-world examples.

Jump to a Lesson:

Unit 1: Place Value + Community Helpers

Unit 1 in Lucky to Learn Math focuses on place value, and integrates the social studies theme of community helpers. The collaboration section of each lesson introduces the classroom as a community of learners.

Example of Math Through a Social Studies Theme: Community Helpers

In lesson 1.5, students will practice skip counting to 1000. 1000 may seem like a big number to little learners! This unit helps students think practically about where they might see large numbers every day. One place is on house numbers! To make the connection of skip counting to real life, students will pretend to be mail carriers.

Activity: Counting on my Route. Students will work collaboratively to deliver the mail to the correct address. In this “write the room” activity, students will visit a matching mailbox and write the correct number in the skip counting sequence. Getting students up and moving during math has also been shown to increase engagement and comprehension of tasks!


Unit 2: Addition & Subtraction + Biomes

Unit 2 in Lucky to Learn math features addition and subtraction strategies, and integrates the science theme of biomes. Students will hike through the forest, dive under the sea, trek through the desert, and see the savannah, all while practicing their addition and subtraction facts! What an adventure!

Example of Math Through a Science Theme: Biomes

Activity: Whoooo will win? A collaborative math game in which partners will spin to create a subtraction problem, use the make-a-ten strategy to solve their problem, and compare answers with their partner.


Unit 3: Addition & Subtraction with Regrouping + Factories

Students will learn strategies for addition and subtraction with regrouping in Unit 3, which is also integrated with the social studies theme of factories/production.

Example of Math Through a Social Studies Theme: Factories & Production

Warm-Up: How Books Are Made Video. In this real-life connection, think about how you would use addition and subtraction while working at a book factory.

Activity: Friendly Neighborhood Library: Students will work in partners or groups to walk around the room and solve addition problems. Hang up the 8 library cards around the classroom(there is a color option as well as a black/white option). Students will use their recording sheets to write the addition problem by looking at the cards and making friendly numbers to solve.

A Unique Approach for Every Learner

Our Lucky to Learn Math is rated 5-Stars. Says one teacher-parent:

“I’m a homeschool mom to my daughter. She is 8, has autism, and is obsessed with animals. She may also have dyslexia and dysgraphia so she struggles with holding numbers in her head while doing addition and subtraction…I got this unit because I knew she would be all for it and I’m hoping it helps have the extra practice with animals. I love the strategy posters and we put those up on the wall right away and while she was doing her math she went over and used them and I asked her if it helped and she said yes! I have never seen a unit of any kind (math or LA) that is based around animals. So thank you!!!

Download HERE

toothy task kits

Lucky to Learn Math

Building a Place Value Community

toothy task kits

Lucky to Learn Math

A Journey to Fact Fluency Among the Biomes

toothy task kits

Lucky to Learn Math

Assembling an Addition & Subtraction Strategy Factory

What science and social studies themes would you like to see next in our math activities? Tell us in the comments below!

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Welcome, I’m Angie!

Hello there! I’m Angie Olson- a teacher, curriculum developer, educational blogger and owner of Lucky Little Learners.

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