Adult GED teaching & learning materials

Hello, I'm an instructional coach looking for materials recommendations. We work with adult students in English and Spanish. I'm looking for recommendations for GED teaching materials, specifically in the areas of math and science. I'm particularly interested in interdisciplinary materials. For example, materials about the topic of measurement that look at it from both the math and science perspective. I really appreciate any recommendations as it's great to know what educators in the field are using. Thank you.


Hello Carole and others,

You will find a good list of free numeracy and math web sites in my publication, The Literacy List, at:

and a 21-page list of free or low-cost numeracy and math video web sites suitable for adult basic and secondary education from this dropbox address:

If you know of good, adult learner-oriented numeracy or math instructional (including video-based instructional) web sites that I should consider adding to these lists, please let me know.

David J. Rosen



We utilize the EMPOWER Curriculum to teach conceptual mathematics.  We find that learners get lost in the procedures of math and instead of creating their own meaning (which has a lasting effect) they focus on what the formula is, how does the instructor find the answer, etc. 

Here is a bit about the EMPower Curriculum:

Extending Mathematical Power (EMPower) was created to integrate current K-12 mathematics education reform into the field of education for adults and out-of-school youth. EMPower was designed especially for those students who return for a second chance at education by enrolling in adult basic education programs, high school equivalency programs, and developmental programs at community colleges. However, the curriculum is appropriate for a variety of other settings as well, such as high schools, workplaces, and parent and paraprofessional education programs. EMPower builds interest and competency in mathematical problem solving and communication.

Over the course of four years (2000-2004), a collaboration of teachers and researchers with expertise in adult numeracy education and K-12 mathematics reform developed and piloted eight contextualized curriculum units. These units are organized around four central topics: number and operation sense; patterns, functions, and relations; geometry and measurement; and data and graphs. The EMPower program serves as a model for a cohesive mathematics curriculum that offers content consistent with the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM, 2000), as well as frameworks that are adult-focused, such as the Equipped for the Future Content Standards (Stein, 2000), the Massachusetts ABE Curriculum Frameworks for Mathematics and Numeracy (Massachusetts Department of Education, 2005), and the Adult Numeracy Network's Framework for Adult Numeracy Standards (Curry, Schmitt, & Waldron, 1995). The curriculum fosters a pedagogy of learning for understanding; it embeds teacher support and is transformative, yet realistic, for multilevel classrooms.

EMPower challenges students and teachers to consistently extend their ideas of what it means to do math. The curriculum focuses on mathematical reasoning, communication, and problem solving with a variety of approaches and strategies, not just rote memorization and symbol manipulation. The program fosters a learning community in which students are encouraged to expand their understanding of mathematics through open-ended investigations, working collaboratively, sharing ideas, and discovering multiple ways for solving problems. The goal of EMPower is to help people build experience managing the mathematical demands of various life situations, such as finances and commerce, interpretation of news stories, and leisure activities, and to connect those experiences to mathematical principles.

Copied from:

There is a specific book for Measurement, "Over, Around, and Within".

These books can be ordered through McGraw Hill for around 15 dollars each.  The BEST have the right to copy the material!

Our learners leave our program wondering WHY no one told them about how to do math this way...they really enjoy it and it has been proved to be effective.  Let me know if you have questions.


Brooke Istas
Subject Matter Expert
LINCS Math and Numeracy List

Cowley College Adult Education Program
Instructional Coordinator/Mathematics Instructor



Hi Brooke, thank you for this useful recommendation. I ordered these resources after taking a look at the links you thoughtfully included in your post. I really appreciate the support.


There are many interdisciplinary Open Education Resources that providing opportunities for linking math and science.  They also provide practice in skills such as reading graphs, maps, charts, and diagrams (which are tested on other GED areas).   You might look at "The Journey North" and "What's It Like Where You Live?"



Hi Susan,

Thank you so much for this, I will take a look today.In answer to your previous question, we offer specific courses led by an instructor, so I am looking for materials that fit this approach, rather than learner-led, independent study materials. Thank you, Carole.

Susan, I finally got a chance to visit mentioned above and found a link to data on monarch butterflies. I particularly liked this page (link below) titled, "What do historic records reveal?"  The exercise asks the learner to use certain words (earliest, latest, average, difference, variance, and range) to write questions that can be answered by the graph:

Instructors could create their own exercises using data/graphs and key words using this format. And, the activity requires an interesting depth of thought and creativity that students might find interesting and challenging.

I've been reviewing the Common Core State Standards (the little bit there is on science) and the GED 2014 Science Sampler (see and feel like students will need lots of exposure to scientific thinking -- like generating their own questions.





Cynthia,  thanks so much for the feed-back on the website for The Journey North.  I think you have certainly found a creative approach in using these data.  You have made an important link to the Common Core State Standards, the GED 2014 Science Sampler, and the need for students to have lots of exposure to scientific thinking and development of questions.

Have any of you others looked at this resource?  Any feedback from learners?