One Hundred Hungry Ants by Elinor J. Pinczes
Target Skill(s): Multiplication and Arrays
Book Synopsis: The story begins with one hundred ants marching in a line toward a picnic spot when the smallest ant stops the line to say that they are moving way too slow. He suggests that a different arrangement is the way to go. Again and again, the littlest ant stops the line to change the arrangement, but by the time they arrive at the picnic spot, the food is all gone. All of the ants turn on the littlest ant and blame him for them moving way too slow and missing out on all of the yummies to fill their tummies.
Math Involved: The format of the book illustrates the concept of arrays and allows students to determine all of the arrays that can be made with the factors for 100.
Questions to Ponder:
1. What were the ants trying to accomplish? Why?
2. Which arrangement best helped them accomplish their goal? How do you know?
3. Were there any other arrangements that they could have tried? How do you know?
This book is a great introduction to the concept of arrays. Some of the activities that can be used to support the understanding of arrays and connect with the story include:
a. Recreate the arrays in the story and label them with a number sentence.
b. Give student groups different products and ask them to find the arrays that represent the number.
Additional activities that can be used to extend the concepts of the book include:
a. Give students different products (both prime and composite) and ask them to find the arrays that represent the number and create an illustrative poster. Then, use the posters to develop the concept of prime and composite numbers.
b. Use arrays as a method for creating lists of factors for a product.
c. Make conjectures about the “squareness” of the illustrated arrays and discuss the term “square number.” Be sure to discuss what a square number is (a number multiplied by itself) and how it is constructed (s equal rows of s).
d. Develop or reiterate the concept of area and perimeter. Determine the perimeter of the arrays and discuss how the shapes change when the perimeters are larger or smaller.
Book Link on Amazon:http://bit.ly/OneHundredHungryAnts