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Multiplication Picture Books: Two Great Reads

Picture books are a great way to combine literacy and math. Using math picture books can help you engage students and reinforce math content and skills. In today’s post, I’m sharing two of my favorite multiplication picture books. I also offer ways to use them to support your students’ understanding of multiplication.

This is the blog title- Multiplication Picture Books: Two Great Reads

 

If you’ve been a reader of this blog for any amount of time, you know that I love math picture books! They provide such a great venue for introducing and investigating the skills we teach. Want to know more about using math picture books? Click here! Today, I share ways to incorporate how to use multiplication picture books as a springboard into learning. These two books are cute and fun and they will engage your students right from the start.

Amanda Beans Amazing Dream

Book Synopsis:

In this story, we meet Amanda who likes to count anything and everything. In fact, she is so good at counting that she does not want to multiply. Over time though, and through a very vivid dream, she begins to see the power in multiplication. She also sees how multiplication can help her count faster. By the end of the book, she is so overwhelmed with trying to count everything that she wants to learn her multiplication facts.

Math Involved:

The format of the books builds the concept of looking at equal groups and using multiplication to find the total.

Questions to Ponder:

1. What is multiplication?
2. How is multiplication like addition?
3. How could Amanda use multiplication to help her count the total amount instead of counting the items one by one?

Activity Ideas:

1. Return to illustrations and discuss ways to use multiplication to find the total for each set of items. Be sure to ask questions, such as How many items are in one group? and How many in all?
2. Help Amanda use multiplication to solve the problems she encountered throughout the text.
3. Make a list of things that come in groups on chart paper. Then have students create problems such as, How much is 5 cartons of eggs? Students can use a windowpane to record the following: problem, illustration, number sentence in words, and an equation (problem and answer).
4. Compare the amounts in two different groups. For example, Which has more 3 tricycles or 5 bicycles?

One Hundred Hungry Ants

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?

Activity Ideas:

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.

See One Hundred Hungry Ants on Amazon!

Getting ready to teach multiplication? Consider using multiplication picture books to launch the learning and engage your students. Even if you work with upper elementary grades students who are learning about multiplying with larger numbers, you can use these books as a launch for exploring arrays with larger quantities. These multiplication picture books can also remind students about the purpose of multiplication and why it is a useful skill. Both books can be read in just a few minutes, so they are great ways to launch your lesson.

Want more? This image shows a copy of the two book-related problem solving tasks.

Click here or on the image above to grab a fun, problem-solving printable resource for each book!

Sound Off! What are your multiplication picture books? Respond in the comments below. 

Shametria Routt Banks

Shametria Routt Banks

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