Children's Literature and Multiplication
A response to the question:
What titles in children's literature can be integrated into the teaching of the multiplication concept?
Here are a few titles you might find interesting. They certainly are not all the possibilities, but they are a start. The first few present the connection between multiplication and division. There are a few titles at the end that focus more on addition and subtraction, but you might be able to play around with them.
A Remainder of One by Elinor J. Pinczes and Bonnie MacKain for children aged between 6 and 9.
Synopsis of the book: "A squadron of twenty-five bugs parades first in two rows, then three, and then four, always leaving poor Joe as a remainder of one and displeasing the queen. Joe does not give up, though, and he is finally included when the bugs march in five rows. The rhyming story, with its jaunty illustrations, provides an entertaining math lesson."
One Hundred Hungry Ants by Elinor J. Pinczes, Bonnie Mackain for children aged between 5 and 8.
Synopsis of the book: "One hundred hungry ants march off single file to sample a picnic, but when the going gets too slow, they divide into two rows of fifty, then four rows of twenty . . . until they take so long that the picnic is gone!"
Anno's Mysterious Multiplying Jar by Mitsumasa Anno and Masaichiro Anno for children aged 8.
Synopsis of the book: "Objects emerge from Anno's handsome jar and start multiplying. Mathematicians call the process factoring. For readers it's a counting game and visual feast combined."
The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins for children aged between 5 and 8.
Synopsis of the book "Ma makes some freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, and her two kids sit down to eat the when ding dong! the doorbell rings! More kids arrive to share the cookies, but just when they sit down, ding dong! Finally, when there is only one cookie for each child, the doorbell rings again. Who is it? Grandma with a new tray of fresh baked cookies! And no one bakes cookies as good as Grandma's! Hutchins sneaks a bit of math into this funny tale."
Pigs Will Be Pigs by Amy Axelrod and Sharon McGinley-Nally for children aged between 5 and 9.
Synopsis of the book: "Meet Mr. Pig, Mrs. Pig, and the piglets. Here's a family that must add, subtract, multiply and divide, and think about the way money works in order to satisfy their big pig appetites. Join the fun! Come pig out on math and money concepts with the Pigs!"
Two of Everything: A Chinese Folktale by Lily Toy Hong for children aged between 5 and 8.
Synopsis of the book: "Mr. and Mrs. Haktak find a magic pot that makes a copy of everything that gets put inside it. The Haktaks are delighted until Mrs. Haktak falls into the pot, and the trouble begins . . ."
Splash by Ann Jonas for children aged between 4 and 7.
Synopsis of the book: "In this picture book, which cleverly handles the principles of addition and subtraction, a young black girl keeps track of what's going on in her backyard. "I have a pond in my backyard. I have one turtle, two catfish, three frogs, and four goldfish. I feed them every day." Jonas provides a peaceful, lazy scene at the edge of the pond and under the water."
Rooster's Off to See the World by Eric Carle for children aged between 5 and 8.
Synopsis of the book: "A rooster who wants to see the world is accompanied, and then abandoned, by two cats, three frogs, four turtles, and five fishes in this story that is also a device for elementary addition and subtraction. The artwork is handsome; the endpapers are charming."
I would also recommend The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. There is a section of this novel in which Milo and his friends visit the Mathemagician and eat Division Stew.
-Gail, for the T2T service
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