Monday, February 27, 2012

Picture Book (Math & Science): Multiple on the Fly (by Suzanne Slade)

Summary of Math on the Fly (by Suzanne Slade):
Multiply on the Fly demonstrates that math is a relevant part of our every day experience.   Readers are treated to an insect safari, viewing commonly known bugs like grasshoppers, butterflies, and ladybugs as well as lesser known insects like pirate bugs and spittlebugs.   Each two-page spread illustrates a multiplication riddle, such as:  

Four lovely Luna moths
Rest upon a pine.
Each one spans three inches.
How long is the luna line? 

Underneath the riddles is a multiplication problem. For the aforementioned rhyme it is 4 x 3 = ?  Young listeners are prompted then to solve the problem.   There are three ways to approach, depending on the developmental level of the child(ren).   First, count out the items being multiplied and connect it to the multiplication problem.  Second, count by one of the numbers represented in the problem, like 3’s or 4’s.  The final stage is for the child to be able to look at the page and know right away the answer. 

Author Suzanne Slade has fashioned a wonderful combination of math and science, fostering an appreciation for the little things of nature.   She use rich adjectives and verbs to describe the physical features and daily activities of insects.  Her high spirited rhymes, which effectively use rhyme and alliteration, are engaging and enjoyable.  Erin E. Hunter (illustrator) has beautifully captured the insects in their habitats.  Her brilliant illustrations draw young readers in to the world of insects. 

Teaching Opportunities:
One of the things I appreciate most about Sylvan Dell publishers is their mission to make math and science exciting and applicable.  To further that mission, they create a FREE teaching guide for all their titles that include activities and ideas for extending the book.  For Multiple on the Fly, you will want to check out their 41-page color guide by clicking HERE.  You are sure to find many activities your child(ren) or students will enjoy! 
This post is linked with Non-Fiction Monday weekly round up, hosted this week at The Children's War blog and Math Mondays at love2learn2day.  


  1. I have to admit that I have not really explored picture books that are math-related as much as I should. I am glad that you have included this for Nonfiction Monday - forces me to get out of my comfort zone and explore other titles I would not otherwise have picked up in our library shelves. Pinning this. :)


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