Monday, November 7, 2011

Multiplication with Eric Carle’s Zoo

I like Eric Carle’s books. Way back when my son was a toddler I ordered 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo from a Scholastic book order, expecting to love it as much as Brown Bear, Brown Bear. Imagine my surprise when I opened it to find no words. Not a single one.

At that age, my son enjoyed identifying and counting the animals on each page. And let’s not forget about that adorable little mouse. What a joy it was to point him out!

As my son grew older, the book was ‘read’ less and less. Until last week, it was collecting dust on the shelf. I realized then that it was a perfect book to practice multiplication.

I whipped up a two-page worksheet to accompany the book. It asks questions like how many hippos do you see (2), how many teeth does each hippo have (8), and how many teeth do both hippos have (2 x 8 = 16).

Download this 2-page PDF here.
My son went page-by-page answering the questions, first counting the number of animals on the page, and then counting the particular body part (tail, legs, eyes, etc.) that each animal had. Then he answered each multiplication problem, using skip counting (by 2s, 5s, or 10s) when possible.

He had no trouble whipping through the 10 problems, and was SO proud to remember the rules when multiplying times 1 and 0.

He really enjoyed this activity. I really enjoyed reconnecting with Eric Carle’s charming book.


  1. Very bright mom leads to a very bright boy....
    Is he memorizing the facts or counting by 2s, 3s etc. Either way, it's a great activity.

  2. Super cute. What a great activity. Thanks for sharing at Math Monday!
    Cindy @ love2learn2day

  3. LOVE it!! You constantly amaze me! I wanted to let you know I voted for you at the HBA =-) You are amazing!! I hop you link this up at TGIF!
    Beth =-)

  4. You are ridiculously amazing!! hahaha! I LOVE THIS and I love you for giving me such fantastic ideas! :)

  5. That is a really cool idea - I'm constantly looking for new fun stuff to learn with my son (he's five) - he's currently totally into the bigger than/smaller than Alligator!

  6. Cute activity. We started our multiplication with similar activites.
    I have an award for you over at my blog...

  7. Introducing a math concept with a book is a brilliant idea!