ALEX Learning Activity


Groundhog's Garden Arrays

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  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Jessica Freeland
Organization:University of South Alabama
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 1741
Groundhog's Garden Arrays
Digital Tool/Resource:
Web Address – URL:
Not Applicable

Students will review and solve multiplication of numbers less than 100 using word problems and arrays by creating a prompted work of art.

This activity was created as a result of the Arts COS Resource Development Summit.

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 3
1 ) Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers. [RL.3.1]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.3.1- Answer who, what, and where questions to demonstrate understanding of a story.

Arts Education
ARTS (2017)
Grade: 3
Visual Arts
1) Elaborate on an individual or prompted imaginative idea.

Examples: Create an imaginative mask showing his/her personality.
Look at masks from different cultures such as Chinese, African and Native American.

Unpacked Content
Artistic Process: Creating
Anchor Standards:
Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
Process Components: Investigate, Plan, Make
Essential Questions:
EU: Creativity and innovative thinking are essential life skills that can be developed.
EQ: What conditions, attitudes, and behaviors support creativity and innovative thinking? What factors prevent or encourage people to take creative risks? How does collaboration expand the creative process?
Concepts & Vocabulary:
  • Creativity
  • Criteria
  • Critique
  • Design
  • Media
  • Mixed media
  • Monochromatic
  • Principles of design
    • Rhythm
  • Technology
  • Visual image
Skill Examples:
  • Use a variety of materials to create a three-dimensional mask showing a student's personality.
  • Use torn paper scraps to create rhythm in a landscape.
  • Plan a community/city; then, build a model of it with recyclable materials, such as cardboard, boxes, containers, and tubes.
  • Collaborate with a group to demonstrate how to care for tools used in class (such as paintbrushes).
  • After looking at Vincent van Gogh's painting, Bedroom, create a narrative painting depicting a memory of a student's personal bedroom.
  • Use appropriate visual art vocabulary during the art-making process of two-and-three-dimensional artworks.
  • Collaborate with others to create a work of art that addresses an interdisciplinary theme.
  • Read and explore books like Imagine That by Joyce Raimondo or Dinner at Magritte's by Michael Garland and then create a Surrealistic style artwork.
  • Recognize and identify choices that give meaning to a personal work of art.
  • Create a drawing using monochromatic colors (paint, oil pastels, etc.).
  • Explore individual creativity using a variety of media.
  • Understand what effects different media can have in a work of art.
MA2019 (2019)
Grade: 3
1. Illustrate the product of two whole numbers as equal groups by identifying the number of groups and the number in each group and represent as a written expression.

Unpacked Content
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Given any multiplication problem in the form a x b = c,
  • Interpret the equation as a groups of b objects equals the product c, the total number of items.

  • Example: Given 5 x 7 = 35, students explain that 35 represents the total, 5 is the number of groups and 7 is the number in each group.
  • Use concrete materials/pictorial representations to model multiplication situations.
  • Write expressions and equations illustrated by models and drawings.
  • Write word problems to represent a multiplication situation.
  • Teacher Vocabulary:
    • Equal groups
    • Equation
    • Expression
    • Factor
    • Product
    • Array
    • Row
    • Column
    • Skip count
    Students know:
    • that in multiplication, one factor represents the number of groups and the other factor represents the number of items in each group, and the product represents the total number of items in all of the groups.
    Students are able to:
    • Use a model or drawing to illustrate the product of two whole numbers.
    • Write an expression or equation to represent the product of two whole numbers identifying the number of equal groups and the group size.
    Students understand that:
    • a multiplication problem can be interpreted as x groups of y objects.
    Diverse Learning Needs:
    Essential Skills:
    Learning Objectives:
    M.3.1.1: Identify and define the parts of a multiplication problem including factors, multiplier, multiplicand and product.
    M.3.1.2: Use multiplication to find the total number of objects arranged in rectangular arrays based on columns and rows.
    M.3.1.3: Write an equation to express the product of the multipliers (factors).
    M.3.1.4: Relate multiplication to repeated addition and skip counting.
    M.3.1.5: Apply concepts of multiplication through the use of manipulatives, number stories, skip counting arrays, area of a rectangle, or repeated addition.
    M.3.1.6: Apply basic multiplication facts through 9 x 9 using manipulatives, solving problems, and writing number stories.
    M.3.1.7: Solve addition problems with multiple addends.
    M.3.1.8: Represent addition using manipulatives.

    Prior Knowledge Skills:
    • Recall doubles addition facts.
    • Use repeated addition to solve problems with multiple addends.
    • Solve addition and subtraction word problems, and add and subtract within 10, e.g., by using objects or drawings to represent the problem.
    • Understand key words in addition and subtraction word problems.
      Examples: sum, difference, all together, how many more, how many are left, in all.
    • Define subtraction as separating groups of objects, taking from, or taking apart.
    • Define addition as combining groups of objects, adding to, or putting together.
    • Represent addition and subtraction with objects, fingers, mental images, drawings, sounds, acting out situations, verbal explanations, expressions, or equations.
    • Represent numbers with objects or drawings.
    • Use objects to combine and separate groups.

    Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
    AAS Standard:
    M.AAS.3.1 Using vocalization, sign language, augmentative communication, or assistive technology, model finding the sum of equal groups using repeated addition (sums within 30).

    MA2019 (2019)
    Grade: 3
    3. Solve word situations using multiplication and division within 100 involving equal groups, arrays, and measurement quantities; represent the situation using models, drawings, and equations with a symbol for the unknown number.

    Unpacked Content
    Evidence Of Student Attainment:
    When given a variety of word problems involving multiplication and division within 100,
    • Write and evaluate multiplication and division expressions to represent the word situation.
    • Explain and justify solutions using a variety of representations (equal groups, arrays, area models, number lines, tape diagrams).
    • Use the relationship between multiplication and division to write equations with an unknown factor.
    Teacher Vocabulary:
    • Equal groups
    • Arrays
    • Measurement division
    • Factor
    • Product
    • Quotient
    • Partitive division
    • Represent
    • Unknown
    Students know:
    • Multiplication situations can be related to division contexts by identifying the total number of groups and the number of items in a group.
    • Strategies to solve problems involving multiplication and division.
    Students are able to:
    • Use models, drawings, and equations to represent a multiplication or division situation.
    • Use symbols to represent unknown quantities in equations.
    • Solve word situations with multiplication and division within 100 involving equal groups, arrays, and measurement quantities.
    Students understand that:
    • a word problem with an unknown product is a multiplication problem, and a word problem with an unknown number of groups or an unknown group size can be thought of as a division problem or a multiplication problem with an unknown factor.
    Diverse Learning Needs:
    Essential Skills:
    Learning Objectives:
    M.3.3.1: Demonstrate computational understanding of multiplication and division by solving authentic problems with multiple representations using drawings, words, and/or numbers.
    M.3.3.2: Identify key vocabulary words to solve multiplication and division word problems.
    M.3.3.3: Solve word problems that call for addition of three whole numbers whose sum is less than or equal to 20, e.g., by using objects, drawings, and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.
    M.3.3.4: Recall basic multiplication facts.
    M.3.3.5: Add and subtract within 20.
    M.3.3.6: Represent repeated addition, subtraction, and equal groups using manipulatives.

    Prior Knowledge Skills:
    • Define pair, odd and even.
    • Recall doubles addition facts with sums to 20.
    • Apply signs + and = to actions of joining sets.
    • Model written method for composing equations.
    • Skip count by 2s.
    • Represent addition and subtraction with objects, pictures, fingers, or sounds within twenty.
    • Understand addition as putting together and subtraction as taking from.
    • Establish one-to-one correspondence between numbers and objects.
    • Rote count to 20.
    • Notice same/different and some/all.
    • Establish one-to-one correspondence between numbers and objects.
    • Point to matching or similar objects.

    Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
    AAS Standard:
    M.AAS.3.3 Use strategies (arrays, equal groups, manipulatives, etc.) to model multiplication and division equations to find an unknown number.

    Learning Objectives:

    Students will recall prior knowledge of multiplication to solve multiplication word problems using arrays.

    Students will ask and answer questions regarding the associated children's book, specifically recalling the order of events to plant a garden.

    Students will create a work of art after being given a prompt.

      Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

    1.) The students will review multiplication, word problems, and arrays.

    2.) The students will listen as the teacher reads the book How Groundhog's Garden Grew

    3.) The students will discuss what occurred in the book, specifically the order of events needed to plant a garden.

    4.) The students will be given the following word problem: "If Groundhog planted X rows of X (food), how many (food) will Groundhog have?" Each student will be given two numbers, such as 12 and 8, to insert into their word problem (i.e. 12 rows of 8). Students may choose the food that they will represent, such as carrots, corn, tomatoes, etc.

    5.) Students will be given a piece of brown construction paper to represent their "garden". 

    6.) The students will create an array that represents their given multiplication problem, i.e. 12x8. They may create their array by drawing it, cutting and pasting clip art or pictures from magazines, using stamps, etc.

    7.) After each student has created and decorated their array as desired, they should be sure to include the following mathematical statement. The italicized numbers and words should be adjusted to represent the numbers assigned and food chosen by the student:

    • "Groundhog planted 12 rows of 8 carrots."
    • 12x8=96

    8.) Students will share their multiplication works of art with their classmates.

    Assessment Strategies:

    Assess if the students are able to correctly solve multiplication problems by checking the answers on their arrays.

    Assess if the students are able to answer questions associated with the book via verbal questioning.

    Assess if the students are able to create an imaginative work of art based on a prompt by using a rubric that checks for a multiplication problem, a word problem, an accurate array, artistic representations of the chosen food, artistic representations of a garden, etc.

    Advanced Preparation:

    Materials Needed:

    • Book: Cherry, Lynne. How Groundhog's Garden Grew. Blue Sky Press, 2003.
    • Brown construction paper
    • Crayons, colored pencils, markers
    • Additional construction paper for students to make vegetables
    • Scissors & glue/glue sticks
    • Magazines with picture of food
    • Printed clip art or pictures of food
    • "Found" or "recycled" small items that could be used to represent vegetables: beads, sequins, beans, etc.
    • Vegetable stamps & stamp pads (optional)


    Variation Tips (optional):

    Students could plant real seeds and observe their growth to learn about the life cycle of a plant.

    Early finishers may use graph paper to create more arrays.

    Notes or Recommendations (optional):
      Keywords and Search Tags  
    Keywords and Search Tags: