Some adults like math. Some adults prefer literature and stay as far away from math as possible. If you tend to shy away from math, consider unique ways to expose kids to math. Discover ways to make it fun and interesting. The payoff comes when their little minds start to ponder other math concepts on their own.

Why not start with a classic fable/fairy tale like *The Three Little Pigs. *

You can find this book online from the library of congress. After reading the old version invite kids into a conversation:

## Explain:

Pigs are very smart animals. They learn from history. Instead of building separate houses like the pigs in the original fable/fairytale written long ago, a new trio of pigs decide to build a house that worked for all.

These pigs need to know how much they can spend on their house. They look at their current expenses for everything other than rent:

Pig One spends $50

Pig Two spends $35

Pig Three spends $12

## Ask:

Which math expression or number sentence will help them figure out how much they spend?

50+35+12=

35+12+50=

12+35+50=

## Ask:

Does the order of numbers being added impact the answer?

## Explain:

Next, the pigs decide they want to spend a total of $15 dollars less each month.

Using the total of numbers from the problems above less 15, the pigs tried to determine how much they would need to spend.

Pig One put the total in the calculator and subtracted 15. Pig One got ___

Pig Two put in 15 in the calculator and subtracted the total. Pig Two got ___

Pig Three explained why they got different answers using a number line.

## Ask:

What would be Pig Three's explanation?

Once the pigs understood that order **does** matter in subtraction, they realized their budget combined would be ___.

Since there are 12 months in a year they wanted to see how much they would spend over a whole year. To do this they use multiplication because it is like adding numbers many times. They wanted to add the product ____twelve times and they all wrote the problem differently.

Pig one wrote

12 *__

Pig two wrote

___ x 12

Pig three wrote __(12)

## Direct:

Use a calculator on your device to see if all three pigs would get the same product.

## Explain:

Pig One says: Order does not matter in multiplication.

Pig Two says: There is more than one way to solve a problem.

## Ask:

Which pig is correct?

## Summary:

There are many math concepts that can be taught with a little imagination and a willingness to explore. Please share your thoughts and ideas for using other fairy tales.

## Cup of Leadership:

A blog for adults who lead kids to learn, read, and do. Follow blogger, Dee Bryce on twitter for more conversations.