Did you know that Benjamin Franklin created many inventions, including the Magic Square? (A magic square is a box of numbers arranged so that any line of numbers adds up to be the same number, including the diagonals!) Richard Walz has written a historical fiction book about this. It is fun for the students to read while at the same time it gives them a great deal of historical information. It also contains many activities that can be used along with the book.
I love to use Magic Squares in my classroom. The construction and analysis of magic squares provides practice in mental arithmetic, operations with numbers, geometry, and measurement plus it encourages logical reasoning and creativity, all in a game-like setting. Furthermore, they are a powerful tool for teaching students basic addition skills since each row, column, and diagonal must add up to be the same sum.
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