Groundhog's Garden Arrays

Learning Resource Type

Learning Activity

Subject Area

Arts Education
English Language Arts




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.


English Language Arts (2021) Grade(s): 3


Demonstrate content knowledge built during independent reading of informational and literary texts by participating in content-specific discussions with peers and/or through writing.



  • Demonstrate
  • Content knowledge
  • Independent reading
  • Informational text
  • Literary text
  • Content-specific discussions


Students know:
  • Content knowledge is information learned about a specific subject.
  • Content knowledge can be learned by independently reading text.
  • Informational text is nonfiction text, and literary text is fictional.
  • Active listening skills.
  • Writing skills.


Students are able to:
  • Build content knowledge from independently reading informational or literary text.
  • Use content knowledge learned from independent reading in content-specific discussions with peers.
  • Use content knowledge learned from independent reading in writing.


Students understand that:
  • Content-specific discussions with peers can demonstrate the content knowledge they learned through independent reading.
  • They can produce writings that demonstrate knowledge of content-specific information.
Mathematics (2019) Grade(s): 3


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.



  • 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.
Mathematics (2019) Grade(s): 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.



  • 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 unknownquantities 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.
Arts Education (2017) Grade(s): 3 - Visual Arts


Elaborate on an individual or prompted imaginative idea.



  • Creativity
  • Criteria
  • Critique
  • Design
  • Media
  • Mixed media
  • Monochromatic
  • Principles of design
    • Rhythm
  • Technology
  • Visual image

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?

Skills 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.

Anchor Standards

Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.

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.

Activity Details

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.

Variation Tips

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.

Background / 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)