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Operation Comics #1: Captain Confusion's Revenge

Bruce Kessler, Western Kentucky University
Annie Erskine, Western Kentucky University

Abstract

This is the first of a series of comics that embed mathematics appropriate for grades 4 through 6 in story told in comic book format. Printed versions of this comic are being used by students at Cumberland Trace Elementary in Bowling Green, KY. The comic is available as an e-book for the Nook at the link provided above. Hard copies of the comic are available at www.operationcomics.com. Supplementary materials are available for free below. For more information on the origin and goals of this comic, see the pre-print of the paper "Comic Books That Teach Mathematics" at http://works.bepress.com/bruce_kessler/8.

In this issue, Wonderguy encounters a villain named Captain Confusion, who threatens the students and faculty at Best Elementary School. Captain Confusion resents the fact that Wonderguy is a respected hero, because he perceives him as a unintelligent brute, while Captain Confusion, a self-described intellectual, is not. His plan is to show the world how dumb Wonderguy really is, and to ruin his career as a hero by using his supposed lack of intelligence as a means of preventing him from saving the occupants of the elementary school. In the course of the story, we find that Wonderguy actually does need some help, which is supplied by the two real heroes of the story, Claire and Dillon, two members of the school's academic team.

The mathematics concepts of the divisibility-by-nine test, least common multiples, and using formulas to describe number patterns are presented.

Suggested Citation

Bruce Kessler and Annie Erskine. Operation Comics #1: Captain Confusion's Revenge. Bowling Green, KY: WKU Research Foundation, 2009.

OperationComics1_sample.pdf (1754 kB)
This is a short sample of the first comic.

teacher_sup_1.pdf (1745 kB)
This is a supplement for teachers that may want to use the comic in their classroom, describing the mathematics in the comic and its alignment with NCTM standards.

divisibility_sup.pdf (140 kB)
This is a classroom worksheet that may be used in conjunction with the first comic that stresses the divisibility theorem for 9.

LCM_sup.pdf (82 kB)
This is a classroom worksheet that may be used in conjunction with the first comic that stresses finding least common multiple using prime factorizations.

Formula_sup.pdf (86 kB)
This is a classroom worksheet that may be used in conjunction with the first comic that stresses finding linear formulas given a few points on the line.