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Magic Squares date back over 4,000 years to ancient China and have
existed throughout history and in many different parts of the world. The
magic lies in the fact that when the numbers in each row, column, and
main diagonals of the square are added together, the sum is always the
same. These number puzzles have fascinated some of the world's most
brilliant thinkers, including the eighteenth century American Benjamin
Franklin. He studied and composed some amazing magical squares, even
going so far as to declare one square “the most magically magical of any
magic square made by any magician.”
Magic Squares provide an engaging way to develop mental math skills. Use them as a warmup at the beginning
of math sessions or as a Math Center activity. Following are a few
examples:
Addition Squares 
Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares
highlights Franklin's lifelong knack for inventions and chronicles his
achievements as a publisher, scientist, writer, and patriot, as well as
showing how he amused himself during meetings of the Pennsylvania
Colonial Assembly by creating magic squares. The final pages in the book
provide instructions on how to make your own magic square. Use this as a
math read aloud to introduce these math puzzles in Grades 25.
Task Card
Before Sudoku: The World of Magic Squares
Fans
of Sudoku may not know that it is a recent offshoot of the Magic
Square. Filled with lots of original number puzzles to solve, this book
will delight anyone who loves a challenge