Doodles Do Algebra – Lesson 26


Update: This Lesson Is Part of Book 2 of Doodles Do Algebra: “Unknowns And The 29 Articles of Algebra” available on Amazon.


Teacher’s Notes:

Today’s lesson teaches your child about the difference between a literal coefficient and a numerical coefficient. The basic difference is that a numerical coefficient is a number that is multiplied by an unknown (typically x), and a literal coefficient is a constant (typically a or b or c) that is multiplied by the unknown, x. So 5ax has a numerical coefficient of 5 and a literal coefficient of a. Pretty easy once you learn the vocabulary. Also, each one of the coefficients multiplied by an unknown counts as one factor. So 5abcx has one numerical (5) and 3 (a,b,c) literal coefficient factors.

The last part of today’s lesson reinforces the idea that 3ax is three ax’es, or putting it another way, ax is in 3ax three times. This is back to the apples concept we discussed early on in the course.


Available in the book, “Unknowns And The 29 Articles of Algebra, Book 2 of Doodles Do Algebra



1. literal coefficient is y, and numerical coefficient is 4

2. How many factors in a: 1, how many factors in ab: 2, and how many factors in 5abc: 4

3. How often is ax in 3ax: 3 times, in 5ax: 5 times, and in 7ax: 7 times.

Thanks, and I am happy to respond to all feedback or questions!