It’s a Fact! Third Graders Illustrate a Multiplication Problem

By Patricia Gable

Just when students are feeling comfortable and confident about addition and subtraction, we introduce multiplication! Here is an activity to show students that there are different ways to solve a multiplication problem.


Third Graders Illustrate a Multiplication ProblemS Interpret products of whole numbers, e.g., interpret 5 x 7 as the total number of objects in 5 groups of 7 objects each. MA3-OA-A-1

Materials and Preparation

“Amanda Bean’s Amazing Dream" by Cindy Neuschwander

White 12" x 18" construction paper, one piece per student



Variety of stickers, beans, buttons, etc.

Slips of paper, each with a different single digit multiplication problem (one for each student)


Show students the book “Amanda Bean’s Amazing Dream" and say, “Poor Amanda! She loves to count, but she is having trouble counting larger groups of things in a fast way. Maybe she will be convinced that there is an easier way!"

Read and discuss the book and then provide supplies for students to show four ways to solve a multiplication problem.



Ask students to create a poster illustrating an array, repeated addition, fact family and groups as a way to find the product of the problem.

  • Give each student a slip of paper with a multiplication problem on it.
  • Provide white paper, glue, markers, crayons and a variety of objects such as stickers, beans, buttons, etc.
  • Show students how to fold the 12”x18” piece of paper to make four equal sections.
  • Label each section: “Repeated Addition,” “An Array,” “Fact Family” and “Groups.”
  • If necessary, do an example together.
  • Encourage students to make their projects neat, colorful and accurate!

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