Lesson Plan:

Multiplication: Musical Chairs

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August 15, 2015
by Molly Stahl

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to quickly multiply two and three digit numbers using multiplication strategies.


Introduction (5 minutes)

  • Pose an example multiplication problem on the board, such as 7 x 29.
  • Ask students to name strategies for multiplying with their group.
  • After 1-2 minutes, have students share out and make a list of responses on the board.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (15 minutes)

  • Review each of the following strategies for multiplying by model solving equations: partial products, mental math, lattice, and traditional algorithm.
  • Partial products: 5 x 64 = 5 x 60 + 5 x 4 = 320.
  • Mental math: For 10 x 22 you could think aloud: "I know that when I multiply any number by 10, I just have to add the 0 to the end so the answer is 220."
  • Lattice: set up the lattice squares for 3 x 76.
  • Traditional algorithm: 4 x 57.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (20 minutes)

  • Distribute the multiplication strategies flip books.
  • Instruct students to fold these in half and cut on the dotted line to create the flip book.
  • Review each strategy with additional sample problems.
  • Invite students to the board to solve the problems.
  • Students at their seats should follow along and record steps in their flip books.

Independent Working Time (20 minutes)

  • Review directions for multiplication musical chairs:
  • Students will use scratch paper and clipboards or whiteboards and markers to rotate around the chairs.
  • Give each student a starting number.
  • Students will walk around while music plays and stop at the nearest chair when the music stops.
  • Once they stop, they will look at the number on the index card on the chair and multiply their starting number by that number.
  • Walk around to observe students' strategies and mathematical accuracy during this portion.
  • You can choose to identify "winners", or students with the largest and smallest products, if you would like.
  • After the round, students use their products as their new starting number for the next round.
  • Repeat for 5-10 more rounds or as time allows.



  • Enrichment: Give a higher starting number for multiplication musical chairs. Give these students the 3 Digit Multiplication worksheet for their assessment.
  • Support: Give a lower starting number for multiplication musical chairs. Give these students the Football Multiplication worksheet for their assessment.


Assessment (15 minutes)

  • Distribute various multiplication worksheets to your students.
  • Have students work independently to complete the worksheet as their assessment using their preferred multiplication strategy.
  • Instruct students to label each problem with the name of the strategy they used.

Review and Closing (5 minutes)

  • Have students write in math journals or on scratch paper their response to the following question: Which multiplication strategy works best for you? Why?

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