- Third Grade
- 90 minutes
- Standards: 3.OA.A.3
Teach your students how to use a variety of representations when creating and solving word problems. Simple acronyms and visual aides help make learning multiplication a breeze.
After finishing this lesson, students should be able to provide multiple representations for multiplication and division.
Introduction (5 minutes)
- Draw or display four different visual representations on the board, such as an Internet symbol, a no-smoking sign, or restroom signs. Choose images your students will recognize.
- Ask your students to discuss the meaning behind each visual representation with a partner through think-pair-share.
- Afterward, ask for class input in revealing the meaning behind each symbol, and encourage them to participate in the discussion.
- Explain to them that a visual representation is a demonstration of an idea or image that is presented to provide meaning.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)
- Write the following multiplication problem on the board: 2 x 4 = 8
- Ask the students what visual representation could be drawn to demonstrate the meaning behind the multiplication problem.
- After students finish making their suggestions, draw a line going up and down and a line going across it on the board and write the acronym R.A.C.E. inside each of the four parts. See the Visual Representations attachment, figure 1, for an example.
- Tell students that in today’s lesson, they will be “racing” for an answer to multiplication problems.
- Write the complete word for each of the first letters, and then provide a visual representation for the sample multiplication problem. See the Visual Representations attachment, figure 2, for an example.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (20 minutes)
- Grab a sheet of chart paper and fold it into fours. Write the letters R.A.C.E inside the squares (one per square) and then write the following question on the board: Max the monkey loves bananas. Molly, his trainer, gives him 3 bananas every day. How many bananas does Max get per week?
- Have students turn to their partners and suggest an answer.
- When finished, ask students to share their answers with the class. Accept all correct answers, and model solving two of the four visual representations on the R.A.C.E chart.
- Ask for a volunteer to help you solve for the remaining two portions of the map.
- When completed, the R.A.C.E chart should look like figure 3 on the Visual Representations attachment.
- Repeat this exercise with a different word problem if time permits.
Independent Working Time (30 minutes)
- Provide each student with a copy of the Multiply It! worksheet and two additional sheets of white paper.
- Ask students to work individually to solve the five word problems by folding the sheets of paper into fours, and providing visual representation for each letter within the acronym.
- Enrichment: Have students who need more of a challenge locate visual representations of multiplication and division in the classroom. Desks and students, the number of legs on a table, and the total number of tables in the classroom can all be examples of visual representations.
- Support: Encourage students who need more help to practice their visual representations by providing them with manipulatives and five multiplication problems, instead of the Multiply It! worksheet.
Related Books and/or Media
- The Doorbell Rang by Rex Stout
Assessment (20 minutes)
- Ask students to exchange papers with a partner.
- Provide answers to the word problems as well as the visual representations of what their R.A.C.E. charts should look like, and have your students grade each other’s answers.
- Collect their work when finished.
Review and Closing (5 minutes)
- Have students practice finding visual representations of multiplication in the classroom.