Distributive Property

Teach your students to recognize and use the distributive property of multiplication.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Justifying the Distributive Property pre-lesson.
View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Justifying the Distributive Property pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to apply the distributive property of multiplication.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.

Introduction

(5 minutes)
• Ask students what the word "distribute" means. Use it in a sentence (e.g., "A teacher will distribute your homework at the end of the day."). Then give students a moment to discuss the word with peers.
• Call on a few students to give a definition for the word distribute and then develop a meaning with the class (i.e., pass out or give shares of something).
• On the board, draw a quick picture to illustrate the word (i.e., draw a page of homework with arrows pointing from it to multiple students).
• Explain, "Today we are going to explore the distributive property of multiplication."
• Write the name of the property on the board and underline the word "distributive."

Beginning

• Place students with a supportive peer, preferably one who speaks the same home language (L1), to discuss the meaning of "distribute."

Intermediate

• Have students repeat or rephrase the meaning of "distribute" after you define it.
• Give students additional examples of the word "distributing" such as handing out pencils or apples to students.