Lesson Plan

Multi-Digit Multiplication Strategies

Facilitate an exploration and comparison of multiplication strategies for your students to see the variety of ways to solve the same problem. Use this lesson on its own or teach it prior to the lesson Multiplication: Musical Chairs.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Multiplication: Musical Chairs lesson plan.
View aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Multiplication: Musical Chairs lesson plan.



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


Students will be able to compare multiplication strategies using discussion prompts and sentence stems/frames.


(5 minutes)
Graphic Organizer Template: Frayer ModelVocabulary Cards: Multi-Digit Multiplication StrategiesGlossary: Multi-Digit Multiplication StrategiesTeach Background Knowledge TemplateWrite Student-Facing Language Objectives Reference
  • Show students a blank Frayer Model and demonstrate how to complete the model with the word strategy. Write the definition, a sentence, an example, and a non-example, and draw an image. Emphasize that the term strategy can apply to many different aspects of life, including board games and sports, but for the purpose of this lesson, we will focus on its meaning as it relates to math and solving math problems.
  • Write "Multiplication Strategies" on a piece of chart paper. Lead students in a brainstorm of all the different strategies they know to solve multiplication of two-digit numbers using the problem 8 x 34 or 12 x 26 depending on your students' math level.
  • Co-create a list of strategies with students and include an example of how to solve the example problem with the strategy. Students may include strategies such as mental math, partial products, standard algorithm, decomposition (breaking apart numbers), area model, or lattice.
  • If students are unsure of the process for any of the strategies mentioned in the list, spend some time reviewing the steps to make sure students are familiar with them. Note: Students are also welcome to share their own strategies for multiplication that do not fall under any of the strategies named earlier. It is not essential for all strategies to be represented in the list as the focus of the lesson is on students practicing their verbal comparison skills when it comes to math strategies.