Lesson plan

More Words, More Problems

Are your students struggling with multiplication when it comes to word problems? In this lesson, students will see multiplication problems as a comparison and use word problems to create multiplication equations.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will understand how to interpret a multiplication equation as a comparison and interpret word problems as multiplication equations.

(5 minutes)
  • Review the commutative property of multiplication with students.
  • write 12x9 and 9x12 on the board. Create a visual representation of these problems by making 12 groups of 9 under the first problem and 9 groups of 12 under the second.
  • Ask students if these problems are the same and if the order matters.
  • Then ask students to look at the models and explain how they compare and differ. Tell them that though both equal 108, the models have a different number of sets.
  • Explain to the class that the order of the problem doesn't matter but the comparisons between the models do.
(5 minutes)
  • Write 35 = 5 x 7 on the whiteboard.
  • Then write: 35 is 5 times 7.
  • Below that write: 35 is 7 times 5.
  • Have students draw the models for each and explain the differences.
  • Remind students that one quantity is being multiplied and the other number tells how many times.
  • Explain the order in which the numbers are multiplied doesn’t matter. The model represents the comparison and one doesn’t require as many sets as the other.
(10 minutes)
  • Allow students to work in pairs or small groups.
  • Hand out the Classroom Math: Multiplication Word Problems worksheet.
  • Complete the first problem with students to show them they must solve the problem first and then create comparisons.
  • Allow students to explain their answers before moving on.
(20 minutes)
  • Give students the Merchandise Multiplication worksheet.
  • Advise students that they will be working on real life scenarios alone so that they can understand the importance of multiplication and comparisons in everyday life.
  • Help students as needed but make sure they are completing both the equation and comparisons.
  • Enrichment: Advances students could create their own real life word problems to calculate and compare.
  • Support: Students who are struggling could be given Alex’s Multiplication Table worksheet to help with the calculations.
(15 minutes)
  • Give students the Wild Word Problems: Multiplication worksheet.
  • Advise students they are to use the same rules to demonstrate their understanding.
  • Tell them that one of the problems has three numbers but the same principles apply.
  • Allow students to share their answers to assess mastery if time permits.
(5 minutes)
  • Have students explain the commutative property of multiplication.
  • Allow student to explain their learning experience and what they have learned.
  • Correct any misconceptions students may have about the lesson.
  • If there are any students who are still confused, have a peer attempt to explain away their confusion.

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