Guided Lessons

Multiplication R.A.C.E.

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.

No standards associated with this content.

No standards associated with this content.

No standards associated with this content.

No standards associated with this content.

No standards associated with this content.

No standards associated with this content.

Which set of standards are you looking for?

• Students should be able to provide multiple representations for multiplication and division.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(5 minutes)
• Have students practice finding visual representations of multiplication in the classroom.