When it comes to explaining the basics of multiplication, many kids are thrown into the vat of multiplication facts and asked to memorize them, having absolutely no idea of what multiplication really is all about.
The definition is a great place to start and with this Graph Grid Multiplication Game, your students will be understanding what it means in no time at all!
Grab these few supplies, and you are on your way:
1. First off, place a sheet of graph paper between two or more kids. You can download our graph paper here, or use your own (see below for more information).
2. One after another, students roll the pair of dice. (These 10-sided dice are super cool! I love this set of 100 multi-sided dice.)
3. Students look at the two numbers rolled and create a grid. For example, if the student rolls a 3 and a 4, they draw a grid that is 3 high and 4 wide, or 4 high and 3 wide. The box is then labeled with the number and the answer. If students do not know the answer, they can count the squares. This is just fine as this action helps kids understand that multiplication is area and repeated addition!
4. Students color in their grid and/or place their initials inside. Players take turns rolling the dice and making grids.
5. They continue playing until a player rolls numbers that equal a grid that cannot be drawn on paper. If there are more than two players, play continues until each player rolls two numbers that do not fit.
6. Students count the number of squares in the grid to determine the winner. The winner has the most squares!
Want to see the game played?
Notes: You can use the more common 6-sided dice, or you can invest in some 9 and 12-sided dice. They are perfect for this game. You can find them here.
You may use the graph paper you have at a home, but beware: The number of squares in your graph paper could significantly change the length of your game! We suggest using this free PDF 25X25 graph paper.
For beginners, you might want to consider this 20X20 PDF graph paper or even this 15X15 PDF graph paper.
And for extended learning, we present to you:
This Array Math Art Activity will give students more time to practice multiplication. Students roll the dice and list all the different grids (or fact families) that can be formed using those two numbers. Repeat 15 times, then trace all the different grids on the paper, overlapping fact families. Color in your grids, and you have yourself some art worthy of the fridge! For a more complete explanation: Multiplication Array Art Activity.
If multiplication understanding is already mastered, then it's time to move on to this super fun competitive version of Multiplication War! Your students will forget they are practicing their times tables in no time!