Multiplication Storyboards

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SWBAT create and solve multiplcation problems with models and word problems.

Big Idea

Students can create models and word problems to deepen their understanding of multiplication.


15 minutes

While students are developing an understanding of multiplication and what it means to have equal groups students will create models to match the numbers they roll and write a word problem that matches the model (MP4).

I want to create and write some great multiplication problems today, and I want you guys to do it with me! Today, I have a dice that goes from 0-6 and I’m going to roll it twice. I got 3 and 4. Now, as I record my numbers I’m going to need to use them for multiplication, so who can tell me what we are really creating when we’re multiplying (equal groups). Great. I can either make 3 groups of 4 or 4 groups of 3, which should I make?

I have students help me place small blocks (any manipulative tool will work) onto my storyboard.

Now comes the fun part! What type of problem can I create that matches this picture?

Because each storyboard is different, students will have a variety of ‘backgrounds’ for creating their word problems.


30 minutes

Each of you will have a bag of math tools on your table to share and 1 yellow dice for each of you. As you roll your 2 numbers, you may use them in whichever order you would like and your problems may be as creative as you want. If I roll and 6 and a 4, I can make a problem for 4x6 or 6x4. Turn and talk to your partner about what might look differently between those 2 problems, even though they use the same numbers. 

What needs to match in your work today? Here I expect students to respond that our model and our word problem needs to match. I think it is important for students to see how they can create models to understand multiplication. As they develop a conceptual understanding on this concept, I find it helpful to use concrete objects and pictures for students to show their work. \

Some free resources for storyboard are:


5 minutes

I loved reading your exciting and funny word problems today! What does a multiplication problem represent? Why is that important?

I want to continue to reinforce to students that multiplication involves equal groups, and that a visual model helps us create and solve problems. As students begin to build their confidence and understanding on the concept we will be introducing other ways to create and solve problems.