Multiplication is tricky for younger children so it helps if they can think about it in a variety of ways. These multiplication word problem cards ask questions that kids can visualize, so they can picture the scenes in their mind’s eye and map out the solutions.
If you’re looking for more math practice, check out our Place Value Cover Up activity!
To prepare for this activity, I downloaded the free multiplication cards (below) and printed them.
(The color version was printed onto white cardstock and the black and white version onto colored copy paper for brightness.)
I laminated the pages, cut them apart and then wrote the answer on the back of each card with a permanent Sharpie. This made them self-checking.
Then, I asked the kids to punch holes in the top left corner of the cards so we could attach them to a ring.
Solving Multiplication Word Problems
The most difficult part for children working on multiplication is to make sure they understand the question and what it’s asking of them. So we began this activity as a group and talked through some of the problems together.
Students knew that multiplication was the same as adding groups of numbers together. For instance, 3 x 5 means 3 sets of 5.
With the question pictured above, we had to decide whether we would cross off 5 squares twice, or two squares five times. Children were excited to discover that either way, we arrived at the same answer.
We used dry erase markers and dry erase crayons to mark the squares on the ten frames for each problem and then erased them afterwards.
Some of the children chose to draw little objects in the squares rather than just checking them off. For example, drawing little triangles when working on the pizza problem or simple chairs for one of the traveling questions. One child grabbed some recycled paper and drew larger pictures to represent the problems because it helped him understand more clearly. He then glued that page into his math notebook to keep a record of his efforts.
One aspect about these multiplication word problems that made the kids more comfortable with these cards was that they had already completed the Addition Word Problems to 20 cards as well as the Subtraction Word Problems to 20 cards.
Since the format was familiar, and the children had completed those tasks successfully, they did not seem too concerned about the questions because they knew if they re-read them or chatted with their friends, they’d be able to work them out.
Grab Your Set
Let’s start multiplying! Click the blue button below to download your free story problems and then hop over and snag our Place Value Cover Up Activity in our shop!