Travois, multiplication and 2-step problems

By Irish Pepito


CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.OA.D.8 Solve two-step word problems using the four operations. Represent these problems using equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity. Assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies including rounding.


30-45 minutes


In this lesson, the students will develop an understanding of the meanings of the four operations of whole numbers through activities and problems involving real life scenarios from Indigenous history. Students use properties of operations to calculate products of whole numbers, using increasingly sophisticated strategies based on these properties to solve using the four operations problems involving single-digit factors. It includes educational videos, games and video presentations that can be used for reviews and daily practice.


Computer or mobile device


First, watch a video for 100 second

Learn how to solve problems by breaking them down into easier problems (time 1:40)

Second, play a game

Menu with 4 choices, number, random, life , words
Choices screen: Instruct students to select NUMBERS

Let the students log in to Making Camp Premium to access the game. (Game links can be found under the GAMES tab.) The choices screen is shown above. Students are instructed to select NUMBERS from the screen above.

Menu for videos with six boxes

Students are tasked to play for 20 minutes. Students will demonstrate mastery in solving word problems like the one shown below and to be able to earn points within the game. For some students who aren’t able to master the standard will be given individualized instruction to master the concept.

Example of word problem following a video

Reinforce and assess what they have learned with a presentation

This Google slides presentation, Travois and Multiplication, gives a little background on how the travois was used by Indigenous people of North American. Within the context of building and using a travois, students learn to analyze a word problem and use appropriate operations in getting the correct answer.

Final video – See travois in action

Watch this short (46 second) video on how Lakotas used the travois


To monitor the progress of the students, there is data analysis that can be viewed on the Making Camp Premium data report. There are also four problems included in the Google slides presentation that students can complete in-class or as a work-from-home activity

Multiplication Review and Red River Carts


CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.OA.A.4 – Determine the unknown whole number in a multiplication or division equation relating three whole numbers.

NCSS theme – The study of people, places, and environments enables us to understand the relationship between human populations and the physical world. 

Minnesota State Standard – History Sub-strand 4, Standard 15 “North America was populated by indigenous nations that had developed a wide range of social structures, political systems, and economic activities, and whose expansive trade networks extended across the continent.”

⏰ Time

20 minutes

📲 Technology required

Internet connection on a PC or Chromebook laptop, tablet, or phone.

📃 Summary

Students watch a video on the importance of the Red River cart in expanding trade. The teacher presents (or students may read) a presentation discussing Red River carts followed by two related word problems. The lesson concludes with students playing Making Camp Premium, reinforcing multiplication facts and the Ojibwe history lesson learned.

📚 Lesson

Watch Red River Cart history video

Presentation on Red River Carts and multiplication

Use this Google slides presentation in-class or assigned online to review a little on the Red River cart and then solve two math problems involving carts and horses. In the first activity, the students drag the correct number of wheels to show 5 groups of 3 and then 3 groups of 5, both correct answers to the question. In the second problem, students drag 4 groups of 6 horses to solve the word problem.

Play a game

Students play Making Camp Premium (instructions on which activities are included in the slides presentation).

Wigwam from Making Camp Premium with items purchased with points


Making Camp Premium offers Data and Reports for teachers to access to view students playing time and the number of items answered correctly addressing each standard taught in the game.

Problem-solving with pigs: Start at the end


CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP4 Model with mathematics.

CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

⏰ Time

60-75 minutes

📃 Summary

This cross-curricular lesson includes activities and instruction in agricultural science and math. Students begin by watching a video and learning about pig farms. After making their own pig barn, they watch two short videos about solving math problems. This information is then applied to solve problems during a presentation on math around the pig farm. Students end playing one of the Making Camp games to reinforce skills and knowledge.

📲 Technology Required

If teaching in person, the teacher will need a computer and projector or smart board to show the videos, or students can be given the links to watch on their own devices. Students will need a PC, Mac or Chromebook or tablet. Making Camp Premium, Making Camp Lakota and Making Dakota are all playable on any web browser on those devices.

📚 Lesson

This lesson starts with resources from National Ag in the Classroom

Virtual tour of pig farms

Virtual Field Trip to Ohio Pig Farms

Make a Pig Barn

This activity requires a few supplies but it is probably things you have lying around and your students will probably enjoy it.

  • Business-size envelopes, 4 per group
  • Paper towel, 1 per group
  • Scissors
  • Scotch tape


  • Markers
  • Toilet paper rolls, 2 per group
  • Drinking straws, 2 per group (cut into 8 equal pieces)
  • 8.5″ x 11″ white paper, 1 per group (cut in half)
  • Extra paper for making fencing, pipes, feed troughs, etc. (optional)


Use the following instructions to model for the students how to create the barn:

  1. Barn: Cut an oval hole in one envelope, making a large side window for the barn. This window provides the proper ventilation for the pigs.
  2. Cut the paper towel in half and tape it onto the top of the window for the curtain.
  3. Cut another envelope in half for the ends of the barn.
  4. Tape the ends of the barn to the “sides of the barn” envelopes, one of which has the hole for the window and paper towel curtain, so that you have four sides, or a rectangle.
  5. Use the final envelope to create a roof by creasing it in half lengthwise and attaching it with tape to the top of the rectangle.
  6. Food Storage: Tape four straws, or legs, to each toilet paper roll so that the structures will stand on the legs.
  7. Use a half piece of paper, and make a cone shape by twisting and taping the ends. Tape the cone shape on the end of the toilet paper roll without the straw legs.
  8. Use the other half piece of paper to make another smaller cone shape and tape it between the straw legs on the other end of the toilet paper roll.

If you’d like, you or your students can watch the instructions here. You can also assign this video for students learning at home to watch so they know how to make the barn. The plus is that just about every house will have every single one of these items except possibly the straws.

Optional additional science and language arts content

This link to the National Ag in the Classroom lesson has more information on pigs and pig farming, including some of the vocabulary used in the math lesson as well as a discussion of the ways farmers care for animals. I highly recommend checking it out.

Watch a video on operations key words

Trust me, this does come back to pig farming!

Students watch this video on operations keywords. This two-minute video has been watched over 14,000 times, which gives some indication of how useful students and teacher find the concept of looking at the words in a problem to decide which operation to use.

Watch a video on problem-solving – Start at the end

This 3 1/2 minute video explains that the end of the word problem is where you usually will find the question you are expected to solve. It includes one easy and one harder example, as well as a couple of useful tips.

Start at the End

Give a presentation

This 34-slide deck on problem-solving reinforces the information in the two math videos and gives students three problems of increasing difficulty where they have to start at the end, all centered around Laura’s pig farm.

Play a game

Now that students have been introduced to problem-solving with multiplication and division word problems, it’s time to play a game and reinforce those skills. Which game depends on what you feel your students need most. There is overlap among the games as each includes some review.

Making Camp Premium – focuses primarily on multiplication of one- and two-digit numbers. Also includes division with one-digit divisors. The content is taught in the context of Ojibwe history and culture.

Making Camp Lakota – focuses primarily on division with one-digit divisors. Also includes multiplication of one- and two-digit numbers. The content is taught in the context of Lakota history and culture.

Making Camp Dakota – focuses primarily on division of three-digit numbers with one- and two-digit divisors. Also includes multiplication of one- and two-digit numbers and division with one-digit divisors. The content is taught in the context of Lakota history and culture.


Assessments are built into the presentation, as teachers can have students submit their answers in writing or in a Google chat prior to giving the answers during the presentation. Teachers can also see which standards students have attempted and how many problems they have answered correctly in the Making Camp teacher reports.

Related lesson : Problem-solving Two ways

As the title suggests, this lesson introduces students to two other problme-solving strategies. They watch a video on visualization, then solve a problem that asks them to visualize. After watching a video on building a model, students build and/or draw their own model of a multiplication problem or property.

Multiplication Terms


CCSS.Math.Content.3.OA.B.5 Apply properties of operations as strategies to multiply and divide. Examples: If 6 × 4 = 24 is known, then 4 × 6 = 24 is also known. (Commutative property of multiplication.)

Interpret products of whole numbers, e.g., interpret 5 × 7 as the total number of objects in 5 groups of 7 objects each. For example, describe a context in which a total number of objects can be expressed as 5 × 7.


40 minutes


In class:

Printer to print cards. Computer with projector in classroom to watch video. Access to computers or tablets to play games.Students can also play on phones.

Link for flash cards if you don’t have two-sided printing. Students cut and fold the cards.

Link for flash cards if you DO have two-sided printing. Just print out one sheet and have students cut out the cards.
Hint: If using this as a center activity or for multiple classes, teachers may wish to make a few sets of cards and laminate them.


Computer with Internet access to view flash cards, watch video and play games.


Students watch a video on multiplication terms then review terms with flash cards. Students quiz each other with flash cards. The lesson closes with practicing multiplication and division by playing Making Camp Premium.

📚 Lesson

Watch video

Learn Multiplication Terms with Ms. Sancjhez

Perhaps you know the definition of a product and a factor, but what about the distributive property of multiplication? Have you ever thought about the Identity Property as a mirror or the Zero Property of Multiplication occurring because zero is a number that won’t share the spotlight? Learn these and more with Ms. Sanchez.

Make the Cards

I strongly recommend having students make their own cards. It saves work for the teacher, it is one more opportunity for students to see the material and some students learn better when physically engaged.

If you will be using printed flash cards, there are two downloadable PDFs.

If you can print two-sided, you can just print out these sheets. They can cut the cards out with scissors, with the term on the front and the definition on the back.

If your printer doesn’t print two-sided, you’ll find it easier to use these sheets because the definition of each term is next to it. The student can cut between cards and then bend in the middle of the paper to have term on the front and definition on the back.

Present multiplication terms to students (Optional)

Teachers may wish to present multiplication terms using this Google slides deck. Copy to your own Google drive and edit to add additional cards or explanation.

Review multiplication terms flash cards

Students review math cards individually.

Students can review using printed cards or review cards in a Google slides presentation shared with students . This activity should take 5-10 minutes.

Students review with classmates

After reviewing individually, students take 5 minutes to pair up and quiz their classmates. Students should take turns giving a term and asking for the definition. Students learning remotely can pair up with a classmate and take turns using the Google slides presentation to quiz one another.

Play a game

Students play the Making Camp Premium game to practice multiplication and division.


Making Camp Premium offers Data and Reports for teachers to access after students are finished playing. If you are remote teaching students experiencing low internet connectivity students can play offline but the data will not be transmitted to show their progress.

Watch out for blood-sucking fishes!


CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.4 Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.5.NBT.A.1 Recognize that in a multi-digit number, a digit in one place represents 10 times as much as it represents in the place to its right and 1/10 of what it represents in the place to its left.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.5.NBT.B.5 Fluently multiply multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.


40 minutes


Either a project or smart board connected to the computer will be required to view presentation and videos in class or students will need a computer to watch during a web meeting. The game can be played on any computer or tablet.


This lesson introduces new science vocabulary words, teaches about indigenous and invasive species and includes a couple of math problems showing how quickly invasive species multiply. It concludes with students playing the Making Camp Dakota: Past and Present game. This is the ninth in a 10-unit English/ Language Arts unit centered around a visit to their grandmother that integrates English/ Language Arts and indigenous history.


Watch the Mouths to Feed Video

Invasive Species Giant Insect!

This one-minute video is a little silly with a giant insect but it is a good starter for the lesson to spark student interest.

Give a presentation on indigenous and invasive species

This Google slides presentation introduces the concepts of indigenous and invasive species. It also provides geography information on the Great Plains and Great Lakes as well as a couple of math problems computing how quickly one fly can turn into 5,000.

This content can be assigned to students as reading, but we recommend the teacher present as a mini-lecture first, if possible, and include the reading for students to review.

Watch video Seven Ways to Leave Hungry Pests Behind

We recommend assigning students to write down any words in the video that they don’t recognize.

Play Making Camp Dakota

NOTE: Making Camp Dakota will be available by the end of March, 2021.

You may allow your students to just play the game, or, if you want sections specific to this lesson in indigenous plants and animals, have them select the two icons below.

In the LIFE section of Making Camp Dakota: Past and Present select this icon to learn about how indigenous people used herbs.

Herb Matching Game

In the NUMBERS section, select this icon to learn about buffalo hunting.

As an added bonus, the buffalo section ends with a question on division of three digit numbers.

Buffalo hunt long division problem from Making Camp Dakota
Buffalo Hunt Division – from Making Camp Dakota

Optional: Lesson challenges and extension

National Ag in the Classroom has four, related lessons at the sixth to eighth-grade level on invasive species. Some of the readings may be above the grade level, but they recommend “jigsaw reading” where each student in a group takes a piece of a reading, then explains that paragraph or two to the rest of the class.

If your students are interested in invasive species, or you want some students to have more of a challenge, we recommend checking out this resource.


In class formative assessment occurs when asking students to answer math problems during the lesson. Students learning remotely can post answers in chat. Students in a classroom can hold up a piece of paper with their answer, allowing the teacher to check understanding at a glance.

Completion and accuracy of the responses in Making Camp Dakota can be checked in the data reports.

10-Minute Multiplication Practice with Ojibwe History


CCSS. Math 3OA.A.4 Determine the unknown whole number in a multiplication or division equation relating three whole numbers. 

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.OA.C.7– Fluently multiply and divide within 100

NCSS The study of people, places, and environments enables us to understand the relationship between human populations and the physical world. 

⏰Time Required

10 minutes

📲Technology Required

Computer/tablet with internet access for reporting student assessment data from Making Camp.


Ojibwe History Integrated with Math If your students are like most people, you’re having a hard time getting them to focus. Each of these three activities only takes a few minutes and teaches Native American history or multiplication. These 10-minute lessons can be done as stand-alone activities at the beginning or end of a class to raise student engagement, or the three in this unit can be combined for a single 30-45 minute lesson.


Activity 1

Matching Multiplication

Step 1: Have students open Making Camp Premium. If you need more detailed instructions on how to access Making Camp Premium, student usernames and logging in, please go to this lesson plan

Step 2: If students are playing the game for the very first time, they will watch the two introductory videos that talk about Native Americans and how to play the game (5 minutes). Then you will see the Making Camp choice screen.

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Step 3: Have students click the NUMBERS box to view the six math challenges. You can press the round, green button at the bottom left with white squares to return to the choice screen at any time.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is IMG_0562-e1612229199543-1024x699.png

Step 4: Have students click on the top left box (with cards) to play a memory game. In this game, you match multiplication problems with their answers. You may assign this activity for 5 minutes of multiplication drills.

Activity 2

The Multiplication Dog

Step 1: Have students click on the icon with the dog. 

  • This lesson opens with a paragraph explaining that some tribes used dogs to haul heavy loads, using a type of sled called a travois. The player then has the opportunity to earn a dog and items for their dog in the game by answering multiplication problems. The game resets when it is finished, and also takes about 5 minutes.

Activity 3

Reaping the Rewards of Math Practice at the Wigwam 

The player should now have enough points to get a wigwam and at least two items to supply their wigwam. 

Step 1: Click on the wigwam icon on the bottom left. This will play a video on how a wigwam was built, followed by a second video that briefly discusses that trading existed between and within tribes long before the settlers came.

Step 2: The player then has an option to trade points for items for their wigwam.

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Clicking on the wigwam in the lower left corner will bring the player to their wigwam. Purchased items appear here for decoration and interaction. 

  • Clicking on an item brings up a text box with information on how that item was used or obtained by the Ojibwe people.
  • Some items also perform actions when clicked. For example, the parfleche opens to show pemmican inside; when clicked, the dog walks across the wigwam.
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Making Camp Premium offers Data and Reports for teachers to access after students are finished playing. 

State Standards

Minnesota History Substrand 2, Standard 3. Historical events have multiple causes and can lead to varied and unintended outcomes.

Two-Digit Multiplication and Estimation


CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.NBT.B.5 – Multiply a whole number of up to four digits by a one-digit whole number, and multiply two two-digit numbers, using strategies based on place value and the properties of operations.


35- 45 minutes

📲Technology Required

Computer with a projector, Smartboard or other device for your class to watch videos

NOTE: You’ll also need 20 math problems: 3-digit numbers multiplied by a 2-digit number. You can use what you already have, use the worksheet provided or use the Multiplication Worksheet Generator to make your own worksheet.

📃Lesson Summary

Students practice multiplication for a few problems, watch a video on using estimation to solve problems, hear a brief presentation from their teacher, solve more practice problems, watch a second video and practice more problems. They end the lesson with a game and a discussion of which strategies proved most useful.

📚Lesson Plan

Start with multiplication problems

Have the students solve 3 to 5 problems.

NOTE: This lesson requires a total of 9 to 15 multiplication problems. This worksheet has 24 problems multiplying a three-digit numbers by a two-digit number. Teachers can assign any selection of these problems or use their own. We give the students a worksheet of 24 problems and tell them to pick any ones they want to solve. Of course, teachers should do whatever works for them.

A PDF of the answers to the multiplication problems can be found here.

Watch a video

This 3-minute video explains multiplication of 2-digit and 3-digit numbers

This video explains steps in long multiplication, with examples and a reality check.

Discuss the video

Use this Google slides presentation for a short discussion of the video and how to apply the information learned about estimation and long multiplication.

Practice multiplying 2-digit and 3-digit numbers again

Now that students have had a chance to watch and discuss the video showing long multiplication, step by step, it’s time for them to practice again. They have 10 minutes to complete another 3 to 5 math problems.

Watch another video to review the steps

Now that students have watched one video and practiced their skills with a few problems they watch a second video to reinforce those steps.

Practice multiplying 2-digit and 3-digit numbers again

Now that students have had a chance to watch and discuss the video showing long multiplication, step by step, it’s time for them to practice again. They have 10 minutes to complete another 3 to 5 math problems.

Peer-grading (optional)

You may wish to share the answer key with students and have them grade their own or their peer’s problems.


As a class, discuss strategies for solving problems, including doing a reality check, estimation and breaking problems into smaller problems. Ask students which strategies worked best for them.

Play a Game

Both Spirit Lake: The Game and Making Camp Dakota (released in February, 2021) teach multiplication of two- and three-digit numbers.


In addition to grading all of the multiplication problems, remember that you can always see your students’ performance on the problems in Making Camp and Spirit Lake by accessing the reports page. You will need to enter the password you received during training.

Rabbit Stew & Multiplication

Why 10-minute math and history lessons?

Student on bed with pillow over her head

Why bite-size lessons?

  1. Well, if your children are like ours, they can get tired of learning on line, tired of being at home and difficult to motivate. When they get in those moods, we’ve found it helpful to break learning down into a series of smaller bites.
  2. Sometimes your lesson plan ends sooner than expected and you have a few minutes to fill.


Minnesota History Substrand 2, Standard 3. Historical events have multiple causes and can lead to varied and unintended outcomes.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.OA.A.4-Determine the unknown whole number in a multiplication or division equation relating three whole numbers.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.OA.C.7– Fluently multiply and divide within 100


10 Minutes

Technology Required

Device with web-browser – Chromebook, laptop or desktop computer, phone or tablet


Students learn about what foods the Ojibwe people ate and how their diet changed when they were forced on to the reservation. They play a multiplication tic-tac-toe to snare rabbits and spend the points earned in the game to outfit their wigwam.

Lesson Plan

1. Watch a one-minute video on rabbit stew

Narrated by Deb Gourneau, of Turtle Mountain, this video explains the importance of rabbit stew in helping people survive when food was scarce.

2. Play Rabbit Tic-Tac-Toe in Making Camp Premium

Remember, clicking on the link with the boxes in the bottom left corner will always take you to the choices page.

  • Click on the box with the rabbit to play a tic-tac-toe game in Making Camp. Each correct multiplication problem snares a rabbit. Incorrect problems leave an empty snare.  
  • When you win this game, there will be an arrow to go back to the numbers page.

3. Play a Matching Game to earn more points

Click on the box with the buffalo to match multiplication problems with their answers.

4. Learn what else was part of the Ojibwe diet

Now that you have 4 more points, go back to the wigwam and if you have not already traded for these, select the fish, deer hide or parfleche to see what else the Ojibwe would eat. Click on each of these items in your wigwam to learn more about it.

Making Camp Premium


Remember that you can always see your students’ performance on the problems in Making Camp Premium by accessing the reports page. You will need to enter the password you received during training.

State Standards

Minnesota Math Standard – Use multiplication and division basic facts to represent a given problem situation using a number sentence. Use number sense and multiplication and division basic facts to find values for the unknowns that make the number sentences true.

Minnesota Math Standard – Demonstrate fluency with multiplication and division facts.

Multiplying to find perimeter of polygons


CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.MD.D.8 Solve real world and mathematical problems involving perimeters of polygons, including finding the perimeter given the side lengths, finding an unknown side length, and exhibiting rectangles with the same perimeter and different areas or with the same area and different perimeters.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.MD.A.3 Apply the area and perimeter formulas for rectangles in real world and mathematical problems.


45 minutes 


In this lesson plan, students will learn how to compute perimeter of different polygons using multiplication and apply those skills in game-based practice problems. They will then learn about different Indigenous traditional dwellings. The lesson ends with students contributing to and solving problems that integrate the reading on dwellings and perimeter in an online assessment. 


Device with web-browser (Chromebook, laptop or desktop computer); or iOS (iPhone/iPad) with Google Drive apps. 

Lesson Plan

1. Play GAME: Making Camp Premium 

For 15 minutes, have students play the game Making Camp Premium ,).

rectangle with a length of 11
instruct them to specifically play the mini-game with this icon
different shapes that are all polygons
If they need a refresher in how to compute perimeter, they should click this icon to watch a video

ALTERNATIVE: Perimeter is also covered in the second half of Spirit Lake: The Game, which is currently available for Windows and Mac computers.

2.READ: Home, Sweet Home: Tipis, Hogans, Wigwams and More

Read this short post about traditional dwellings of Native American tribes from different parts of the United States. It can be read aloud as a group or individually. (Estimated time: 7-10 minutes)

3. Discuss how to Compute Perimeter

This Google slides presentation reviews the definition of a polygon and perimeter and provides the formulas for finding the perimeter of a rectangle, square and triangle with examples for each. You can review it together in class or online, copy to Google classroom to assign to students or print out to send home for students without Internet access. (Estimated time: 5-10 minutes)

4. Testing understanding : Perimeter in Action

This activity draws from the “Home, Sweet Home” reading and lessons on perimeter to have students apply their understanding of how to compute the perimeter of rectangles, triangles and hexagons using multiplication. Get the Google slides presentation here. Students contribute numbers to create multiple problem options.

(Estimated time: 10 minutes)


You can view your students’ progress on mastering these standards by viewing your teacher reports. Both Making Camp Premium and Spirit Lake Report links can be found on this reports page. You should have received a password during the Growing Math training. If you need the password, email from your school email account and we’ll get the password to you right away.

State Standards

Minnesota Math Standard – Find the perimeter of a polygon by adding the lengths of the sides.

Minnesota Math Standard – Find the areas of geometric figures and real-world objects that can be divided into rectangular shapes. Use square units to label area measurements.

Using estimation in multiplying two-digit numbers


CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.NBT.B.5 Multiply a whole number of up to four digits by a one-digit whole number, and multiply two two-digit numbers, using strategies based on place value and the properties of operations.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.OA.A.3 Solve multistep word problems posed with whole numbers and having whole-number answers using the four operation … Assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies including rounding.


This lesson takes 40 minutes to an hour, depending on how long you allot your students to complete each of the 4 problem sets and whether you have students play the game.

Technology Required

Computer with a projector, Smartboard or other device for your class to watch videos or videos can be shared in Google meet or other application for remote learning. Spirit Lake: The Game can be downloaded and played on Windows or Mac computers. An iPad version will be available by Fall 2021. Schools that are part of the Growing Math project or who have a 7 Generation Games site license will have access to all of these games for students to use at home or school.

Optional Recommended Resource

Use resources like the Helping Math Multiplication Worksheet Generator to make your own worksheet. Their worksheets look very much like this one on multiplication of two-digit numbers with Easter egg examples, except with many more activities in each worksheet. Note that the link will require you to register for a free download. Registration takes about 1 minute. You’ll then receive a link to download over 100 free worksheets on math topics from addition to rational numbers. Another resource we like is the Lizard Point math worksheet generator. Both will print the worksheets as well as the answer key. Note that sites using PRINT TO Google Drive may have that feature disabled after December, 2020. However, you can still from the PRINT menu select SAVE AS PDF, download a file as PDF and then upload it to your Google Drive. The Growing Math project has no affiliation with Helping Math or Lizard Point.


You’ll need 20 math problems multiplying two-digit numbers. You can use math problems you already have or use one of the online worksheet generators. Based on research showing the effectiveness of distributed practice – that is, practicing a skill for more, shorter periods rather than one long session – we have students solve a few problems at a time, with videos in between. The lesson begins with a brief explanation of multiplying two digit numbers, followed by students solving 3-5 problems multiplying two-digit numbers. Students then watch a 3-minute video that works an example of multiplying a three-digit number by a two-digit number. They then solve 3-5 more problems, followed by another video, then more problems. We recommend giving a time frame – say, 7-10 minutes – to solve the problems rather than set number of problems because this allows you to begin and end each section of the lesson with all of the students at once.

Lesson Plan

1. Introduction to Multiplying Two-digit Numbers

Begin with an example from Helping with Math, that gives an explanation of multiplication and a variety of types of problems. Then, have the students try to solve 3 to 5 problems. You can use those included in the Google slides linked or create your own.

2. Video : Multiplication and Estimation

Estimation is one of the most practical math skills!

There are a lot of math concepts that I use regularly when writing software or computing statistics in my day job. The one skill I use all the time is estimation. (I can tell you that the ability to accurately estimate an answer is not universal.)

Example 1: Long multiplication using “math reality checks.”

In the problem in the video above, we start out by multiplying 892 x 11, using the fact that any number multiplied by 10 is just that number with an added zero. To test our answer, we round 892 to 900 and can estimate that our answer should be near to – and less than – 9,900.

Let’s say you type the wrong number in your phone, hitting the 6 instead of the 9, since these two are pretty close and you have big fingers. Now your answer is 7,612. If you have a good grasp of estimation and multiplication, that is clearly wrong. If you’re computing how much money you need to charge a customer based on the 892 hours you expect to work at $11.00 per hour, you have just lost out on over $2,000!

3. More multiplication problems

Now that you have had a little practice and a little instruction, students solve another 3-5 problems.

4. Video : Multiplication and Estimation

This video works through a problem multiplying a 3 -digit number by a two-digit number . It also gives a strategy for solving difficult problems. That is, break the problem into smaller, easier problems.

Video 2: Use addition to solve a multiplication problem.

Here, because the last digit of one number is 7 and of the other number is 2, you know that 7 x 2 = 14. So, whatever else your answer is, it has to end in a 4.

5. Follow up to the video

As a math teacher, I heard approximately 4,897,234 times from students:

WHY do I have to do so many problems of the same type?

– Almost every student I ever taught math

Explain to students that all of those facts learned, like 2 x 7 =1 4 are the basis for the commutative property of multiplication, reducing numbers to lowest terms, or solving equations by multiplying or dividing both sides by a constant, and more. You need a BASE to work from, problems that can be examples.

The fact is that the more experience you have with numbers, the more problems you solve. The more problems solved, the easier it gets.

6. Finish off by a few more math problems

Now that you’ve watched another video, it’s time for the last set of math problems.

7. Optional – Game Play

Students can Spirit Lake: The Game . Multiplying two- and three-digit numbers comes up in Level 4. We recommend allowing students to play for 15-30 minutes each session. This gives them enough time to get started but not enough time to get bored.


Answers to the 12 -20 math problems completed by the student provide one assessment. A second assessment is in the reports for the Spirit Lake game, which show whether students answered correctly the problems in Level 4, whether they read the hint before answering the problem, and whether they were correct on the first try or had to attempt the problem more than once.

State Standards

Minnesota Math Standard – Multiply multi-digit numbers, using efficient and generalizable procedures, based on knowledge of place value, including standard algorithms.

Minnesota Math Standard – Solve real-world and mathematical problems requiring addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of multi-digit whole numbers. Use various strategies, including the inverse relationships between operations, the use of technology, and the context of the problem to assess the reasonableness of results.