Unicorn and Gems – Basic Multiplication

The unicorns of Gemland were huge collectors of gems. They needed them to survive, as mentioned in my unicorn and gems division lesson. They were getting SO MANY donations that they needed to start organizing them into rows. The unicorns found that it was easier to do this if they practiced their multiplication skills, and they found it was a GREAT opportunity to teach the little unicorns how to practice their times tables!Ready?

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(Note: The terms “multiplier” and “multiplicand” can be pretty controversial when it comes to their actual meanings. I will be explaining it as the first number being the multiplicand and the second number as the multiplier. If you prefer explaining this in the opposite way, go for it. Here’s food for thought from Ask Dr. Math that may help to clear up some confusion.)

Materials: 

  • Unicorn (to use as the multiplier – HERE)
  • rhinestones – 81 of them (HERE)
  • flat marbles – (9 of them to use as the multiplicand – HERE)
  • a container or pouch for the rhinestones
  • a container for the flat marbles
  • multiplication chart, cards, and booklet (found in my shop)
  • pencil

Procedure:

 Gather all of your materials together and lay them out on your rug. Explain to the child that you’re going to first show her what the names of each part of the multiplication problem are, and what they mean so that understanding multiplication will come easier to her.

Show the child that the unicorn is going to be the multiplier. Explain that the multiplier is the part of the problem that is kind of like a boss – it’s going to tell the muliplicand how many times they’re allowed to show up. Or at least in this case, how many gems are allowed to be in each row.

 

 

 

 

Then set it with the card that says multiplier.

 

 

 

 

Next, since we are doing the five times table in this lesson, grab the multiplicand that says 5. Explain to the child that these marbles represent the multiplicand, which is the number of rows the multiplier will appear in. The multiplicand (marble) will be placed on the top row of the chart, while the multiplier (unicorn) will be placed on the left side row of the chart. (If you are sticking with the whole five times table, then the unicorn will be the one moving for each problem, whereas the marble will remain on the five the whole time.)

 For this example, we will start with 5×3 (since my student already did 5×1 and 5×2). Using the multiplication cards for the five times tables, point to the five and tell the child that this is the multiplicand.

 

 

 

 Then place the five gem on top of the five on the chart’s top row.

 

 

 

Now point to the number three on the card and tell the child this will be the multiplier – the number where the unicorn will go… and also the number that says how many times five rhinestones will be lined up.

 

 

 Place the unicorn/multiplier on the three. Some kids like to gallop the unicorn to the number. Let them have fun with it!

 

 

 

 

Now for the making rows of gems. Tell the child that you are going to make three rows of five gems. The gems cannot go past the marble or the unicorn, so it’s actually going to look like a rectangular array.

 

 

 From left to right, start counting out the first row of gems all the way to the five. This shows “5, one time.”

 

 

 

 Do the same for the second row, counting all the way to the five. This shows “5, two times.”

 

 

 

 Finally, count up to five in the third row where the unicorn stands. this shows “5, three times, which is the same as 5×3!” Ask the child to count how many gems there are total. If the child is able, then have the child count by fives.

 

 Have the child write the problem down on her multiplication paper.

 

 

 

 Then, write the answer under “Product.” Congratulations you’ve done your first multiplication problem for this lesson! Give yourself a high-five 🙂

 

 

Do all of the five times tables until your multiplication page is filled. This can easily be used to practice memorization.

 

 

 

Here’s how to use the multiplication cards when they are cut up. I like to turn them upside down and let the child pick a random one!

 Let the child choose a random card (these are all of the three times tables).

 And since she knows she is doing the three times tables, she can go ahead and write each problem on her multiplication page. When she choose a random card, she can match it to her written problem. This will also help her to see which number is the multiplier and the multiplicand.

 Set the three marble on the top row number 3.

 

 

 

 And place the unicorn multiplier on the 8.

 

 

 

 Start dishing out your beautiful unicorn gems from left to right, then top to bottom, not going past the marble or the unicorn.

 

 

 

 Until you set them out all the way to the 8.

 

 

 

 It should look like this. Count out how many gems you have total… the child can count by 3’s if she’s able… then record the answer on your multiplication page.

 

 

 Continue doing all of the three’s until the three times tables are finished. Use this page for memorization practice.

 

 

 

 Once the child is finished with all of her multiplication tables, she can make a cover and staple them together to make a fancy multiplication book! What an achievement!!

 

 

 


About Miranda

* Pisces. Eclectic. Indigo. Mother. Wife. Teacher. Herbalist. Scientist. Fantasy. Outdoors. Ocean. Crafty. Dreamer. * Found out more in the About section.

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