Teaching Arrays and Additive Thinking – A Multiplication Maths Lesson Plan


Summary of Lesson Plan:

In this lesson plan, students begin the concept of multiplication by using arrays to begin looking at additive/repeated addition. They then branch into recalling their multiplication facts, using flash cards, graph paper and scissors.

Australian Curriculum Links:

Year 3 Mathematics:
  • Recall multiplication facts of two, three, five and ten and related division facts (ACMNA056)

Lesson Plan Sequence:

In this lesson the learners will:

Use arrays to understand multiplication is repeated addition.

Orientation 5  minutes

Guided Discovery

Explain rows and columns in arrays. Give students a problem, such as 3×4 and model this problem on graph paper using counters. Emphasize this as 3 groups of 4, so you need three lines with four counters in each line. Also show how this is repeated addition, such as 3×4 = 4+4+4.


Give students a range of problems to model on graph paper using counters. After students have modelled the problem they write the problem in their numeracy books along with repeated addition, such as 3×4 =/same as 4+4+4.


Graphing an Array: Give students graph paper and cards with multiplication problems for 2’s and 3’s times tables. Students cut out the problem and then cut out the matching array on graph paper to model the problem. Students stick the problem and the array into their numeracy books and write the answer to each problem.


  • Support: Students work in the lower 2’s and 3’s time tables.
  • Extend: Students work in the upper 2’s and 3’s time tables.

Reflection 5minutes

  • Share/Explain/Justify/Reflect: Ask students to share their work with the class? Did you find these activities useful in learning about multiplication?
  • Consolidate: Misconceptions?  
  • Challenge/Extend: Who thinks they can now go onto more challenging multiplication? What is 6×7? How many rows and how many columns would a 6×7 array have?


  • Observation and Anecdotal Notes
  • Review graph paper for understanding





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