Lesson Plan

Draw and Tell Multiplication Arrays

Use technology and art to practice math multiplication facts. The lesson includes using construction paper, glue, and scissors, and the technology of an iPad app.
Mary Pat V.
Classroom teacher
Lietz Elementary School
San Jose, United States
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My Subjects Math, Science, Arts

Students will be able to:

Use paper to model a mathematical array whose product is greater than ten.

Use an iPad to take a picture of their array and find it in the photos app.

Use the iPad app: Draw and Tell.  Students will upload their mathematical array, write their name on the picture, use the stickers in the app to decorate their picture and finally use the app to record an observation or wonder about their array.

Grades 3 – 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes


PREPARATION: Cut multiple colors of construction paper into 3" X 18" strips.  You'll need to cut enough for your entire class to have several choices.  

Have out multiple colors of 12" X 18" construction paper, scissors, and glue sticks for the building of the array.


Student Instructions

Use the color construction paper to design a building. 

The squares or rectangles you cut out will represent windows on a building.

Use the large construction paper to make the base for your building.  

Use the small strips to cut out windows. Glue these in an orderly manner on the large piece of paper.  You should have even rows and columns.

Record your math fact on the building.

Use the Draw and Tell app to record information and wonderings about your math fact or multiplication in general.


Show examples of Multiplication arrays (the Internet has many examples of "array cities") and tell students they will be creating an array demonstrating a math fact with a product greater than ten.  Explain that they can be creative in designing their building but the math fact array must be obvious. 

The site listed above is just one of many math array cities that teachers have created.

Student Instructions

Think about what is going to make their class city stand out?  (Answers such as "everyone will make something different", or "we all need to contribute")

Share your wonderings about the project.

Share your observations about the various array cities you see.


Activity: Creating

Show students how to cut a large piece of paper to make the building base.  Then show students how to use the small strips of paper to make windows.  Remind students how to use glue sticks.  Have a discussion regarding multiplication facts and how to make an array.  Will it be an array if the rows and columns don't line up?  Can you have different numbers of items in different rows or columns?  Ask why this might be important?


Student Instructions

Use the color construction paper to design a building. 

The squares or rectangles students cut out will represent windows on a building.

The large construction paper to make the base for your building.  

The small strips to cut out windows. These should be glued in an orderly manner on the large piece of paper.  Students should have even rows and columns. (This can be used for authentic measurement of knowledge).

Write your name and the math fact on the building.


Share the slide deck - it provides instructions for the Draw and Tell app.

Student Instructions

Listen and share your observations and wonderings about the Draw and Tell App.


Walk around the classroom checking the work of the students.  Ask each student to explain their array. Encourage students who have demonstrated understanding to add creativity to their buildings.

Provide assistance to students who do not line up their pieces of paper.  Explain how the arrangement of carefully placed paper allows for easy math calculations.

Student Instructions

Use the construction paper to make your array.  Be sure to use a product that is greater than ten.  If you use a higher number, you will have a lot of work to do!

Be sure to line up your windows in straight lines.

Be sure to take a horizontal photo of your work.  It will automatically show up in photos.

When you use the Draw and Tell app, you may find a quiet place to record your observations and wonderings.



Activity: Presenting

Ask students to share their creations by displaying their iPad work on the big screen.  Alternatively, the teacher could upload the work to SeeSaw or gather all the app work in one place and share that with the students at a later date.

Ask students what successes and frustrations they had.  I always stress the importance of problem-solving. Failure is an opportunity to learn.  Ask students who feel like they weren't successful to think about what he or she needs to be successful.

Be sure to display the work as a city - they look great on the wall, especially with a dark background!

Student Instructions

Participate in the class discussion.

Be sure to compliment/comment on the work of your peers.

Share your observations and wonderings.