Crafting Multiplication and Division Models with with Marissa Johnston



Learning Objectives

CCSS.Math.Content.3.OA.C.7 Fluently multiply and divide within 100, using strategies such as the relationship between multiplication and division (e.g., knowing that 8 × 5 = 40, one knows 40 ÷ 5 = 8) or properties of operations. By the end of Grade 3, know from memory all products of two one-digit numbers.

Guiding ideas

Opening Slideshow Materials: Math notebooks and pencils (colored pencils and graph paper are good for this too) Whiteboard and markers On the slideshow (see Supporting Files section), you will find two Minecraft math models that show the inverse relationship between division and one for multiplication. During the discussion, you should talk about:

a. How these two models are related?

b. Which math model is division and which one is multiplication?

c. Why does the division math model have one group in a different color? (That group shows the answer)

d. What are the number families?

The students should record the following information in their math notebooks:

a. Documented the answers for the four questions listed above

b. Drawings of the math model labeled correct equation.

c. Number families Once students have answered the four questions, unveil the Big Idea:

Multiplication and division are in the same family.

Student activities

Building the Sky Map To set up the game map, students enter the Minecraft World at night in Creative mode. Next they will claim their bed by sleeping in it. Next they will build at least six math models that show the inverse relationship between multiplication and division (three for multiplication and three for division). All the math models must be labeled with the equation and name. If students finish, they can keep building math models to help fill out the game map. Because we are playing in the sky, the more builds to walk on, the better. They can also add redstone traps to their math models.

No bedrooms: meaning, you cannot encase your bed in blocks so you cannot leave and your opponent cannot enter. There must be at least one way in and one way out.

Peer Review Tell students we need to check our work and to fly around and peer review your classmates’ math models. After examining the model, label it with the name of the reviewer and the equation the reviewer saw. Meaning if the reviewer saw something different than the creator, there will be different equations. Once all students have labeled at least six math models, and differences found in peer review has been resolved, start the game. For information on how to play the Math Bed Wars mini-game, please see the Supporting Files section.


1) How did you strategically build your math models?

2) Was the division math model beneficial in the game?

3) How was the multiplication math model beneficial in the game?

4) How are multiplication and division a family?

Performance expectations

1. The student was able to build and explain Minecraft math models that show the inverse relationship between multiplication and division.

2. The student was able to label their Minecraft math models with correct equations with slates.

3. The student was able to peer review the Minecraft math models and slates of others to check for accuracy.

4. The student was able to add design purpose to their Minecraft math models by using them strategically in the game.

5. The student was able to explain unexpected patterns such as the commutative or distributive properties by looking at the models.


  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking


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