Free teaching resource

Array Match-Up Activity

Teach Starter Publishing
Google Slide, PDF | 15 pages | Grades: 3

This multiplication array game includes 15 sets of cards from 3 different categories: arrays, multiplication facts, and products.

Let’s get visual!

Multiplication arrays help students convert the abstract idea of mathematical operations into a concrete idea, allowing them to actually count the products of multiplication instead of imagining them.

To do that, we’ve taken the classic “Go Fish” card matching game and turned it into an engaging multiplication activity.

How to Play Our Multiplication Array Game   

The resource would be best used as a math center activity. After introducing how arrays and multiplication are related, the students can play this game with a partner or practice independently (see next section).

Players get their own hand of 7 cards, with the remainder going in a draw pile. Each round starts when one player asks another for a product represented on one of their own cards (e.g., Do you have 16?). If the other player has any card that contains the product of 16 (the array, the multiplication fact that equals 16, or the product 16), they must hand it over and the next player’s turn begins. If they do not have a matching multiplication card, one is drawn from the center pile and their turn is over.

When a player has a complete set (a matching array, multiplication fact, and product card), they place the set in front of them on their turn.

Play continues until there are no more cards left. The player with the most sets in front of them wins.

Have Some Extra Fun with More Multiplication Activities

Make more use of this multiplication array game to help students build their math skills.

Independent Play

As a math center activity for one player, the student can lay out all the cards and sort them into their matching multiplication facts, arrays, and products.

Memory Match

Bonus points for this version of the game as it helps students with their memorization skills! As a game for 2 players, students will shuffle all the cards and lay them out face down on a flat surface. Each player takes their turn flipping 3 cards at a time until either finds a matching set of cards (array, product, and multiplication fact), placing their matches aside to keep score. The plays with the most matches at the end of the game wins.

Draw It! Warm-Up/Exit Activity

This activity can be used as a formative assessment using just the multiplication fact cards.  Project the cards for your whole class to see (as many and as often depends on the duration of your multiplication lesson). On a separate sheet of paper, have each student write the product of the multiplication fact and draw their own array to represent the product.

Change the Difficulty Level if Needed

Challenge students by removing the product cards, leaving them to practice with only the multiplication facts and arrays cards.

Alternatively, you could also take out the array category cards, and have students just match the multiplication facts and products.

For students who are having difficulty with this operation, have them start by taking out the multiplication category and only match the array and product cards (totaling the number of objects in the array), then add in the multiplication fact later. Because the array cards are lined up to match the multipliers (e.g. the array card has 2 rows of 4 hearts to match the 2×4 multiplication card), it might be easier for them to visualize how the facts align with the arrays.

Easily Prepare This Resource for Your Students

Print the task cards on cardstock for added durability and longevity.

Cut out the task cards, and place them with the answer key cards and directions in a folder or large envelope for your math center or games area.

Before You Download

Please note this resource is available in Google Slides or as a PDF. An answer key is also included with this download.

This resource was created by Lauren Blankenship, a teacher in Florida and a Teach Starter Collaborator.


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