Expressions With Arrays

Starting with multiplication

Last week we started with arrays and multiplication and I feel that there is more to be said and done regarding this topic. One of my favorite activities to do in class is to give students task cards with different arrays and ask them to write equations/expressions for them. In a previous post, we shared some simple array task-cards where the students had to write the expressions and practice the properties of multiplication. Today I would like to share with you some more array task-cards, this time with the arrays placed in different shapes and arrangements like the ones below.

The first group of cards (like the above) requires the students to write the expressions based on how they see the arrangement. For example, for the shape below students will write 5×9, 3x3x5. There is no question or example on the cards to allow the teachers/parents to use them in different ways. You can start with repeated addition equations and move to multiplication.

In the second group of cards (like the ones below) the arrangement is partly marked with different colors to encourage the students to make different equations and practice the properties of multiplication with these different array shapes. For example, for the first card below the students might write 2x2x5, (2×4)+(3×4) or (4×2)+(6×2).

Many of these (above) cards can be used to model and practice division as well. In the third group of cards, the students are asked to color or circle the arrangements based on a given equation or color the arrangement and write the equation themselves.


We hope you find these task_cards useful. There are also some worksheets to print.

Find the pdfs to print or use digitally below.

Array worksheets

Array task-cards


  1. Pingback: Starting with multiplication- Arrays activities – Mathcurious

  2. I was interested to see the various arrangements here because my understanding of “array” is limited to rectangular arrangements of rows and columns.
    I like how these would encourage students to use the distributive property.

  3. I am amazed at your generosity and understanding of what works with students. Your activities provide equity, differentiation, and opportunities for all to learn!
    Thank you.

    Ann Asaro

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