Guided Lessons

# Associative Property of Multiplication

Teach your students to recognise and use the associative property of multiplication.
Need extra help for EL students? Try theExplore the Associative Property of MultiplicationPre-lesson.

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Need extra help for EL students? Try theExplore the Associative Property of MultiplicationPre-lesson.

Students will be able to apply the associative property to multiply single-digit factors.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
(5 minutes)
• Ask students what the word AssociateMeans. Use it in a sentence. For example, "I associate with Matthew during recess," or "We often associate the colour blue with sadness." Give students a moment to discuss the word with peers.
• Call on a few students to give a definition for the word AssociateAnd then develop a meaning with the class (i.e. joined or connected)
• On the board, draw a quick picture to illustrate the word (i.e. draw two people holding hands)
• Explain: Today we are going to explore the Associative property of multiplication.
• Write the name of the property on the board and underline the word Associative.
(10 minutes)
• Remind students that we can group numbers using parentheses.
• Explain: The Associative property of multiplicationStates that an equation will have the same product regardless of how the factors are grouped.
• Write the definition on the board for student reference.
• Give an example, like (2 x 5) x 8 = 2 x (5 x 8). Solve each equation and show the students the product for each is 80.
• Point out that the factors are the same, and in the same order, but they are grouped differently.
• Write a second example on the board, like 3 x (2 x 4) = (3 x 2) x 4. Then solve.
• Summarize: When solving multiplication problems, factors can be grouped in any combination and it will not change the product. This is called the Associative property of multiplication.
(10 minutes)
• Pair students with a partner.
• Hand out strips of paper, four pieces of macaroni pasta, and glue to each set of partners.
• Have students work with their partner to write an equation with three matching factors on either side of the equal sign (i.e. 4 x 5 x 6 = 4 x 5 x 6) leaving room between numbers.
• Instruct students to use their macaroni as parenthesis and glue them into their equation so that it illustrates the associative property ( i.e. (4 x 5) x 6 = 4 x (5 x 6))
• Instruct partnerships to solve each side of the equation and discuss their conclusion about the placement of the parentheses.
(20 minutes)
• Hand out the It’s Associative worksheet.
• Complete the first problem with the class, then instruct students to complete the worksheet independently.
• Circulate as students work and offer support as needed, then review the worksheet as a class.

Support:

• Provide partially completed problems, with parentheses around one set of factors, and have students add in parentheses to show the associative property.

Enrichment:

• Have students use the internet to research other properties of multiplication.
(5 minutes)
• Have students make a comic or picture equation showing the associative property (see resources for an example).
• Collect and check for understanding.
(5 minutes)
• Ask students, "What does the associative property help us understand about multiplication?"
• Discuss answers as a class.
• Some answers might include: Factors can be grouped in any combination, the product doesn’t change as long as the factors are the same, and multiplication has similar properties to addition.