Lesson plan

Skip Counting to Understand Multiplication

Teach your students to use skip counting as a strategy to multiply two single-digit factors.
Need extra help for EL students? Try theWays to Represent Skip CountingPre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try theWays to Represent Skip CountingPre-lesson.

Students will be able to use skip counting as a strategy to multiply two single-digit factors.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Ask your students to join you as you count by two aloud. Count to 20.
  • Tell students, "We just skip counted by two."
  • Review: What is Skip counting? (Counting by a number other than one.) Why do we do it? (To count numbers or items faster.)
  • Relate skip counting to multiplication (i.e., skip counting can help us understand multiplication because it helps us count in equal groups to reach a number, like counting ten groups of two to get to 20).
(10 minutes)
  • Draw a number line on the board and show students how they would make ‘jumps’ along the number line to skip count by twos.
  • Point out the equal sized jumps and explain that when they are skip counting, they are actually counting equal sized groups.
  • Display a hundreds chart inside plastic sleeve so that it is wipeable.
  • Count by twos and, using a wipeable pen, circle each multiple of two up to 20 on the chart.
  • Explain, "If I wanted to know what 2 times 7 was, I would count by twos 7 times." Demonstrate by counting seven circled boxes.
  • Wipe clean and repeat with multiples of 5.
  • Ask, "How can I figure out what 5 times 8 is?" Have students count with you as you count eight circled boxes to get to 40.
(10 minutes)
  • Have students pair up and hand out a Skip Counting to 100 worksheet to each student.
  • Guide students through one ‘round’ of the worksheet by skip counting to 100 by twos, colour coding each multiple.
  • With their partner, have students skip count by three, colour coding the multiples as they count.
  • Stop between each round of skip counting and ask students to use the numbers they colour coded on their chart to identify a product (i.e. what is 7 times 12?).
  • Continue until all factors to nine are colour coded in different colors.
(20 minutes)
  • Hand out the Skip Count to Multiply worksheet and review the example.
  • Have students complete the worksheet independently.
  • Circulate and offer support as needed.
  • Go over the worksheet with the class.


  • Provide a hundreds chart with some multiples highlighted and have students fill in missing multiples using skip counting.
  • Review multiples of two, five, and 10 using the Skip Counting Chart worksheet.


  • Have students skip count starting at a number greater than 100 (i.e., skip count by threes, starting at 246).
(5 minutes)
  • In small groups of five to seven, have students skip count popcorn style by having each successive student shout out a multiple of a given number (i.e. student one says 6, student two says 12, student three says 18). Encourage students to skip count as high as possible.
  • Listen in to groups to check for understanding.
(5 minutes)
  • Show students the video of skip counting songs or teach them to sing along using a CD (see suggested media).

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