Grade Levels: 3-5

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 2-5, students will use BrainPOP Jr. and BrainPOP resources (including an online math game) to practice multiplying whole numbers and/or decimals. Students will identify patterns within a multiplication table and create their own multiplication tables with unique patterns.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Accurately multiply whole numbers and/or decimals.
  2. Identify patterns within a multiplication table.
  3. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  4. Look for and make use of structure.
  5. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.


  • Internet access for BrainPOP
  • Interactive whiteboard (or just an LCD projector)
  • Computers for students to use
  • Large sheet of paper or poster board for each pair or small group of students
  • Crayons or highlights
  • Scissors
  • Envelopes or plastic baggies to hold game pieces
  • Photocopies of the Graphic Organizer (optional)


This lesson plan uses a free online math game developed by Play Power Labs. Number Jumble is a puzzle game in which players find patterns in a multiplication table. The numbers in the table are all mixed up and need to be put back into the right position. This game helps strengthen students' conceptual understanding of multiplying either whole numbers or decimals, depending on which version of the game you select, and addresses multiple Common Core State Standards (CCSS), as identified in the objectives above.

To prepare for this lesson, explore the BrainPOP and/or BrainPOP Jr. movie topics related to this game, and determine which ones are most appropriate for your students and learning objectives. Explore the Number Jumble game and decide whether you would like your students to begin with whole numbers or decimals. As you familiarize yourself with the game, you'll notice that players must click a number tile they'd like to move and then click the location where they'd like to move it to. You can earn a time bonus for clearing the board quickly. Red number tiles earn double bonus points.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Use BrainPOP and/or BrainPOP Jr. movies to build background knowledge about multiplication. Younger children and students working below grade level may benefit from the Multiplication Movie Topics on BrainPOP Jr. to help them understand equal groups and arrays. You can show the Decimals, Exponents, or Factoring movies to more advanced students.

  2. Refresh students' understanding of multiplication tables by passing out the Graphic Organizer or allowing students to access it on computers and type directly into it. Set a timer, and challenge students to complete as much of the multiplication table as they can in a given time period.

  3. Allow students to work collaboratively to check their work against one another's papers or a completed multiplication table. Have students record their scores, and let them know they'll complete the same activity again later on in the unit so they can measure their progress.

  4. Talk with students about the patterns they see in the multiplication table. Students may want to use different color highlighters or crayons to mark the various patterns. You can also play the Multiplication Movie at this time to help students make connections about the meaning of multiplication and the patterns within a multiplication table.

  5. Project the Number Jumble game for the class to see and play one round together as a class. Demonstrate how to click the number tile you want to move and then click the space you want to move it to. Encourage students to notice patterns as they play and talk about how observing patterns serves as a strategy for game play.

  6. Allow students to explore the game on their own or with a partner for 5-20 minutes, depending on how much class time you have allotted.

  7. Challenge students to work collaboratively to create their own version of a Number Jumble puzzle. Provide a large sheet of paper or poster board for each pair or group. Have students create a multiplication table that is similar to one in the game, or an original table that follows a student-created pattern.

  8. Check students' work for accuracy, then have them cut apart each square to create movable pieces. Provide an envelope or plastic baggie for students to keep their pieces in.

  9. Have students trade their puzzles with one another and practice completing them as quickly as possible. Challenge students to identify the patterns in each table. You may want to keep the puzzles in your math center so students can explore them throughout the school year.

Extension Activities:

Encourage students to explore our other free online multiplication games in GameUp.