Simple Multiplication Word Problems

When students begin studying multiplication, most teachers require that they memorize their facts. But they also need to learn to apply multiplication to real life. World problems are a good way to do this. Keep reading for tips on formulating multiplication word problems, as well as samples for multiplication beginners.

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What Are Some Tips for Writing Simple Multiplication Word Problems?

In third grade, students are just beginning to study multiplication. They begin with their zero, one and two multiplication facts and continue up to 11 or 12. Keep this in mind when you're creating your own word problems at home. Begin by using single digit numbers, and keep it simple. Especially at the beginning of third grade, the problems should only require one or two steps.

You may want to have counters available for your child because it can be difficult to visualize multiplication. In addition, consider using fun topics that will appeal to your child. For instance, try to incorporate story problems that feature animals or sports.

Simple Multiplication Word Problems

One Step

1. A magician has three doves. He casts a spell that doubles the number of birds. How many doves does he have after the spell is cast?

2. There are three dogs walking in the park. Each dog has two spots. How many spots are there in all?

3. You and two friends each lost a tooth over the weekend. What is the total number of teeth lost?

4. Your grandmother has four tulips in her garden. Each tulip has six petals. How many tulip petals are there in all?

Two Steps

1. There are two bouquets of flowers. Each bouquet has three pink flowers and two yellow flowers. How many flowers are there in all?

This problem requires addition and multiplication. First, you must figure out how many flowers are in each bouquet using the following equation: 3 + 2 = 5. Then, because there are two bouquets, you have to multiply five by two, so there are ten flowers in all.

2. At the zoo, there are five female ostriches and five male ostriches. How many legs do they have among them?

For this problem, you must first add 5 + 5 to determine that there are ten ostriches. Then, you multiply ten by two because each ostrich has two legs. The final answer is 20 legs.

Real World Application

Shopping can provide an opportunity to apply multiplication to real life. Take your child to the store with you, and ask him or her to calculate prices using multiplication and addition. This will likely be challenging for third graders; however, you can simplify the process by using only whole numbers. For instance, if a carton of milk is $5.40, and you buy two of them, ask your child to calculate 2 x 5.

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