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Common Multiples

common multiples
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  • Multiples sheets, pages 97-99 (1 set per student)

  • Glue sticks, optional (1 per student)

  • Markers (1 box per student)

  • The completed project prepared by the teacher before the lesson


This lesson aims primarily to build students' understanding of multiples, specifically the difference between "common" multiples and "uncommon" multiples. The lesson also reinforces understanding of multiplication facts (4x0 = 0, 4x1 = 4, 4x2 = 8, etc.).

Multiples are the numbers that occur when one skip counts (for instance, the multiples of 4 are 0, 4, 8, etc.). The topic of multiples is normally taught using separate 0-99 number charts. Typically, students complete a multiples of 2 chart, a multiples of 3 chart, a multiples of 4 chart, etc.

common multiples 2

The strength of this traditional method is that it allows for generalized comparisons of number chart patterns. However, the limitation of this method is that it hinders students' ability to make more specific comparisons. For instance, if students wanted to see how frequently the number 24 appears as a multiple, they would need to flip through and observe many different number charts. In other words, finding how frequently the number 24 appears as a multiple, or how rarely the number 13 appears as a multiple, is inconvenient.

The Math Art method of teaching multiples supplements the traditional method by consolidating separate charts onto a single (albeit large) sheet of paper. Furthermore, the contents of each chart now appear as unbroken, parallel number lines, making individual number analysis much easier (see picture on page 17).

The Project

The students (or the teacher beforehand) begin the project by gluing the three pieces of the chart together (pages 97, 98 and 99). The margins of each sheet can be cut off to create a more continuous chart.

common  multiples 4

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activity book