Aboriginal Perspectives


Strategies to Determine a Product

Alison Kimbley


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Subject Area:




Grade Level:


Content (topic):

Exploring Multiplication and Products


Outcome N4.3:

Demonstrate an understanding of multiplication of whole numbers limited to numbers less than equal to 10 by: 

  • Applying mental mathematics strategies.
  • Explaining the results of multiplying by 0 and 1.


  1. Explain the strategy used to determine a product.

  2. Explain the strategy used in a given solution to a product.

  3. Explain the property for determining the answer when multiplying numbers by one.

Mathematical Processes:


Lesson Preparation
Equipment/ materials:  

Advanced Preparation:

Activity/Lesson Ideas:  

Discuss the significance of beads with the students. For example beading has been an important part of First Nations culture for approximately 8 000 years prior to European contact.   Beads were made of shell, pearl, bone, teeth, stone and fossil stems. Glass beads were introduced as part of First Nation and Métis culture when the explorers came from Europe and brought seed and glass beads as trading items. 

Explain to students that each of the tribes had distinct designs, patterns and approaches therefore collections of First Nations bead work art includes many different designs, styles, and stitches. In Saskatchewan, the Plains Cree use a lot of symmetrical patterns and distinct geometrical shapes.

Here is an example of a simple loom.

empty loom

beaded loom

The students can use four columns on the graph paper to simulate the loom. The students can use graph paper and pony beads to represent the loom as in the diagram or they can use graph paper and colored markers or pencil crayons. Have the students use two colors of pony beads or two colored markers  to create a pattern of their own on the simulated loom. Here is the start of one such pattern

pony beads

Have the students continue their patterns for seven rows. When the pattern is competed ask the students without counting, how many beads are on their loom?

Ask the students how they came to this answer?

Have students to come to the front and demonstrate how they came to the answer. Possibilities may include for example:
4 × 5 = 20, 4 × 2 = 8,  20 + 8 = 28.

Ask the students how many beads it would take to make nine rows and how they arrived at the answer.

Reinforce the fact that this is a multiplication activity.

Ask the students how many beads it would take to make one row.

When the students respond that four beads are in one row ask the students to explain the property for determine the answer when multiplying numbers by one.