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Minecraft Math: Multi-Digit Multiplication with Cara Alstrom


In this class, we will use math models and technology to demonstrate multiplication strategies. Then you’ll make a video of them sharing it with the class.

SKU: 1048 Category:


Students will solve and build area models of multi digit multiplication problems. Game/Play NGSS Minecraft  courses Online Project-Based


Learning Objectives

  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.NBT.B.5 Multiply a whole number of up to four digits by a one-digit whole number, and multiply two two-digit numbers, using strategies based on place value and the properties of operations. Illustrate and explain the calculation by using equations, rectangular arrays, and/or area models.


Guiding Ideas

Start the lesson by discussing the following with your class:

1) How do we multiply large numbers?

2) What shape does multiplication make?

3) Can we use rectangles to multiply? Why or why not?

Big Idea: Understanding area models can help us multiply large numbers.


Student Activities

Teachers should play the in preparation so they are familiar with the math models. The goal of this lesson is to prove why and how the multi digit multiplication algorithm works. It is best if the students have had some practice with the algorithm on paper before running this lesson. These math models are a great way to bridge the conceptual and procedural knowledge of the multiplication algorithm.

To begin, load the attached world focused around Multiplying Multi-Digit Numbers.

Students will start in a single player world. They will watch instructional videos and encounter seven problems in Minecraft. Students are encouraged to co-teach and share their knowledge with one another. It is also encouraged to have students be writing and solving the problems on paper as they build their math models.

Video tutorials

1) Problem 1 and 2: Problems were both the area model and the math problems are given

2) Problem 3 and 4: Problems were the area model is given and the student must read the area model to find the math problem.

3) Problem 5 and 6: Problems were the math problem in given and the student needs to build an area model

4) Problem 7: Make a video of you building and area model and explain how it works

5) Students will document their work in portfolios and structure block files.

Bonus: Make a Video

When a team finishes all the problems they will make a “how to” video of explaining how they solved the problem. This is a bonus activity but each person should try to make the video. If a student finishes a video they should help a teammate make one too.


1) How do rectangles help solve multiplication problems?

2) How is base 10 helpful in solving multiplication problems?

3) Explain and area model?

Play Bed Wars (20 minutes)

(See attached game rules sheet)

1) Put students on teams and build area models on the Bed Wars Sky Map

2) Label and peer review other students math put ladders on area models

3) Play the game


Performance Expectations

1) The student was able to multiply multi digit to single digit whole numbers.

2) The student was able to build math models illustrate and explain calculations strategies with area models.

3) The student was able to make a video of them creating a math model.



  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking


External References

Common Core Standard Link

Engage NY Link

Associated Engage NY module and lesson.


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