Saturday, January 4, 2020

Multiplication Chart with Pictures

In the story I'm writing, Althea remembers a multiplication chart that was posted in their bathroom. It had cool pictures around the edges for many of the facts.

  • 2x3 was a 6-pack of soda.
  • 2x6 was a carton of eggs.
  • 8x8 was a chessboard.
  • The fives were sometimes collections of nickels, but 5x12 was the 60 minutes on a clock, and 5x6 was time too.

I thought I knew of more iconic sets like these, but I can't think of any more as good as these. I'm hoping for help. Do you have images in your head for any of the multiplication facts?

Maybe threes will be 3-leaf clovers. 6 of them have 18 petals. That doesn't seem nearly as iconic as the ones above, though.

Fours could be legs on dogs. 6 dogs have 24 legs. Twos could be eyes on friends...

What are your favorite images for multiplication facts?


  1. 3x3 - tic tac toe game.
    2x5 - two hands.
    2x12 - 24-hour day. (Maybe a picture of sun+moon.)
    3x4 - an egg carton but with the eggs grouped in 4s =)
    7s can be groups of weeks on a calendar, e.g. 2 weeks = 14 days, 3 weeks = 21 days, 4 weeks = 28 days.

  2. I'm getting lots of comments on facebook, and I looked on Maria Droujkova's Natural Math site. I saw the tictac toe, and we talked on fb about hands and fingers. But weeks is golden! (2x12 and 3x4 might be good ones too.) Thank you!

  3. (6 x 5) + (5 x 4) I know, it's a bit more than you were looking for. Recognize this? It's the pattern of stars on a US flag. In grade school, we were asked to draw a flag, and most kids drew 5x10 which was the wrong pattern, and others settled on 7 x 7, which was official for the one year between Alaska Jan 3, 1959 and Hawaii, July 4, 1960. I was the only student who got the pattern correct, by recalling it was two overlapped rectangles with those dimensions.

  4. Yeah, it won't work as an image, but I love that your visual sense helped you see it. That makes me wonder if this chart will be more valuable than I had been thinking.


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