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String Art and Math: A Project in Multiplication

Multiplication math facts are generally introduced in the second or the third grade. Occasionally, some students have difficulty learning them. There are many ways to help such students either in the classroom or outside of the class remedially. One such way that has motivated students to practice and learn the factors of multiplication is with string art.

The possibilities of geometric designs are virtually unlimited. Once a geometric design has been created, the points at which line segments meet can be given a numeric value. Interestingly, the points at which line segments intersect on these geometric designs have mathematical equations. In the earlier grades, a set of values is given to solve that will be part of the directions in creating the geometric design. Once the exercise in multiplication is done, students can proceed to create their geometric design. In addition to reviewing and practicing the multiplication factors, students must follow the directions in order to successfully complete the project.

To complete the project, each student will need a circle template that is copied on cardstock. The student will then perform the multiplication facts on the worksheet. Once complete, the student will use the answers from the worksheet and using embroidery thread and a tapestry needle pull the thread in and out. The student will continue the process until all the values have been used. At the end, the students will be amazed at the creation.

The template can be modified accordingly. In doing so, a teacher may use this project prior to Christmas and have the students make ornaments. The template should be reduced and reversed so that the numbers are not visible. Once again, the possibilities are endless and the students will enjoy creating something which resulted from their math factors.

An example of the question sheet with diagram filled in
This is an example of the question sheet with the answers and diagram filled in. Click image for larger version.

Click here to download a sample work sheet.

The work sheet is in PDF format. This requires Adobe Reader.

Article by Mary Bitner.

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