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A Camping-Themed Math Project That Makes Multiplication Practice Fun

As a third grade teacher, it sometimes feels like you are teaching multiplication and division skills for nearly half the year. While students work to understand all the properties of multiplication and memorize all their math facts, you may feel like they need a little dose of fun to mix up your math routine. 

The good news for you is you don’t have to sacrifice rigor and standards-based learning while bringing excitement to your multiplication unit this year! 

Core Inspiration's Camp Array Architect Math Project guide with detailed visual instructions laying next to completed multiplication project sample.

Simply use the math project Camp Array Architects. As your students work on this project, you’ll see them loving every moment of math while you collect high-quality assessment data for your multiplication and division unit. 

This resource is perfect for third grade classrooms, but can also be used as enrichment for second grade learners. 

Let’s take a closer look at this multiplication project based learning resource


Project Overview

During this math project your third grade students will work toward becoming an Array Architect for Camp Array. This campground has been closed since 1975, but the owners are ready to reopen the gates to their beautiful mountain campground. 

Before they open, the owners want to redesign the campground so it has a fresh look and feel, and they’re looking for a special architect to get the job done. The most important detail: they want everything on the campground to be arranged in arrays, and equal groups!

As part of their job application process, students must create a campground map that includes a variety of arrays and equal groups, along with a campground directory that features all the equations and problem solving that corresponds with their unique design. 

Arrays & multiplication math project guide page showing introductory blurb that engages students in this cross-curricular project

This project based learning unit requires the application of students’ knowledge of equal groups, arrays, multiplication and division fact families, and properties of multiplication. Throughout the process of the Camp Array simulation, students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge through creative design, engage in rigorous problem solving incorporating their math knowledge, and build organization skills as they plan and execute this multi-day project.

Multiplication math project sample showing a camping-themed map of arrays laying next to a booklet that shows all the mathematical thinking connected to the map.


Math Skills Students Will Practice During This Multiplication & Arrays Project

The main focus of this math simulation is on third grade multiplication & division standards. Throughout the project, students will:

  • Fluently multiply and divide within 100, using strategies such as the relationship between multiplication and division.
  • Apply properties of operations as strategies to multiply and divide, including Commutative, Distributive, and Associative Properties.
  • Determine the unknown whole number in a multiplication or division equation relating three whole numbers. 
  • Use multiplication and division within 100 to solve word problems.
  • Interpret products & quotients of whole numbers. 

Camp Array Architects Simulation Steps

Here are the steps your students will take as they work toward becoming an Array Architect:

★ Sketch a campground map, which includes arrays and equal groups. During this step, your students will use the included checklist to guide them as they design a campground that includes a variety of arrays that represent the different properties of multiplication. They will then label the arrays and equal groups on the campground map.

Multiplication and arrays math project map laying on the table next to a checklist of the types of arrays required for the project.

★ Create a Campground Directory that shows the mathematical thinking behind each array included in their campground design. Students will identify the multiplication sentence, repeated addition sentence, and fact family related to each array on their map. Then they will solve word problems that require them to analyze each array, and its relation to the various multiplication properties (Associative, Commutative, Distributive, and Identity Properties).

Core Inspiration's Camp Array Architect project guide showing detailed visual instructions that guide students in being able to write about the arrays they've designed.

★ Complete a self-assessment of their project using a three-part rubric. Each of the project deliverables described above has its own section on the rubric so students can participate in a very specific and fair assessment process as they demonstrate their learning.

Camp Array Architects project rubric laying on the table next to instructions for how students can self-assess and reflect on their project work.


Saving You Time & Making Differentiation Possible 

Want to incorporate a project into your multiplication unit, but crunched for instructional time?

This resource makes prepping for project based learning a breeze and makes implementation seamless. The detailed visual instructions on each page of the guide make it possible for students to complete their unique project with maximum independence so you have the time you need to teach or reteach essential multiplication and division skills to small groups.

Core Inspiration's Camp Array Architect Math Project Components Overview

Scoring and providing students with feedback is also when using the included rubric. Each of the three project phases: map design, festival directory creation, and work habits have its own rubric so students can participate in the assessment process as they demonstrate learning, and you can provide them with specific feedback about their work.


Ideas for Using This Multiplication Project Based Learning Guide 

Every step of the Winter Wonderland Array Architects experience is outlined in a project guide that includes clear visuals and step-by-step instructions. Rubrics and reflection prompts will encourage your students to reach their learning goals. 

Camp Array multiplication project rubric laying  next to completed campground directory.

This project gives students the opportunity to exercise the standards for mathematical practice, share their creativity, and display understanding in unique and engaging ways.  

The format of this math simulation guide makes it an ideal resource for:

★ At your seat & hands-on enrichment during math workshop or guided math

★ Math center work

★ Digital learning (a Google Slides version of the entire project is included) 

★ Parent volunteer or teacher’s aide enrichment station

★ A focal point for a multiplication & arrays room transformation 

★ An alternative assessment that allows you to measure student understanding on a deeper level as a culmination to your multiplication & arrays unit.  


Bring This Camp-Themed Multiplication Project to Your 3rd Grade Classroom

Whether you’re looking to bring a little life to your multiplication unit, searching for an activity that provides enrichment to your high flyers while you teach lessons to small groups, or you want a new way to assess your students’ multiplication array skills, you and your students will love Camp Array Architects! 

Visit the Camp Array resource page to see a full preview so you can learn more about this fun math project. 

If you have any questions about this math simulation, let me know in the comments below.

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I’m Laura Santos

I’ve been an elementary teacher for ten years, and love sharing tips and resources that make differentiated learning more manageable for you. Thank you for visiting.

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