Math Story : Writing Multiplication Tables

Cirho’s Numbers Phobia

Cirho is a naughty and jolly child. He loves playing with his friends. 

But he has a weird phobia. A phobia? Yes! A phobia of numbers. He is afraid of numbers. But what does this phobia look like?

Once Squarho and Cirho were playing a game of arranging the cups in equal groups on a table. “How many cups did you use in total?” asked Squarho. “1,2,3,4…Ummm! What is there in counting? Let me make a big tower using the cups”, says Cirho ignoring his question. 

Another day Cirha and Cirho were counting their coins of value 2. “I have eight coins of value 2 making it 16 in total. How many do you have in total?” she asks. “1,2,3,4…Ummm! What is there in counting? Let us quickly go and buy some ice creams”, says Cirho ignoring her question again. 

The next day he visits Triho. “Hey, Triho! What are you doing?” he says. “Nothing much! I wanted to give a new look to my room. So I am just completing the tile design on this wall by placing the tiles in equal groups as you can see”, says Triho. “Wow! This looks beautiful. Can I join too?” he asks. 

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Triho arranges the tiles in groups of 2s. Cirho arranges them in groups of 3s. “How many tiles have you used in total?” asks Triho. “1,2,3,4… Umm! What is there in counting? Let me make a beautiful design out of it”, says Cirho ignoring Triho’s question.

“No no! This is going to be fun. Find the total number of tiles quickly”, encourages Triho. “Haha! What is there in counting? Making a new design is more fun than counting”, he says and continues designing his tiles. 

“Why do you run away from counting? Do you have a fear of numbers?” asks Triho curiously. “Yes! Whenever I start counting or find the total number of objects, it is like all the numbers start dancing on and I get confused”, says Cirho disappointedly. 

“Cirho you are so cute! It takes a lot of time for you to find the total objects because you count them one by one. What if I show you a magic trick to count faster?” says Triho. “A magic trick? Really? Wow! Yes please tell”, says excited Cirho. What do you think is the magic trick to count faster?

“Look here, there are 2 tiles in each row and there are 4 such rows. So I have used 8 tiles in total”, says Triho confidently. “How did you count so fast? Did you use the magic trick? I also want to learn this. Tell me”, says Cirho.

“Haha! Yes definitely. All I did was use repeated addition and i.e. multiplication. In the first row, there are 2 tiles. In the second row, there are 2 more tiles. Now the total number of tiles is 2+2 which can be written as 2✕2 as we are adding two twice. The answer here is 4. 

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Similarly, the third row has 2 more tiles. So the total number of tiles is 2+2+2 which can be written as 2✕3 as two is added thrice. The answer here is 6. Now can you try finding the total tiles till the fourth row?” says Triho. “Oh yes! It will be 2✕4 as 2+2+2+2 will give the total tiles here. The answer is 8″, says Cirho confidently. 

Triho continues to arrange the tiles on his wall. “7th row now! Adding 2 seven times will give me the total tiles here. So 2+2 +2.. Oh no! This is so time taking?” says Cirho. Can you help him find the total tiles using the multiplication method?

“Yes, to reduce this time and avoid adding 2 seven times, again and again, all you can do is remember 2×7 is 14. So there are 14 tiles in total now”, explains Triho. Cirho finally understands that math is all about shortcuts. He can use a multiplication table to avoid repeated addition every time. So simple. 

“Hurrah! This is so easy. The numbers in my head have stopped dancing too. Thanks a ton, Triho”, says Cirho. He wants to find the total number of tiles he has arranged in groups of 3. Can you help Cirho again? 

“See, you got it right this time. Isn’t this the best magic trick?” says Triho. Cirho is elated. “Yes, it is the best trick! To find the total objects, all I have to do is remember these multiplication tables. Hurrah!” he says. Triho is glad to help him. 

From that day onwards, Cirho never ran away from finding the total number of objects. He overcame his fear. The numbers in his head stopped dancing. He confidently finds the total number of objects now using the multiplication table. Facing fears is always fun. Do you agree?

We Learnt That…

  • The multiplication table shows the product of two numbers. 
  • To write the multiplication table of any number, we can use repeated addition. 
  • We should not run away from our fears, instead, we should face them bravely.

Let’s Discuss

  • What kind of phobia do I have?
  • How does Triho help me overcome my fear?
  • What are multiplication tables? How can you write them?
  • How we wrote multiplication tables of 2 and 3, similarly, can you write the tables of 4,5,6,7,8,9 and 10 using repeated addition?
  • Facing fears is always fun. Do you agree? Why or why not?

Please refer this guide by Fun2Do Labs for teaching multiplication tables to kids :