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A World Without Maths

A World Without Maths is a collection of animated films exploring multiplication and division.

Alongside each, there is more information about the content of the film, and suggestions of how it could be used in the classroom.

These resources are suitable for use with pupils aged 5-7.

The films are hosted on an external, non-BBC platform. The BBC cannot take any responsibility for recommendations or content promoted by third party sites.

1. What is multiplication?

1. Teacher resources

Multiplication Boy explains how multiplication is simply repeated addition. He helps Dave work out how many bricks he needs to build a new wall for Mrs Sharma.

Teaching Maths?

Children could explore multiplication problems linked to the story, using objects or pictures to support their understanding. For example: Dave drinks 5 cups of tea a day, and has 2 sugar cubes in each cup. How many sugar cubes will Mrs Sharma need to keep Dave going for the day? How many groups of 2 will you need? How might you write out the calculation?

Some children might use a numberline to jump on in steps of the number they are multiplying.

2. Counting in multiples of two, five and ten

2. Teacher resources

Multiplication Boy and Divider Girl keep their maths superpowers sharp with a competition to count in twos, fives and tens. Looking around the world, they count objects that come in multiples.

Teaching Maths?

Children could use objects or pictures to count in twos, fives and tens. They could go outside and look for objects that appear in twos, fives or tens, or gather things to create groups of twos, fives and tens (leaves, sticks, pebbles).

They could arrange the objects in groups or arrays and label each group with the multiplication calculation. This might be extended for some children to begin to explore the inverse division calculations.

3. How to use arrays to multiply

3. Teacher resources

Mr Sharma needs to buy new pencils for the school, but they only come in boxes of 5. How does he know how many he’s got? Multiplication Boy helps him work it out, using arrays to multiply.

Teaching Maths?

Children could continue the learning with multiplication problems based on the story. For example: Mr Sharma has got all the pencils he needs, but he also wants some paper. He has 3 packets of paper, and in each packet there are 10 pieces of paper. How many pieces of paper is that in total? What is the calculation? How can you show this as an array?

Children could use counters, pegs or images to create arrays to help them to solve similar multiplication problems.

4. How to use mental methods to multiply

4. Teacher resources

Multiplication Boy shows Charlie's parents how to do mental multiplication in order to save the birthday party from disaster. He works out how to solve multiplication challenges even though he is not sure about his times tables.

Teaching Maths?

Children might explore multiplications problems where the answers are just outside their current knowledge of the times tables. For example, you might set out a small pile of toys and a set of party bags and try this problem: ‘Mr and Mrs Sharma really need some help planning the rest of Charlie’s party! There are 11 children coming to the party. They want to put two toys in each party bag. What is the calculation we need to do? How many toys will they need?’

5. Using mental methods to do division

5. Teacher resources

Charlie has 25 balloons and needs to share them with five people. Divider Girl gives Charlie some handy tips so he can use mental division to divide them up.

Teaching Maths?

Children could act out sharing balloons equally, like Charlie in the story. Or use other objects to share equally between each other. Ask the children to carefully count out how many objects there are before they start. If the children are not yet familiar with remainders, make sure that the number can be equally shared between the number of children in the group.

They could also solve problems related to the story, using pictures or their multiplication facts.

6. The relationship between multiplication and division

6. Teacher resources

Divider Girl and Multiplication Girl show how multiplication and division are related as they help Baz and Dave solve a tricky problem with kittens.

Teaching Maths?

You could present your class with the same problems as the story and give them toys and boxes or sorting hoops to act out the problem.

They might use an existing array to talk about how many dots are in each row, how many rows there are and how many dots there are in total. They might write the related multiplication and division sentences for the array.

Pupils could use objects or drawings to create their own arrays to show the relationship between multiplication and division.

7. Dividing using repeated subtraction

7. Teacher resources

Mrs Barker has just bought some yummy treats for her dogs. There is just one problem, if the dogs don’t get the same number of treats each, they get seriously cranky. Divider Girl uses repeated subtraction to help Mrs Barker solve the problem.

Teaching Maths?

You could get your class to continue their learning by solving real life division problems. They could use objects, pictures or arrays to share out amounts equally. Some children might use a numberline to do repeated subtraction to divide.

The problems could be based on the story they have watched. For example: Can you help Mrs Barker feed her rabbits? There are 20 carrots and 5 pet rabbits. They must all get the same amount or they will not be happy! How many carrots will each rabbit get? What method will you use to solve the problem? How might you show this in a picture? As a calculation?