The array

The learning object L108 The array: go figure explains what an array is and introduces the terms row and column. It then shows a real-life example of an egg carton with two rows of six eggs making the dozen. This is the starting point for an activity that begins with 2 \(\times\) 6 arrays.

Arrays for multiplication explained using an egg carton (a six by two array).

Screen grab from L108 The array: go figure.
© Education Services Australia, 2011

The resource includes assessment questions such as: Imagine you have a carton that has two rows of six eggs. How many eggs do you have in total? How did you work this out? Did you count, or add, or multiply?

However, using an egg carton (with either 12 or 10 cups) and counters or plastic eggs, students could be asked to explore and justify many more connections:

  • addition and subtraction as inverse operations
  • multiplication and division as inverse operations
  • multiple addition and multiplication
  • multiple subtraction and division
  • connections between addition, fractions and percentages
  • the commutative nature of addition and multiplication
  • the non-commutative nature of division and subtraction.