Shodor > Interactivate > Lessons > Factors


Students learn about factoring by using manipulatives and computer applets.


Upon completion of this lesson, students will:

  • understand the concept of a factor
  • identify factors of whole numbers
  • explain the relationship between factors, multiplication, divisors, and division

Standards Addressed:

Student Prerequisites

  • Technological: Students must be able to:
    • perform basic mouse manipulations such as point, click and drag
    • use a browser for experimenting with the activities

Teacher Preparation

  • access to a browser
  • access to pencil and paper

Key Terms

divisionThe inverse operation of multiplication
factorAny of the numbers or symbols in mathematics that when multiplied together form a product. For example, 3 is a factor of 12, because 3 can be multiplied by 4 to give 12. Similarly, 5 is a factor of 20, because 5 times 4 is 20
multiplesThe product of multiplying a number by a whole number. For example, multiples of 5 are 10, 15, 20, or any number that can be evenly divided by 5
multiplicationThe operation by which the product of two quantities is calculated. To multiply a number b by c is to add b to itself c times

Lesson Outline

  1. Focus and Review

    • Pass out 2 pieces of graph paper to each student.
    • Instruct the students to draw all possible rectangles with an area of 10 squares.
    • The students should draw squares with dimensions of 1x10, 2x5, 5x2, and 10x1.
    • Call on several students to draw their rectangles on the board.
    • Next, instruct the students to draw all possible rectangles with an area of 24 squares.
    • Continue having the students draw rectangles for different size areas until they recognize that there is a connection between the dimensions of the rectangles and the area of the rectangles.
    • Call on a student to explain this connection to the class.

  2. Objectives

    Students will demonstrate their ability to list the factors for different numbers.

  3. Teacher Input

    Explain to the class the term "factor."

  4. Guided Practice

    Work a few problems with the class demonstrating how to using the Factorize and the Factorize 2 applets.

  5. Independent Practice

    Instruct the students to work 10 computer generated problems from each applet.

  6. Closure

    Review the term factor and some different methods that can be used to find the factors of a given number.

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