Napier’s Bones are a manually operated calculator created by John Napier in 1612. This calculator is based on Lattice Multiplication and helps math learners with multiplying large numbers by a single digit number.
Math learners! Start identifying multiplication patterns by making your own set of Napier’s Bones!
- Napier’s Bones Paper Template: https://tinyurl.com/rh5xdajt
- Writing utensil (pencil or pen)
- Popsicle sticks (optional)
- Glue or Tape (optional)
- Print out the Napier’s Bone Template on cardstock or regular paper: https://tinyurl.com/rh5xdajt -be sure to print at 100%
- Write your multiplication table on the bones. Write the tens in the digit above the diagonal and the ones digit below the diagonal, as shown.
- Cut out your bones and glue them onto your popsicle sticks.
- Use our information sheet (tinyurl.com/napierinfo) to learn how to use your bones and to run this activity with other math learners! (Information Sheet is available in both English and Spanish.)
Have access to a makerspace? Use this SVG file to create your own set of wooden Napier’s Bones: https://tinyurl.com/napiersvg
To learn more and see other versions of Napier’s Bones Calculator check out the following sites: