Fantastic Factorials

Fantastic Factorials


Bashirah Seleman
Sultan Abdul Halim Secondary School
Jitra, Malaysia

Nor Shawalni Johari
Alam Shah Science School
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Lesson Feedback


The aim of this video lesson is to introduce the concept of factorials, and to show students that everyday events in their lives have so much to do with factorials - even if they do not realize it! During this video, students will learn about the large number of ways to arrange people and objects using the mathematical concept of factorials. This video lesson will begin with a story of a family vacation to Pulau Pinang, an island located 330 km from the city of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. In this video, lessons about using factorials are demonstrated through several challenges this family encounters during their vacation. A prerequisite for this lesson is knowledge of the multiplication rule of counting. During the classroom activities, students are asked to carry out collaborative learning challenges in groups of 6. These activities require students to arrange cards to show different factorial arrangements that can be made. The materials needed for this activity are very simple. We only need to provide a few pieces of blank or colored paper for each student. The lesson will take about 40 – 50 minutes to complete.

Instructor Biography

Bashirah Seleman is a teacher at the Sultan Abdul Halim Secondary School. She has been teaching since 1989 and has a wide range of experience in teaching Introductory Maths and Advanced Maths. Now she holds at her school the position as Head of the Technical and Vocational Department. Nor Shawalni Johari is also a teacher, working at the Alam Shah Science School in Kuala Lumpur. She began teaching Science and Mathematics in 2008. 

Additional Online Resources

The Math Forum: Factorials 1! - 30!
This page, provided on the site of the Math Forum@ Drexel University, provides a table of factorials from 1! – 30!.

This page of resources on the teaching of factorials is available on the site of WolframMathWorld, the Web’s most extensive mathematics resources.

Khan Academy: Counting, permutations, and combinations
This is a lesson from Khan Academy on Permutations.