Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Even and Odd Numbers

Martha Cordell
Bay District Schools


First graders use patterns in order to identify and recognize even and odd numbers.


The student classifies and models numbers as even or odd.


-Graphing floor mat
-Greene, Susan. [Count On Golf]. Troyn, MI: Excel Publications, 1998.
-Edwards, Frank B. [Mortimer Mooner Makes Lunch]. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books, 1995.
-Various manipulatives such as color blocks, teddy bear counters or other counters, Unifix cubes or other colored, linking cubes, and tiles
-Computer software to practice with odd and even numbers
-Student math journals


1. Collect enough manipulatives for centers. Some possibilities are color blocks, teddy bear counters or other counters, Unifix cubes, tiles, and linking cubes. Separate linking cubes by colors prior to the lesson.
2. Prepare or purchase a floor graphing mat. The floor graph can be acquired from a math catalogue or you can make your own. Take a white sheet of butcher paper and divide it into 2 columns and boxes using permanent markers.
3. Make or set up student math journals. My students' journals consist of a composition notebook. The students solve small problems and respond either with pictures or by explaining the problem throughout the year. In this lesson, students are given a problem such as, “Is 9 odd or even?” Then they show the set that answers the question.


1. Read [Count on Golf] to the entire class. Use this as a starting place to review skip counting.

2. Introduce the graphing floor mat. Invite students to take off their shoes and place them on the mat forming pairs. Count with the students as they place their shoes on the graph. Repeat. For example, “Two shoes make 1 pair, four shoes make 2 pairs. Each shoe has a partner. Every time a shoe has a partner we call the number even. Now if we take a shoe away from the pair, that shoe will be by itself, and we call the number odd.”

3. Introduce linking cubes. Make sure that prior to this lesson, the linking cubes have been separated by colors.
Model for the students how to make sets with the linking cubes. Give examples of even and odd sets. Have students identify whether the set is odd or even.

4. Students then work at centers using manipulative building sets (See Materials) to model odd and even sets. Allow them to identify the set as even or odd.

5. Conclude the lesson by reading [Mortimer Mooner] to the entire class.


1. Formative assessment is teacher observation of students as they work at centers constructing odd or even sets and then classifying the sets as such.
2. Students at the computer center work on software to practice odd and even. I use the T.L.C. odd and even activity. Students should complete at least 90% correctly.
3. The journal entry demonstrates understanding of the even and odd concept. Students develop math stories in their journals to explain odd and even numbers. For example, “My friend has 5 lollipops. Does she have an even or an odd set?” Students then draw a picture to go along with their journal entry. (I use the math journal every day in my classroom and each student individually explains their responses to the problem given on that day.)
4. Another way of assessment is to individually ask students to show you an example of an odd or even set. (Since I do not have a paraprofessional, I let the students interview each other using a tape recorder and later on I can assess their responses and see which student needs further practice at understanding of the concept. Students are encouraged to use manipulatives as necessary.)
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