Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Don't Open That Door!

Tammy Hales


Students act out the story THE DOORBELL RANG by Pat Hutchins in a small group setting to learn about parts of a whole.


The student uses objects to represent whole numbers or commonly used fractions and relates these numbers to real-world situations.


-Baked cookies (3 batches for 6 to 8 students in small groups)
-Cookie tray
-Chart (See attachment.)
-THE DOORBELL RANG by Pat Hutchins (William Morrow and CO.)


1.Gather materials (baking the cookies beforehand).
2.Review lesson.
3.Read book.


1. In a small group setting (6 to 8 students) read the story THE DOORBELL RANG by Pat Hutchins.

2. Discuss the story with the children.

3. Tell the students that the class will act out the story. Tell them they will be doing this to see how a whole (the tray of cookies) can be divided in different ways so that everyone gets the same amount. Emphasis should be placed on what the whole is and what the part is so that the students understand that there are parts within the whole (tell them that sometimes there might be leftovers).

4. Ask the children if they have ever shared something with others. Discuss what happened.

5. Assign children parts for the play according to the story and how many children are in the small group. Remind them of the classroom cooperative worker rules.

6. Have students begin the play by starting with the -family- that lives in the house.

7. Using the chart (attachment) instruct the children to record how many cookies they will get to eat.

8. As each child rings the doorbell (maybe knock or use a bell) and joins the group sitting at the table, give the students TIME to refigure how many cookies they will get to eat. They will need to keep refiguring as more students join the group.

9. If time permits, when all the children have joined the group and the information has been recorded, have the children switch places so that they will have the opportunity to solve the problem from different points of view.

10. Students may eat their -part- of the -whole- only if they can tell you what the whole is and what their part will be.


The students self-assess to see if the others in their group come up with the same number of cookies that they do using their chart (attached). The criteria for satisfactory, needs improvement, or unsatisfactory would depend on how many people are in the group.
The students share their charts to show the teacher the whole and their parts at each interval during the play and their final part at the end. Formatively assess students as they work cooperatively together. You may need to offer corrective feedback to those who are having difficulty but don't forget to praise those who are working well together.
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