Beacon Lesson Plan Library
More or Less? Mouse or Elephant?
Hardee County Schools
Students have fun predicting the relative sizes of answers to addition and subtraction problems using their animal friends.
The student predicts the relative size of solutions in addition and subtraction (for example, adding two whole numbers results in a number that is larger than either of the two original numbers).
-Numbers written on any color of contruction paper or a board/chart
-Elephant and mouse graphics, one set per student (See Associated File)
-2 Cookies per student
-2 Popsicle sticks per student
-Play Ball Worksheet (See Associated File)
1. Copy the elephant and mouse graphics for each student. (See Associated File)
2. Laminate animals so that they can be used from year to year.
3. Staple or glue the animals on popsicle sticks, so that students are able to hold them up.
4. Duplicate the Play Ball Worksheet (See Associated File) for each student.
5. Have animal cookies for each student.
1. Ask the students if they would rather have two cookies or one cookie.
2. Have them explain why they would like two cookies instead of one.
3. Ask them which number is bigger.
4. Tell the class that they are going to predict the size of something using the information the teacher gives them.
5. Ask the students math questions. For example: When you add 5 + 6, is the answer going to be larger or smaller than either of the numbers in the problem? When you subtract 9-4, will the answer be larger or smaller than either of the numbers in the problem? Write the problem on the chart or board.
6. Each student puts up their prediction for the answer using the elephant to predict that the answer will be larger and the mouse to predict that the answer will be smaller.
7. Review the correct answers and how to solve the problems.
8. Repeat this process with other numbers using both addition and subtraction problems. Allow plenty of time for practice and note those students having difficulty. Walk through the process of thinking aloud so that students are able to do this on their own.
9. Student assessment can be given at this time. Use the Play Ball Worksheet in the associated file.
10. When the lesson is finished, give each student two cookies for a job well done.
11. If a student does not make 80% or better on the assesment test, pair him with a student that understands the concept and have them review using the mouse and elephant sticks. Then you can give those students an oral review to make sure they understand the concept.
During the oral assessment and the written assessment make sure that the students understand the concept of more or less. For example: If the teacher holds up a 6 or writes it on a chart, ask "Is it more or less than 5?". Then the students should hold up the elephant (for more than). The following assessments will be used to determine if the students understand relative size of solutions:
-Performance assessment: Teacher observation of students using the animals on the popsicle sticks during the lesson.
-Written assessment: Play Ball Worksheet in associated file.
Students may need to do the worksheet more than once. Give corrective feedback and plenty of opportunities for practice.