Grade: Elementary
Subject: Mathematics

#3976. Number sense

Mathematics, level: Elementary
Posted Wed Apr 11 21:39:47 PDT 2007 by Raymond Orsua (
University of Idaho, Coeur d'Alene USA
Materials Required: • The poem "The Boy Who Counted Stars" by David L. Harrison
Activity Time: 40 minutes
Concepts Taught: Number sense, reading

• Literacy integrated with number sense, (math)

• The poem "The Boy Who Counted Stars" by David L. Harrison
o You will need a copy of the poem for each student
o Written out at the bottom of this lesson plan

Objectives and purpose:
• The students will begin to demonstrate their knowledge of numbers by translating written words into numerals and by working within groups to represent both small and large numbers
• By using choral reading students will further their understanding of literature with numbers

Idaho State Standards:
Language Arts:
• 2.LA.1.8.3 Use words and concepts necessary for comprehending math, science, social studies, literature and other Grade 2 content area text
• 2.LA.2.1.2 Participate in connecting the information and events in texts to self, to the world, and to other texts
• 2.M.1.1.6 Use appropriate vocabulary (277.01.f)
• 2.M.1.1.2 Read, write, compare, and order whole numbers to 1,000 (277.01.b)

Anticipatory set:
1. Talk about numbers, small numbers, to huge numbers.
2. Ask students if they have ever seen a big number and where they saw it
3. Talk about how we know if a number is big or small

You will be teaching the students number sense by using the poem as a reference for the size of numbers. This lesson can be used as an introduction into number sense.
1. Continue the conversation about numbers with the students
2. Show how numbers relate to each other, big numbers are built bigger by smaller numbers
3. Show how a small number looks and how a big number looks
4. Introduce how to tell if a number is big or small
a. Give examples of small numbers and how they are made up and show big numbers and what makes them different than small numbers
Guided Practice:
1. Have the children get into groups of about four.
2. Pass out a poem to each student
3. Using Guided Reading strategy guide the students to read the poem together as a group then independently, tell the students to focus on the numbers represented in the story
4. Once the children have read the story independently, start asking questions like,
• "What numbers were written in the poem?"
• "Who can tell me some of the numbers that were heard?"
• "How can you tell how big or small a number is?"
• Ask the children what they notice about the range of numbers presented in the poem.
• Which ones do they think would be easy or difficult to work with?
• Try to compile a list on the blackboard of all the numbers represented in the poem, either by having all the children come to the board and write a number that they remember, or by having the children call them out as you write.
• Go back through the poem and point out any numbers they did not get. Make sure to talk about why they might have missed the number and what is similar about any of the numbers they may have missed.
Check for Understanding:
You will be able to know if they have listened to the story and have an idea of numbers they hear. They may have trouble remembering what big numbers they have heard. You will be able to tell if they understand the numbers when they talk about them and which ones they omit or do not recognize as numbers.

Independent Practices:
1. Each group will be responsible for two numbers that were written on the board - - one small number (ranging from 7 to 101) and one large number (starting at 12,003). These numbers represent the boy's age and the number of stars that he counted.
2. For each number, the students in the group should brainstorm whatever comes to mind when they hear that number. This should be a list of ideas that the kids generate based on their familiarity with the given number.
3. After the children have done this, they will try to find a way to represent their two numbers visually. They will be allowed to use anything in the classroom such as manipulatives, calculators, paper and pencil, random objects, measuring equipment, and any resource books.
4. After all the groups have finished, they will present their two numbers to the class. They should explain their list of ideas about each number and also present their visual model.

Check for Understanding:
Conduct interviews while the groups are presenting their ideas by asking questions about their work. It should be very easy to determine if students grasp the concept when working with the smaller numbers. The larger numbers will be very hard for children to represent but will provide a challenge. Make sure to ask lots of questions to determine if the large number was difficult or even impossible for them to work with. Ask about their examples of each number and why they chose that example.

Ask students to write a brief paragraph to someone in a different group explaining which of their ideas for a number they liked the best. Discuss with the students that this will be the beginning of their study on number sense.

Extended Activity:
1. Have students try and think up other examples relative to the number of stars in the sky.
2. Have students try and write out the name of the numbers.
3. Have the students try and make up different numbers for the stars, other than the ones in the poem.

1. If students have troubles the size of the large numbers you can give those students easier numbers to work with.

2. You could also have given the poem to struggling readers before this lesson and allowed them more time with the text than other students