Lesson: A Hare's Distance

Lesson: A Hare's Distance
Lesson Title: A Hare's Distance by Holly Young
Grade Level: 3rd Grade
Length of time to teach lesson: 80-90 minutes
Mentor text to be used in this lesson: The UnderAchievers
Writing Traits:
Idea Development:
Writing with a clear, central idea or theme in mind
Putting researched ideas into one’s own words
Conventions:
Correct mathematical language
Correct symbol usage
3- to 4-sentence overview of lesson:
This lesson uses concepts introduced in The Underachievers to help students explore fractions with respect to a number line. This interactive lesson has students exploring many different fractions and their respective locations on various number lines. Students practice explaining their thinking in writing.
Objectives of this lesson:
Students begin to understand the definition of a fraction as stated in the Common Core Standards.
Resources for this Lesson:
  1. The UnderAchievers
  2. Long strips of paper (adding machine tape) or sentence strips attached together
  3. Fraction Cards
  4. Individual whiteboards and markers
  5. Graphic Organizer
  6. Individual Practice Sheets
Step-by-step teaching instructions.Stan
Lesson Part 1:
  1. Read The Underachievers up to page 14. Make sure to show the illustrations on pp 8,9,10,12,and 13. (The Underachievers is available for download for activeboards)
  2. Put students into groups of 3 or 4.
  3. Lay out a strip of paper with a zero and a one (hare’s distance) clearly marked. Make sure the strip of paper is at least 2.5-3.0 meters long.
  4. Ask a student to volunteer to stand at the zero mark with his/her feet slightly apart and hop comfortably forward (without falling back). Make a mark on the strip of paper even with the back of the jumping student’s heels.
  5. Ask each student group to discuss how far of a hare’s distance did the student jump? Ask them to write their fraction on the whiteboard and be prepared to explain it.
  6. Ask for 2 groups to share their reasoning then let groups discuss again and change their answer if they want. Show answers and share reasonings from different groups. If students don’t use concepts of benchmark fractions for comparison. Guide them to compare to ½, ¼ , and ¾ . Also, lead a discussion on breaking the one whole into even cuts, then taking multiple pieces of that cut, for instance show the students that cutting the one whole into 3 equal pieces and then adding up two of those pieces to get 2/3.
  7. Re-read The Underachievers pp. 7-14 asking students to notice how Tully is cutting the number line and using repeated addition. Have the students look for any strategies that they used that are similar to Tully. After reading, ask students to discuss the strategies that they noticed.
  8. Roll out a shorter number line where 1 hare’s distance is shorter than a student’s normal jump (but make sure that the paper is significantly long enough to record a jump beyond 1).
  9. Have a student jump (hopefully beyond 1) and record the jump length.
  10. Ask students to provide a fraction for the length of the jump and record it on their whiteboard. Ask a few groups to explain their reasoning.
  11. Show students that 1 ¼ and 5/4 are the same fraction. Informally discuss improper fractions and mixed numbers.
  12. **Extension** This is a good time to highlight the fact that one whole can be many different lengths and a fraction represents only a part of that designated whole. A great exploration is for students to explore a metric ruler and standard ruler to see the difference in one unit and the corresponding fractions from it.
Lesson Part 2
  1. Put students into homogeneous groups of 4 or 5. Give each group a number line that has a mark at zero and at 1 hare’s distance. Each student gets a graphic organizer/recording sheet.
  2. Give each group a card and have them discuss where the fraction on the card would be located on the number line. Have the students place the card on the numberline so that the teacher can easily see if students are having misconceptions. Then each group member fills out their graphic organizer from what was discussed. (The cards provided are differentiated so that more advanced students can try more difficult fractions while struggling students can reinforce learning the original concept).
  3. As each group completes a card, and the graphic organizer for each card, the teacher can give another card from the set. There are 4 cards for each group that include some basic fractions, the concept of one, and an improper fraction. This is the time to encourage students to help each other write complete descriptions of their thinking on their graphic organizers. (Instructional note – in order to improve student description writing, have one group at a time put up their description and work as a class to revise the writing and add important details.) It is critical for all groups to report back on their findings to the class so that each child can benefit from the extra practice.
  4. **Extension** Encourage students to compare the fraction on their card to common benchmark fractions. This can be an important detail to use in their writing.
Lesson Part 3
  1. Students can work individually or in partners on practice sheets. Encourage students to work on their explanations including important details. (The individual work sheets have different levels of difficultly to correspond to the group work cards – teachers can differentiate if needed)