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Real World Addition and Subtraction

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Keywords: Technology, Science, Engineering, Catapult, Story Problems, Subtraction, Addition, Math
Subject(s): Writing, Science, Geometry, Technology, Social Skills, Social Studies, Information Skills, History, Reading, Physics, Math
Grades 1 through 3
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
View Full Text of Standards
School: Freedom Christian Academy, Knoxville, TN
Planned By: Amanda Burnette
Original Author: Amanda Burnette, Knoxville
1. Five minute warm up: Students will brainstorm and use white boards to demonstrate how to write a number sentence.
2. The teacher will demonstrate how to read, analyze, and solve one addition problem and one subtraction problem that relates to real life situations.
3. Students will work on a real world addition and subtraction problem with guided practice.
4. Students will work in small groups to read, analyze, and solve one addition and subtraction problem.
5. Groups will read and demonstrate how they solved the problems to the rest of the class. Students may draw a picture, build a model, or act out the problem for the other students.
6. Students will work on an individual assignment that allows independent practice with real life situations in which the students must add or subtract to solve the problems.
7. Enhancement activity: Students will use Microsoft Word to write and illustrate their own real world addition or subtraction story problem.
8. Hands On Engineering: this part of the lesson ties into our science curriculum in our study of simple machines and movement. Students have already been learning about the lever and its use in the past and the present. Students will research the catapult and its use through history.
9. Students will learn two main parts of a simple catapult: the lever and the fulcrum.
10. Students will work in groups of two to build a real life model of a mid century catapult..
11. When the models are complete, the students will experiement with the placement of the lever on the fulcurm. They will add or subtract the leverage to discover the best placement for the fulcrum in relation to the desired distance of the objected being catapulted across the room. Students will measure the distance of the objects and find the differnces between each group.
This lesson can be divided into two parts but it does not have to be. The materials used to build the catapult can be the teacher's choice. I have seen kits of Lego Blocks that can be purchased or you can use Popsicle sticks and rubber bands. This lesson integrates first grade common core standards but can be adapted to be grade level specific.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This lesson integrates Science, Technology, and Engineering, into a curriculum based mathematics lesson. Students must have a working knowledge of simple machines and students will be required to read and analyze written text.
Students will be assessed through the use of the white boards to solve addition and subtraction problems, their ability to retell the solution to a real life problem and an independent activity worksheet. Students must also be able to recreate his\her own scenario in which addition or subtraction is needed to solve a problem. Students will be expected to use their knowledge of simple machines to recreate a model of a catapult. They must be able to follow a set of directions and work with a partner to build the model. Students will be able to add or subtract the leverage of a catapult in order to determine the furthest distance of an object. Students will be assessed a the conclusion of the units in Math, Science, and Social Studies.
Links: Example on how to build a catapult
Math in Focus
You Tube History of a Catapult
Purposeful Design Science
Materials: Worksheets, Web Page, Keyboarding, Word Processor, Early Learning, Social Studies, Elementary, Science, Math, Writing, Literacy, Reading, Computer Accessories, Printers, Whiteboards, Internet Services, Student Resources, Integrating Technology, Cause and Effect