Week 8 | Exploring Paths - Play Discover Learn 24/7

Week 8 | Exploring Paths

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Lesson Objective:

Children are introduced to building paths as alternative to building trains with more opportunities to engage a child's imagination. 


Lesson Plan

Begin with free play for 10-15 minutes. Talk with students about their creations and note any interesting discoveries. 

Break for story time and read, ​"Marley Goes to School" By John Grogan.  Who doesn't love Marley?  Marley's adventure filled day pairs great with the story play mat featured from PDL's Building Equation Paths.  

Building play mats is an alternative to building trains.  It taps into a child's imagination encouraging them to create more interesting equations.  

If you have a story felt board, you can prepare jumbo size felt rods to place onto the story felt board or you can also use Jumbo Cuisenaire Rods.  As you are reading the story, add rods to the story board painting Marley's adventurous path through school.  

Story Discussion

At the end of the story, describe your path that you created.  It is a red plus a dark green plus a ​light green plus a yellow plus a blue plus a light green plus a tan plus a purple plus a red plus a dark green.   

Ask the student's, "Is there a shorter way I could write this?"  "Maybe just one letter for each rod?"

Decided what letter will represent each rod.  Then rewrite the equation using letters and introduce the symbol for plus.  ​ r + d + g + y + b + g + t + p + r + d


Once the story is over, have the children return to their Cuisenaire rods and ask them to build their own path. 

Have the students describe their paths.  Write down their equations for them or if they desire, have them write their equations.  

Math Journaling

Offer students the opportunity to draw their paths on the free activity page below and encourage them to include elements of the story. You may want to offer to read the story again while they are drawing.

Free Cuisenaire Rod printables for Playful Discovery!