# Lesson Plan

Number and Operations: Largest Number Race

Subject: |
Math |

Grade span: |
3 to 5 |

Duration: |
30 to 45 minutes |

*Finding Math*

**Description:**

**Learning Goals:**

- Compare whole numbers
- Understand the value of single numbers in a larger number
- Use specific skills in the context of a variety of physical activities
- Work cooperatively to solve problems

**Materials:**

- Two 10-sided number cubes
- Masking tape
- Paper
- Items for relay race (balls, jump ropes, etc.)

**Preparation:**

For each team, place ten strips of masking tape on the floor with each strip representing a placeholder for a ten-digit number, and small pieces for the commas. For example:

_____, _____ _____ _____, _____ _____ _____, _____ _____ _____

**What to Do:**

- As a class, design an obstacle course relay that incorporates at least two physical activities — jumping rope and throwing a basketball through a hoop, for example — while moving toward a finish line. The final activity in the relay involves receiving a randomly-generated number between 0-9, and working together with your team to determine where to stand in a string of ten digits to make the largest number.
- Divide the students into two teams.
- Choose a person to be the number roller (someone who can't participate in the physical activity, or would prefer not to, is always a good choice). This person will roll the number cube, write the number on a blank piece of paper, and hand it to each team member after he or she has completed the other relay tasks. Both teams will receive the same number during each turn. Encourage students to write big.
- Tell students that the first team to complete all tasks and make a 10-digit number gets one point. The team who makes the largest number gets one point. Play can continue as long as time allows. The team with the most points wins.
- Have each team read their number to determine who has won. In order to read the numbers, you can have students put their numbered pieces of paper on the floor, stand back, and look at the number. You might ask, "How do you know which number is the largest?"
- Once teams have completed their first round, discuss how each team came up with their number, the strategies they used, and what they learned.

**Teaching Tips:**

- Begin by reviewing the objective of the game and making sure that the steps are clear to students. The goal of the game is to come up with the largest number. See if students can figure out that larger numbers should go at the beginning of the number (9,000,000,000) and smaller numbers at the end. However, this is a game of chance and strategy. Students can't move the numbers once they have placed them.
- Encourage students to come up with fun obstacle courses that include activities that are fun, challenging, and accessible to all students. If students are physically challenged and can't participate in the obstacle course, they can be the ones who roll the dice.
- Use guiding questions to encourage students to justify and discuss how each team came up with their number. Use the sample questions below or develop your own.
- What strategy did you use to make the largest number?
- Was it a good strategy? Why or why not?
- What strategy would you like to try in the next round?

**Evaluate (Outcomes to look for):**

- Student participation and engagement
- Students playing fairly together
- Students working together to problem solve
- An understanding of the value of whole numbers
- Answers that reflect an understanding of how base-ten (0-9) numerals can be arranged to make the largest possible number

**Standards:**

Click this link to see additional learning goals, grade-level benchmarks, and standards covered in this lesson.