Jan Gebert is an Illuminations lesson plan reviewer and instructor of
professional and secondary education at East Stroudsburg University. So
she definitely knows a thing or two about quality lessons. Illuminations
asked her for her favorite out of our 600+ lessons.
Success Story
Deeanna Golden, a teacher of 24 years at F.M. Golson Elementary
School in Marianna, Florida, is a beloved Illuminations lesson plan
writer. So we asked her, "Why do you think it is important to share resources?"
Success Story
Every 4 years, citizens of the
United States elect the person they believe should be our nation's new leader.
This unit explores the mathematics of the electoral college, the system used in
this country to determine the winner in a presidential election. The lessons
include activities in percentages, ratios, and area, with a focus throughout on
building problemsolving and reasoning skills. They are designed to be used
individually to fit within your curriculum at the time of an election. However,
time permitting, they can be used as a unit to give students a strong
understanding of how small variations can mean one person becomes president and
another does not. Additionally, the lesson extensions include many ideas for
interdisciplinary activities and some possible schoolwide activities.
Lesson Plan
In this interactive geometry investigation,
students explore polyhedra using different representations and
perspectives for three dimensional block figures. In addition, students
will examine area and volume concepts for block figures within this
context.
Math Content
Students will:
 Analyze characteristics and properties of three dimensional
geometric shapes and develop mathematical arguments about geometric
relationships.
 Use visualization, spatial reasoning, and geometric modeling to solve problems.
 Create three dimensional shapes using the isometric drawing tool and represent these shapes as isometric drawings.
 Find the surface area and volume of various polyhedra created in this unit.
If possible, each student should have access to an individual computer.
Lesson Plan
In this unit, students practice
measurement by measuring themselves. Students use nonstandard units to practice
measuring their heights and arm spans. Then, they create a "body map"
and use directional and positional words.
Lesson Plan
The concepts of greater than, less than, and equal to
are explored in this 2lesson unit. Students create piles of food on
two islands, and their fish always swims toward the island with more
food. The fish's mouth is open to represent the greater than and less
than symbols. Students transition from the concrete representation of
using piles of food and the fish to writing inequalities with numerals
and symbols.
Lesson Plan
In this unit, students become real
business owners!
 In the first lesson, students collaborate to develop an
enticing product and are given $1000 which they must budget to cover the
cost of real estate, advertising, and stocking their stores.
 In the second lesson, students participate in
"Selling Day!" and try to make a profit from their debit card
wielding classmates who are looking for the best deals.
Students' number sense and problem
solving strategies are refined as groups compete for the title "Money
Makers!"
Lesson Plan
These activities guide students through a
rich exploration of percent concentration using both tactile
experiences and realworld applications. Students predict, model, and
generalize their conjectures about percent concentrations.
Math Content
Students will:
 Explore, estimate and apply percent concentrations.
 Generalize a formula from specific experiences.
Lesson Plan
In this unit, students explore circles. In
the first lesson students apply the concepts of area and circumference
to explore arrangements for soda cans that lead to a more efficient
package. In the second lesson, students experiment with threedimensional arrangements to
discover the effect of gravity on the arrangement of soda cans. The final lesson allows students to examine the more
advanced mathematical concept of curvature.
Math Content
In this unit, students will:
 Determine circumference and area.
 Calculate the efficiency of an arrangements of cans.
 Create a model for arranging cans on a shelf.
 Determine the curvature of a circle.
Lesson Plan
Anthony
incorporates Illuminations lessons into her curriculum, but she also
expands, tweaks and creates new materials to ensure these lessons are
meeting the needs of her students.
Success Story
Chelsea Cutting from Mount Gambier, South Australia, tells us about the
realworld connections her students are able to make after using
Illumination resources.
Success Story
Much like athletes must warm up their muscles before heading into a
game, students often warm up with engaging classroom activities or
problems of the day before diving into the daily math lesson. Wan Chow
of Bishop Strachtan School in Toronto finds the perfect warmup in
Illuminations.
Success Story
Carol Fears teaches sixthgrade math at Landstuhl
Elementary/Middle School on a U.S. Army post in Germany. Throughout her 27
years of teaching, Illuminations has become her goto resource for teaching new
topics or looking for new ideas.
Success Story
It has often been said that love happens when you least expect it, and
now the same can be said for finding math resources. Victoria Miles, 7th
grade math teacher at Abigail Adams Middle School, came upon
Illuminations after a Google search directed her to the site.
Success Story
The 23year teacher modifies games to meet the different
learning needs in her classroom. See how she modified Deep Sea
Duel.
Success Story
Teachers are not the only ones who encourage students to play
Calculation Nationparents do too! Dana Slevin, and her middle school
daughters play Calculation Nation at home.
Success Story
In this unit, students will use
geoboards to visualize the geometric meanings of square and square root.
Math
Content
Students will:
 Connect the square of a number to the area of a square
whose side length is given.
 Understand that the square root of a number can be
represented as the side length of a square whose area is given.
 be introduced to irrational numbers as the side lengths
of nontraditional squares. Make connections between geometry, measurement
and number sense through the use of manipulatives.
Lesson Plan
In this unit, students use the area formula
for a rectangle to discover the area formulas for triangles,
parallelograms, and trapezoids. Students also consider irregular figures
whose areas can be determined by estimation or decomposition.
Prerequisite Knowledge

Students need to have a conceptual understanding of area, as well as some familiarity with the area formula for rectangles.
 Students need to have a conceptual understanding of area, as well as some familiarity with the area formula for rectangles.
Lesson Plan
Many students may have seen Pick’s
Theorem in middle school. In this set of lessons, students rediscover the
theorem, use algebra to determine the coefficients of the equation, and explore
the concept of change as a mechanism for finding the coefficients of Pick’s
Theorem. Math
Content
Students will:
 Solve systems of equations.
 Find rates of change.
Although no single lesson in this
unit addresses connections and representation by itself, the entire unit
focuses on the Connections and Representation Standards by allowing students to
make connections among mathematical ideas and asking students to use various
representations to organize their work.
Lesson Plan
Diana Flores, who has a selfcontained classroom, teaches highly and
profoundly gifted students in Phoenix, AZ. Flores says math "rotations"
is a "bigkid way to say centers." One of these math stations hosts computers, which students use frequently to visit Calculation Nation^{TM}
.
Success Story