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    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

    These activities guide students through a rich exploration of percent concentration using both tactile experiences and real-world 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
    Diana Flores, who has a self-contained classroom, teaches highly and profoundly gifted students in Phoenix, AZ. Flores says math "rotations" is a "big-kid way to say centers." One of these math stations hosts computers, which students use frequently to visit Calculation NationTM .
    Success Story

    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
    In this unit, students learn the Law of Sines and the Law of Cosines and determine when each can be used to find a side length or angle of a triangle.
    Lesson Plan
    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 warm-up in Illuminations.
    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 problem-solving 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 school-wide activities.


    Lesson Plan

    In this unit, students make groups of 10 to 20 objects, connect number names to the groups, compose and decompose numbers, and use numerals to record the size of a group. Visual, auditory, and kinesthetic activities are included in each lesson. This unit is most appropriate for students typically in the first grade.

    Math Content

    Students will:

    • Understand the concept of number.
    • Build relationships between numbers.
    • Become familiar with equality.
    • Begin writing numerals.
    Lesson Plan

    These investigations use movement to reinforce the concepts of linear functions and systems of equations. Multiple representations are used throughout, along with tools such as motion detectors and remote-controlled cars. Students explore how position, speed, and varying motion are reflected in graphs, tables, and algebraic equations.


    Lesson Plan

    Students will explore theoretical and experimental probability and the relationship between them. Students will also graph an experiment to further explore the relationship according to the Law of Large Numbers.


    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 interactive Paper Pool game provides an opportunity for students to develop their understanding of ratio, proportion, greatest common factor and least common multiple.

    In this investigation, students are asked to play a game called Paper Pool. The game is played on rectangular grids made of congruent squares.

    The Paper Pool unit was adapted with permission and guidance from the Connected Mathematics Project.

    Math Content

    Students will:
    • Develop their understanding of ratios, proportions, and equivalent fractions.
    • Find the greatest common factor and the least common multiple.
    • Investigate similar figures.
    • Gather and organize data.
    • Search for patterns.
    Lesson Plan
    Grades: 6th to 8th, 3rd to 5th
    Stats & Probability
    Algebraic Thinking
    Summarize and describe distributions.
    Generate and analyze patterns.
    4.OA.C.5, 6.SP.B.5b
    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

    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

    In this unit, students collect data using objects, pictures, and symbols. They organize data by sorting and classifying in different ways. Students display data using multiple representations.


    Lesson Plan
    Students begin an exploration of cryptology by first learning about two simple coding methods— the Caesar cipher and the Vigenere cipher. Students then use matrices and their inverses to create more sophisticated codes.
    Lesson Plan

    In the following lessons, students participate in activities in which they focus on connections between mathematics and children’s literature. Three pieces of literature are used to teach geometry and measurement topics in the mathematics curriculum, from using and describing geometric figures to estimating volume of figures.

    These lessons were adapted from "Ideas: Mathematics and Children’s Literature," by Martha H. (Marty) Hopkins, which appeared in The Arithmetic Teacher, May 1993, pp. 512‑519.

    Lesson Plan

    Each geometric investigation in this unit begins with an open-ended question that engages students in a study of triangles and their properties. This lesson was adapted from "IDEAS" by Marea W. Channel, which appeared in the November, 1993 Arithmetic Teacher (Teaching Children Mathematics), Vol. 41, No. 3.


    Lesson Plan
    Create customized activity sheets for your classroom.
    Web Interactive
    Grades: High School, 6th to 8th, 3rd to 5th, PreK to 2nd, 9th to 12th, Pre K to 2nd
    The Number System
    Num & Ops Fractions
    Measurement & Data
    Linear, Quadratic, and Exponential Models
    Use functions to model relationships between quantities.
    Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, surface area, and volume.
    Apply and extend previous understandings of numbers to the system of rational numbers.
    Graph points on the coordinate plane to solve real-world and mathematical problems.
    Develop understanding of fractions as numbers.
    Relate addition and subtraction to length.
    Analyze, compare, create, and compose shapes.
    Identify and describe shapes (squares, circles, triangles, rectangles, hexagons, cubes, cones, cylinders, and spheres).
    K.G.A.2, K.G.B.4, 2.MD.B.6, 3.NF.A.2a, 3.NF.A.2b, 5.G.A.1, 6.NS.C.6c, 6.NS.C.7a, 6.G.A.4, 8.F.B.5, HSF-LE.A.1b
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