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Lesson Plan #: AELP-NUS0200
Submitted by: Jessica Papuga
Email: papuj6c0@elon.edu
School/University/Affiliation: Elon College
Endorsed by: Deborah Thurlow, Assistant Professor of Education
             Elon College, NC 27244 Date: May 10, 1999

Grade Level: 4


  • Mathematics/Number Sense

Duration: 45 minutes Description: This lesson is a result of work completed in the class Mathematics and Science Methods for Elementary Teachers at Elon College. Lessons were prepared for and implemented in 4th grade classrooms at Haw River Elementary School. Haw River, N.C. This particular lesson was adapted from an idea from a Math workshop: Lola J. May; Mathematics Consultant; Winnetka Public Schools; Winnetka, Illinois.

Goals: Students will use models and pictures to demonstrate the value of decimal numerals with tenths and hundredths.

1. Students will demonstrate that they have an understanding of decimals and how they are placed in order from greatest to least
2. Students will demonstrate the use of place value (tenths, hundredths, thousandths).


  • 2-3 sets of construction paper with numbers 0-9
  • 2-3 sets with decimals (especially those that are similar in appearance i.e. 2.13, 21.3, .021)

1. On the board, draw a diagram with five vertical lines designating place value. Between the second and third line, place a decimal point. 2. Ask the students what the dot might represent if we are talking about math.

3. Ask students what each column represents and write responses above appropriate column.

4. Discuss with the students that they will be making human decimals. The paper on their desks represent part of the decimal but they have to figure out which part.

5. Give the students an example so that they are aware of the expectations for the activity.

6. Call out numbers according to color for the first turn. Since the numbers repeat themselves, it is necessary to give them a color and a number.

7. Those students that have been called, have them come up to the board. Call out a decimal that they will have to make. Ask the students to raise their hands if they agree and if there are discrepancies, please address.

8. The students that were at the board are asked to tap someone on the shoulder and these students come up and rearrange themselves according to the decimal called. The entire activity is done in this manner until everyone has received a turn.

9. Next, the students receive a piece of paper with a decimal on it. The teacher should have a master copy of the decimals so that the teacher can call up similar looking decimals.

10. When the students are called up to the board, they are asked to read their decimal and hold up their numbers so that everyone can see. Choose whether the order will go to greatest to least or least to greatest and allow the students to arrange themselves. This activity continues in the same manner as the previous one (tap on shoulder).

11. If the students are having trouble placing decimals in order that looked similar, take the time to manipulate the activity so that certain students will come up to the board. (For example: 2.1, 0.21, 2.16, .023)

Assessment: At the close of the lesson, give the students a quick quiz. (You could review the place value for all the columns and then write some decimals on the board for the students to place in order) Give them various problems that are placed in both types of order, and be sure to use decimals that are similar in appearance. Collect their work to determine if more work needs to be done!